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Weekend Forecast for February 25-27, 2011

By Reagen Sulewski

February 25, 2011

Fatherhood has been somewhat unkind to Mr. Wilson...

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The biggest reason to believe this might do well is the existence and inexplicable popularity of Ghost Rider, although I really don't expect that to be replicated here. The Marvel branding means a lot apparently (though not DC necessarily – ask the makers of Jonah Hex about that), and absent any kind of built in audience, this seems destined to go the way of Cage's earlier entry from this year, with around a $9 million opening weekend.

With these numbers, it's fairly likely that a returning film will top the charts. From the options available, we're down to two possibles – Unknown and Gnomeo and Juliet.

Unknown has the slight edge based on its higher total from last weekend, slightly under $22 million for the three-day weekend (four-day totals had it winning by less than $20,000). Its spiritual predecessor, Taken, was one of the leggiest films of 2009, and was the canary in the coal mine that old-fashioned legs were making a comeback at the box office. You would think those legs would be factored in to Unknown's opening weekend, though, and expecting a run to over $100 million total is wishful thinking. A solid performance for this film would be close to $14 million, though as little as $12 million could happen if word-of-mouth fails to materialize.

Gnomeo and Juliet has worked the early, children's-film-free period of the year very well to date, sitting just shy of $60 million heading into the weekend after just two weekends of release. It's very difficult to judge an end point with this little data and with one of the weekends being a holiday at that, but rest assured that the final number's going to end up being one that Disney will be happy with. Shedding only a quarter of its opening weekend leaves it very close to a position where it can overtake Unknown, but I believe it'll fall just short, bringing in $13 million more this weekend.

I Am Number Four slid in almost exactly halfway between its filmic doppelgangers Jumper and Push with a $19 million weekend, which is a distressing number for a film producers are hoping to build a series around. Teen-focused action films are notoriously front-loaded as well (not a patient demographic, that) so a fall to around $9 million seems warranted.




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That leaves room for Just Go With It to move up one spot relatively, with Adam Sandler's relationship/pathological liar comedy doing a shade better than might have been expected in its post-opening weekend business. The low starting point can't be helped, of course, and that probably means the end point is somewhere south of $100 million. For this weekend, though, that means about $10 million.

My aneurysm from last week over the release of Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son has been successfully repaired, but could reemerge if the film doesn't drop more than 50% this weekend. Do your part, America! Bring it in under $8 million or else!

Speaking of films that are cratering, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never should freefall to around $6 million this weekend – unless there's a sudden rush to see him on screen with his old haircut now that it's gone. Put nothing past pre-teens.

Heading into Oscar weekend, The King's Speech is proving impossible to shake out of the top ten. This is going to make a lot more difference coming out of the weekend if it wins as many awards as is predicted, but even so, it should still be able to ring up another $6 million following its surpassing of the $100 million mark. A Best Picture win could drive it over $150 million.


Forecast: Weekend of February 25-27, 2011
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Unknown 3,043 0 13.8
2 Gnomeo and Juliet 3,037 +23 13.3
3 Hall Pass 2,950 New 13.0
4 Just Go With It 3,544 -4 10.4
5 Drive Angry 2,290 New 9.4
6 I Am Number Four 3,156 +2 9.3
7 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son 2,821 0 7.8
8 The King's Speech 2,386 +300 6.4
9 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 2,810 -380 6.0
10 No Strings Attached 1,366 -600 2.0

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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