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Weekend Forecast for May 27-30, 2011

By Reagen Sulewski

May 26, 2011

Everything is better with a monkey...except The Hangover II, judging by the early reviews.

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The question then becomes whether this will work a second time. At least initially, this seems to be the case, though we're at least not back to square one with Po's abilities. Now, he's finding a way to utilize his...unique fighting style in concert with the other five warriors, who are still vaguely embarrassed to be hauling around this great lump of panda with them. Played with a constant feel of “can you believe this is actually happening?”, it's proven to be a winning style for animation.

Opening in June of 2008, Kung Fu Panda grabbed $60 million in its opening weekend, and cruised to a $215 million total. Thanks to endless repetition on cable and solid DVD/Blu-Ray sales, expectations here are a fair bit higher, similar to the leap that Shrek made from movie 1 to movie 2. In fact, with the effective retirement of that franchise, Paramount/DreamWorks is banking strongly on Kung Fu Panda taking over that role in its arsenal. With this being a prime weekend for family viewing at the multiplex, it should take full advantage of its extended five-day opening weekend to the tune of $90 million over that period.

Finding the middle ground between Hangover's hard-R and Kung Fu Panda's soft-PG is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which comes into its second weekend with some questions to answer. Is that $90 million opening weekend, which already represents a step back for the series, a harbinger of a franchise that's taking on water, or is it merely a rough patch of water to be navigated around (okay, I'll cut it with the nautical metaphors)? As a third sequel that no one particularly asked for and isn't getting strong reviews, I think we all know what's the more likely outcome. While a drop as severe as At World's End's shouldn't happen, more than half of the opening weekend should easily go “poof” over Memorial Day weekend. Add in the extra holiday day and we're looking at a $45 million weekend.




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On the flip side of that ledger, Bridesmaids' word-of-mouth appears to be for real, with just a 20% drop off in its second weekend. It's at this point that the person responsible for picking the clips for this film's trailer should start feeling nervous for his job. As a gender-flipped direct competitor to The Hangover II, this may suffer slightly, but personally I find that quality wins out, and over four days, I'd say we're looking at an $18 million weekend for Kristen Wiig and company.

A couple of franchise/spin-off films wrap up the weekend's notables, with Thor and Fast Five bringing in about $8 and 6 million for the holiday weekend respectively. Thor is looking like a $175 million domestic film, which is pretty close to a best case scenario for this second-(third-?)tier superhero lead up to The Avengers movie next year. Fast Five, meanwhile, has already blazed past every other entry in the Fast and Furious franchise and should wind up somewhere in the vicinity of $215 million. It's already got an eye-popping half a billion between domestic and international figures, and may end up in the all-time top 50 worldwide when everything is said and done.


Forecast: Weekend of May 27-30, 2011
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 The Hangover Part II 3,615 New 104.8
2 Kung Fu Panda 2 3,925 New 90.4
3 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides N/A N/A 45.6
4 Bridesmaids N/A N/A 18.7
5 Thor N/A N/A 8.9
6 Fast Five N/A N/A 6.5
7 Rio N/A N/A 3.8
8 Priest N/A N/A 3.5
9 Something Borrowed N/A N/A 2.6
10 Jumping the Broom N/A N/A 2.3

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