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Weekend Forecast for April 29-May 1, 2011

By Reagen Sulewski

April 29, 2011

No one's a really good driver here.

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Hoodwinked Too seems to fall into the category of “who asked for this”? A sequel to 2006's Hoodwinked, a modern wise-cracking take on fairy tales (with slightly less pop culture referencing than Shrek) featuring characters like Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf as they team up to fight crime. Ooh, high concept!

While the original film had a cult following among animation enthusiasts, it landed in the middle of the period where animation had reached a saturation point and there were no sure things in the genre anymore. Sub par animation doomed it to just $50 million domestic, but with 3D putting another upswing into the genre why not try again with a new cast? Hayden Panettiere, Patrick Warburton, Joan Cusack, Glenn Close, Bill Hader and Amy Pohler give the voice cast a lot of juice, but the series remains an also-ran even to the likes of Rio and Rango. With little ad support and a critical drubbing, it should see just $6 million this weekend.

It's almost not fair to talk about Dylan Dog: Dead of Night – giving it press just will get its hopes up. Based on an Italian comic series (when a film has to say that it's a popular comic on its poster, no, really it is, it's just sad and reeks of desperation) about a paranormal investigator, it stars Brandon Routh - who I'm sure thought he wouldn't be starring in this particular comic series five years after Superman Returns. Opening on around 800 screens, it faces the gigantic problem of no one knowing anything about this series. This is pure cult fodder and Freestyle Releasing, which has a string of some of the most notorious flops in recent years (Delgo, The Nutcracker 3D, multiple Uwe Boll films) will be able to add this to the list shortly, with about a $1 million opening weekend. Stop trying.




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April's films are about to be driven out of theaters by blockbuster after blockbuster but there's still one more weekend to go for most of them. Family films like Rio and Hop continue to perform well, with Hop defying traditional drop patterns to capitalize on its Easter theme, actually increasing by 14% on the weekend. Rio should still lead the pack for returning films, with about $18 million this frame, pushing it above $100 million. Meanwhile, without the calendar boost, Hop should fall pretty dramatically, down to about $6 million.

The Tyler Perry movies run like clockwork at this point, and Madea's Big Happy Family shows no signs of being any different from the rest. Pencil this in for the standard 50 to 60% drop off in the second weekend, down to around $11 million.

Water For Elephants seems to have captured that same middle-of-the-road tragic romance market that made mild successes out of The Time Traveler's Wife, and larger ones out of all those Nicholas Sparks novels. That doesn't mean it'll necessarily have staying power, and in fact leans towards the idea that it won't. Fans of the book will have come out in force in the first weekend, and I see this dropping to around $10 million this weekend. Following these films, last weekend's pile up of eight films around $5 million should shift down to $3 to 4 million.


Forecast: Weekend of April 29-May 1, 2011
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Fast Five 3,643 New 77.4
2 Rio 3,707 -135 17.9
3 Madea's Big Happy Family 2,288 0 11.2
4 Water For Elephants 2,820 3 10.6
5 Prom 2,730 New 8.7
6 Hoodwinked Too 2,505 New 6.5
7 Hop 3,170 -446 6.2
8 African Cats 1,224 +4 4.2
9 Scream 4 2,221 -1,093 3.5
10 Soul Surfer 2,010 -230 3.5

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