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Weekend Forecast

By David Mumpower

October 12, 2012

My leotard thingy is riding up.

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The one predictable release this weekend is Sinister, a horror film that has been the subject of much amusement from the BOP staff. The circumstances of the movie’s premise are remarkably similar to a BOP webmaster’s odd events that have transpired since he moved into his new home a couple of years ago. His daughter has developed a scary imaginary friend and everything. We have been joking with him for a while now that he should open some mysterious boxes the previous owner had left in the attic. This is exactly the premise of Sinister. Suffice to say that our friendly BOP webmaster will never be watching this horror film.

The Summit Entertainment release lacks the killer premise of The Possession. It also does not feature the Jennifer Lawrence star power of House at the End of the Street. What this horror flick does have going for it is that this is the time of year when audiences offer the benefit of the doubt to supernatural titles. Sinister jumps the gun a bit in order to avoid direct competition with Paranormal Activity 4 next week. This gives the movie seven days of genre dominance in the marketplace. I expect a $14 million opening weekend before it becomes krill for horror’s biggest whale.

As impossible as this may be to imagine, Argo was at one point this week only the second best reviewed of the new releases. Seven Psychopaths has since cooled a bit and dropped to 88%. I don’t need to tell you how rarely two movies this good are available in wide release in mid-October. This is the time when we ordinarily expect Paranormal Sawing.

Instead, we are treated to the follow-up film from Auteur Martin McDonagh. The scribe was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for In Bruges, a personal favorite. The subject matter of Seven Psychopaths is a bit esoteric for mainstream audiences. The title references an unfinished screenplay by a struggling writer. The creative process rarely leads to boffo box office, which is unfortunate as it frequently chronicles some of the best storytelling. Ah well. Seven Psychopaths should attain $6 million and be ardently championed by arthouse fans.




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The fifth release this weekend is significantly less important despite its grandiose marketing campaign. An actual ad running for Atlas Shrugged Part Two states, “Ayn Rand's best-selling novel is now a major motion picture event. Will it influence the election? You decide." Let me stop you right there. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I can confirm that there was an Atlas Shrugged Part I. I was one of the few people in the world who watched the movie. I envy those who did not because the acting in it was about the least professional I have ever seen outside of Pauly Shore’s work in the early '90s.

I would ask some of you to back me up on this. Alas, Atlas Shrugged Part I earned only $4.6 million in global box office. The $20 million production was such a financial disaster that no one expected a sequel to be filmed. Somehow, another $20 million was lined up for a second title, which is one of the strangest business decisions in recent memory. For no apparent reason, 1,012 theaters have agreed to exhibit this title, which is roughly as many screenings as Part I claimed in its first three weeks of release. Those will be some empty theaters, creating difficulty in the film’s attempt to “influence the election." I expect a $3 million debut, which is almost double the previous title. For a movie that costs this much, it’s still a disastrous result.

Taken 2 wound up earning $49.5 million, thereby becoming the third largest October debut of all time. A 50% drop would prove amusing. Why? That total of $24.7 million would effectively match the opening weekend of the original Taken. Who am I to argue with symmetry? Meanwhile, Pitch Perfect should maintain its popularity with a $9.3 million weekend, a modest 37% decline. The news for Frankenweenie is less than optimal thus far. I do expect a decent second weekend hold of $6.8 million, though. I would imagine Tim Burton spends more than that on Johnny Depp’s Christmas presents but dead pet movies simply are not marketable.


Forecast: Weekend of October 12-14, 2012
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Taken 2 3,706 +45 24.7
2 Here Comes the Boom 3,014 New 21.0
3 Hotel Transylvania 3,375 +23 17.8
4 Argo 3,232 New 17.0
5 Sinister 2,527 New 14.0
6 Pitch Perfect 2,787 +17 9.3
7 Looper 2,605 -388 7.9
8 Frankenweenie 3,005 No Change 6.8
9 Seven Psychopaths 1,480 New 6.0
10 Atlas Shrugged: Part II 1,012 New 3.0

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