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Weekend Forecast for July 15-17, 2011

By Reagen Sulewski

July 15, 2011

This is what happens to people who don't go to his movie this weekend. Take care you're not next.

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Surprisingly enough, there are other films out this weekend, and even one in direct “competition." When you're counter-programming, there's two schools of thought – go in a complete 180 in style and genre, or butt heads and hope for spillover from sellouts. The latter strategy is undoubtedly what Disney is hoping for with Winnie the Pooh, though it's difficult to imagine any Potter fan settling for Winnie the Pooh after being hyped to see Potter. That disappointment would be magnified by the fact that we'd be talking about the youngest of the Potter fans who'd be asked to accept this.

But perhaps I'm speaking too much of the film in how it relates to Harry Potter. It is a beloved franchise of its own, though not one that's been a powerhouse outside of direct to DVD features for many years. It's been six years since a Pooh movie graced the big screen, and then that was just a $6 million dollar opening weekend. What's notable here is that Disney has not attempted to do anything fancy with Winnie the Pooh here – simply making a straightforward, simple, cel animated story. It's a noble move that could theoretically cost them money in the short term – a jazzed up Winnie the Pooh might connect with a new generation – but protects the value of the brand in the long term. This weekend, they'll see just a $9 million debut, but then, it was never going to be a blockbuster anyway.




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The returning films from last weekend are a bit of an afterthought in the wake of the Potterquake, but let's take a look at them anyway. Transformers 3 will cater to those uninterested in Potter and also interested in experiencing an epileptic seizure. Odds are strong that even with Potter dominating the landscape, this film will cross the $300 million milestone this weekend, but it's not looking strong as far as it matching the $402 million from Transformers 2. Look for about $23 million this weekend.

The surprise of last weekend was Horrible Bosses, which opened to $28 million on the strength of nothing much more than Jason Bateman and what amounted to not much more than cameos by Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston. A number of comedies have shown legs this year, and while this hasn't been as enthusiastically received as all of them, there's a solid chance it can have an extended run. Give it about $17 million this weekend.

Zookeeper seems to be right in the line of fire this weekend from the number of family films in the market, but again I have to wonder who it is exactly that's making the decision between Harry Potter and Zookeeper. That said, while Kevin James did take people by surprise with Paul Blart, that's gone now, and he's a known quantity. Any goodwill should have shown up in the opening weekend. I'd anticipate just $11 million this frame.


Forecast: Weekend of July 15-17, 2011
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 4,375 New 164.1
2 Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3,917 -171 22.8
3 Horrible Bosses 3,134 +94 17.2
4 Zookeeper 3,482 0 11.4
5 Winnie the Pooh 2,405 New 9.7
6 Cars 2 3,249 -741 7.1
7 Bad Teacher 2,659 -303 5.2
8 Super 8 1,459 -833 3.2
9 Larry Crowne 2,280 -696 3.1
10 Monte Carlo 1,169 -1,304 1.8

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