Box Office Predictions

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Box Office Predictions

thompsoncory
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24 Oct 2004, 23:05 #1

Here are my VERY EARLY predictions for the weekend of October 29th:

RAY - $12 million
SAW - $6 million
BIRTH - $2.5 million

RAY has a lot more buzz around it and will definetely attract the largest audience come the weekend of the 29th. It's a major Oscar contender, plus it will be seen automatically by fans of Ray Charles and Jamie Foxx.
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Gunslinger
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25 Oct 2004, 02:48 #2

October 29, 2004 /// Final Predictions..

SAW: $13.9 million
RAY: $9.8 million
BIRTH: $2.3 million
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thompsoncory
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26 Oct 2004, 22:29 #3

I may regret this, but I'm upping my SAW prediction to $8 million. I still think THE GRUDGE will top the charts with $22-25 million.
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Mike
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27 Oct 2004, 16:57 #4

***MY PREDICTIONS***

1. THE GRUDGE - 20 MILLION
2. RAY - 12.7 MILLION
3. SAW - 11.3 MILLION
4. SHARK TALE - 9.3 MILLION
5. SHALL WE DANCE? - 6 MILLION
6. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - 4.2 MILLION
7. TEAM AMERICA - 3.6 MILLION
8. LADDER 49 - 3.4 MILLION
9. THE FORGOTTEN - 3.1 MILLION
10. SURVIVING CHRISTMAS - 2.9 MILLION
11. TAXI - 2.2 MILLION
12. I HEART HUCKABEES - 2.2 MILLION
13. BIRTH - 2 MILLION
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Mike
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28 Oct 2004, 18:50 #5

From Box Office Guru:

THIS WEEKEND Although they both boast three-letter titles, the new releases hitting North American theaters on Friday could not be more different. Universal unleashes its acclaimed musical biopic Ray while Lions Gate gets more seasonal with the horror film Saw which terrorizes the box office just in time for Halloween. But hoping to crush all competitors with Red Sox-like dominance is the Sony suspense thriller The Grudge which aims to retain its position on top of the standings.

Winning rave reviews from critics from coast to coast, Jamie Foxx takes on the role of music legend Ray Charles in the Universal release Ray. Directed by Taylor Hackford (Devil's Advocate, An Officer and a Gentleman), the PG-13 film chronicles the rise to superstardom that the Georgia-born blind musician experienced. Known for his comedy films and his funny characters on Fox's In Living Color, Foxx prepared audiences to take him seriously in August with a well-received supporting role opposite Tom Cruise in Collateral. After that $100M+ hit, it won't be too much of a stretch to ask ticket buyers to accept the funnyman in this difficult role. In fact, in many minds, Foxx has quickly managed to make himself the frontrunner for the Oscar for Best Actor.

Ray's appeal will be diverse. The subject matter hints at an older audience, but the 36-year-old actor should be able to draw young adults too. African American support is guaranteed, but Charles had a solid following among adults of all races. Cross-gender appeal is also strong for the emotional and uplifting story of an underdog music man who battled drug abuse and womanizing. Universal is opening Ray nationwide, but not too aggressively choosing instead to play in 2,006 houses. With not-too-wide availability plus a two-and-a-half hour length limiting daily showtimes, the per-theater average should be quite impressive. Strong buzz will help too. For the weekend, Ray could sing to the tune of around $16M.

Nine months after creeping out festivalgoers at Sundance, James Wan's directorial debut Saw attacks theaters over the pumpkin weekend aiming to capture dollars from horror fans in need of blood and guts in their scary movies. The R-rated film stars Cary Elwes, Monica Potter, and Danny Glover and tells of a serial killer who makes his victims commit the murders for him. Recent fright flicks like The Forgotten and current box office champ The Grudge have given audiences tame PG-13 thrills leaving hard-core horror fans in need of a good dose of gore, especially on Halloween weekend. Although Saw lacks the franchise muscle of a Resident Evil and the name recognition of a Dawn of the Dead, it still fills a void in the marketplace. Plus reviews are pretty good for a horror flick.

But Saw's biggest obstacle will come from the second weekend of Buffy's hit pic. Even the typical steep sophomore fall would leave The Grudge with a gross in the high teens - business that Saw cannot get its hands on. Lions Gate's marketing push has been targeted at genre fans and crossover into other audience segments doesn't seem too likely. The lack of major stars will also ensure that business does not grow too much. But being the only gorefest in theaters on Halloween weekend will lead to a solid opening from a sizable crowd for a low-cost pic. Plus with the World Series completed, young men will have one less distraction to deal with this weekend leaving more time for movies. Opening in over 2,000 theaters on Friday, Saw could find itself with about $14M this weekend.

Nicole Kidman stars in the New Line drama Birth playing a widow who meets a young boy who claims to be her late husband reincarnated. Directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast), the R-rated film opens in moderate release with roughly 450 theaters and will play mostly to adult women. Anne Heche and Lauren Bacall co-star. Moved around the release calendar, Birth enters the marketplace without much marketing hype. Kidman didn't exactly make a big summer hit out of The Stepford Wives which she anchored last June, so her starpower can be questionable for this type of picture. Birth looks to have a quiet opening this weekend and may gross about $2M.

Hoping to make it two in a row at number one, Sony's The Grudge will be a hard film to beat this weekend coming off of a spectacular $39.1M bow which was the third-best ever in October. Competition from Saw will make matters worse, but the Halloween holiday should help keep the Gellar pic topical. A 50% decline would give Grudge about $19M for the frame and a stunning $68M in ten days.

Once again, Shark Tale will not face any new direct competition so a 30% decline could result. That would give the DreamWorks sensation $10M for the weekend (its fifth straight double digit frame) pushing the cume to a remarkable $149M. Miramax's Shall We Dance? may fall 45% to $5M giving the romance remake a 17-day tally of $33M.
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Mike
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29 Oct 2004, 02:23 #6

***WEEKEND THEATER COUNTS***

NEW

Saw (Lions Gate) / 2,315

Ray (Universal) / 2,006

Birth (New Line) / 550

Enduring Love (Paramount Classics) / 5 (LA, NYC)

It's All About Love (Strand) / 2 (LA, NYC)


EXPANDING

The Grudge (Sony) / 3,348 (+103) / 2

Friday Night Lights (Universal) / 3,001 (+32) / 4

Surviving Christmas (DreamWorks) / 2,755 (+5) / 2

Shall We Dance (Miramax) / 2,476 (+57) / 3

I Heart Huckabees (Fox Searchlight) / 901 (+116) / 5

The Motorcycle Diaries (Focus) / 264 (+4) / 6

Vera Drake (Fine Line) / 87 (+41) / 3

Stage Beauty (Lions Gate) / 70 (+11) / 4

Around the Bend (Warner Independent Pictures) / 67 (+20) / 4

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (DW / Go Fish) / 47 (+16) / 7

Silver City (Newmarket) / 30 (+10) / 7

Undertow (United Artists) / 20 (+14) / 2

Sideways (Fox Searchlight) / 16 (+12) / 2

P.S. (Newmarket) / 14 (+8) / 3

The Machinist (Paramount Classics) / 8 (+5) / 2


NO CHANGE

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Bros.) / 55 / 22

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (Paramount Classics) / 1 / 20

Sex is Comedy (IFC) / 1 / 2


DECLINING

Shark Tale (DreamWorks) / 3,381 (-275) / 5

Ladder 49 (Buena Vista) / 2,382 (-420) / 5

Team America: World Police (Paramount) / 2,335 (-285) / 3

Taxi (Fox) / 1,884 (-473) / 4

The Forgotten (Sony / Revolution) / 1,735 (-518) / 6

Raise Your Voice (New Line) / 635 (-874) / 4

Shaun of the Dead (Focus) / 516 (-48) / 6

Woman, Thou Art Loosed (Magnolia) / 402 (-119) / 5

Napoleon Dynamite (Fox Searchlight) / 387 (-92) / 21

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Paramount) / 335 (-537) / 7

Cellular (New Line) / 308 (-125) / 8

The Bourne Supremacy (Universal) / 281 (-23) / 15

Garden State (Fox Searchlight) / 181 (-35) / 14

Without a Paddle (Paramount) / 174 (-138) / 11

Hero (Miramax) / 144 (-82) / 10

The Manchurian Candidate (Paramount) / 140 (-68) / 14

Exorcist: The Beginning (Warner Bros.) / 124 (-16) / 11

The Notebook (New Line) / 99 (-17) / 19

Maria Full of Grace (Fine Line) / 69 (-21) / 16

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (Warner Bros.) / 66 (-136) / 12

Vanity Fair (Focus) / 56 (-14) / 9

The Final Cut (Lions Gate) / 49 (-68) / 3

NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience (IMAX) (Warner Bros.) / 32 (-2) / 34

Intimate Strangers (Paramount Classics) / 14 (-1) / 14

A Dirty Shame (Fine Line) / 12 (-16) / 7

Mean Creek (Paramount Classics) / 11 (-3) / 11

Eulogy (Lions Gate) / 4 (-18) / 3


SNEAK PREVIEWS

Finding Neverland (Miramax) / 903 sneaks on 10/30 (opens 11/12)


ESTIMATES FOR NOVEMBER 5

The Incredibles (Buena Vista) / 3,700

Alfie (Paramount) / 2,200

After the Sunset (New Line) / 1,000 sneaks on 11/6

Fade to Black (Paramount Classics) / 150

Callas Forever (Regent Releasing) / 6 (LA, NYC)
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Gunslinger
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29 Oct 2004, 02:28 #7

I am now 100% sure SAW will reach my mid-teens box office prediction! :D GO SAW!
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Mike
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29 Oct 2004, 04:21 #8

You also thought FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS would do 30 Million or better, TEAM AMERICA would do about 30 Million, I HEART HUCKABEES would do about double of what it ended up doing, etc... It wouldn't be the first time you were wrong :P.

It is possible, but I'm going to go with 11.3 Million for SAW. I think RAY will beat it for sure, and am predicting 12.7 Million for it, however more is definitely possible - even 20 Million.
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30 Oct 2004, 04:32 #9

Well, work was not as busy as last week. I'd say The Grudge will do about 20-22 million for the weekend. SAW was selling out like crazy, on two 209 seating screens, that's about half of the number of seats The Grudge had last Friday and it was selling out like crazy, so if my calculations are correct, SAW could see a 6-8 million opening day.
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Horror Whore
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30 Oct 2004, 04:33 #10

Oops, that was me ^^^^^

I forgot to log in.
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Mike
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30 Oct 2004, 05:12 #11

I hope you're wrong Horror Whore because I only predicted 11.3 Million for it. If it makes that much money I wouldn't want see it in theaters for sure because I don't like to help out movies that are already big hits unless it's something I'm dying to see. But if SAW made that much it would annoy me and I'd want to see it in theaters less.
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Watur2Funk
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30 Oct 2004, 06:01 #12

Mike @ Oct 29 2004, 09:12 PM wrote: I hope you're wrong Horror Whore because I only predicted 11.3 Million for it. If it makes that much money I wouldn't want see it in theaters for sure because I don't like to help out movies that are already big hits unless it's something I'm dying to see. But if SAW made that much it would annoy me and I'd want to see it in theaters less.
What you say makes no sense! Not gonna contribute because its already doing so well?

Anyway Grudge'll be number 1 again 25 mill -_-
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Gunslinger
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30 Oct 2004, 14:03 #13

A huge opening day for SAW is great news..! :D
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thompsoncory
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30 Oct 2004, 15:13 #14

I still am not convinced. It MIGHT make $15 million, but I doubt even that.
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Mike
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30 Oct 2004, 15:57 #15

Watur2Funk @ Oct 29 2004, 10:01 PM wrote:
Mike @ Oct 29 2004, 09:12 PM wrote: I hope you're wrong Horror Whore because I only predicted 11.3 Million for it. If it makes that much money I wouldn't want see it in theaters for sure because I don't like to help out movies that are already big hits unless it's something I'm dying to see. But if SAW made that much it would annoy me and I'd want to see it in theaters less.
What you say makes no sense! Not gonna contribute because its already doing so well?

Anyway Grudge'll be number 1 again 25 mill -_-
It makes sense to me. I lose interest in most stuff when it becomes really popular (music, movies, etc...). And I like to help out the smaller movies or ones that aren't doing as well because I feel bad for them and don't want to contribute to things that are already doing really well because they don't need my help. I know I'm not the only person like that. I'm not some mainstream mindless drone that sees whatever is popular just because everyone else is :P. And I like to help out the underdog.
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Gunslinger
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31 Oct 2004, 21:15 #16

November 5, 2004 // Early Predictions..

THE INCREDIBLES: $89.2 million
ALFIE: $7.3 million
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Horror Whore
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31 Oct 2004, 21:40 #17

The Incredibles will be huge, but I don't think it will open HUUUGE. I think its word of mouth will propel it to blockbuster status. I'm predicting a 69 million opening weekend, and a 320 million finish.

Alfie 10 million
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thompsoncory
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31 Oct 2004, 22:42 #18

THE INCREDIBLES - $70.1 million
ALFIE - $9 million (the R rating will hurt this one)
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Mike
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01 Nov 2004, 01:19 #19

***MY EARLY PREDICTIONS***

1. THE INCREDIBLES - 61.8 MILLION
2. RAY - 14.1 MILLION
3. THE GRUDGE - 11.2 MILLION
4. ALFIE - 9.2 MILLION
5. SAW - 8.7 MILLION
6. SHALL WE DANCE? - 4.4 MILLION
7. SHARK TALE - 3.8 MILLION
8. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - 2.5 MILLION
9. LADDER 49 - 2.1 MILLION
10. SURVIVING CHRISTMAS - 1.6 MILLION
11. TEAM AMERICA - 1.5 MILLION
12. TAXI - 1.1 MILLION
13. BIRTH - 1.1 MILLION
14. FADE TO BLACK - 1.1 MILLION
15. I HEART HUCKABEES - 1 MILLION
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Mike
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04 Nov 2004, 16:28 #20

This is from Box Office Guru:

THIS WEEKEND Two-term incumbent Sarah Michelle Gellar hands over the box office presidency to the new first family, The Incredibles which Disney unleashes on Friday. Paramount counters with the Jude Law comedy Alfie while Universal adds theaters to the run of its hit biopic Ray which aims to retain its position as second in command. As is usually the case, the first weekend of November provides an early kick-off to the holiday season as the Top Ten is set to break the $100M mark for the first time since mid-August.

Unveiling its sixth consecutive number one blockbuster, the rocky Disney-Pixar marriage produces its latest offspring in the form of The Incredibles, a computer-animated comedy which follows the lives of a family of superheroes that comes out of retirement to save the planet. Typical of a Pixar hit, reviews are glowing even if the product varies from the string of successes that have come so far. The Incredibles leaves behind talking fish, renegade toys, and clumsy monsters for a story that involves human characters. Plus the G rating and trim 90-minute length have been abandoned for a PG and a nearly two-hour length which could affect box office.

The most successful animated films these days feature cute animals and wisecracking ogres. In fact, the last animated blockbuster to cross the double-century mark with mostly human characters was Disney's Aladdin which wished up a mammoth $217M a dozen years ago. So will audiences buy a family of bumbling heroes? Well, the Pixar track record leads most to think that they will. Last year's Finding Nemo bowed in May with a colossal $70.3M on its way to $339.7M while 2001's Monsters, Inc., which debuted over the first weekend of November, opened to $62.6M leading to a $255.3M cume. Last May's Shrek 2 took animation to the next level with a jaw-dropping bow of $108M over three days. Not being a sequel, Incredibles is not likely to scale those heights. But swimming in Nemo waters is certainly possible.

Disney has poured endless amounts of dollars into marketing bringing on its usual stable of promotional partners. The marketplace is ready for The Incredibles to sweep in with a decisive landslide victory as the DreamWorks offering Shark Tale is the only major competitor and going into its sixth weekend, the Will Smith toon should not be a factor. As with many of Pixar's hits like Toy Story and Monsters, Incredibles has broad appeal that goes well beyond the family crowd. A strong voter turnout from teens, young adults, and the date crowd will help beef up the grosses. And the early release date ahead of the other big-ticket holiday contenders allows Disney to secure that all-important third screen within multiplexes. Crashing into more than 3,700 theaters, The Incredibles could open to around $70M this weekend.

Paramount is about to learn the hard way that Jude Law is no box office draw in the United States with the opening of Alfie, a remake of the 1966 Michael Caine film about a British playboy and the women he conquers. Set this time in New York, the R-rated pic boasts a line up of actresses in supporting roles including Susan Sarandon, Marisa Tomei, and Nia Long. Charles Shyer (Baby Boom, Father of the Bride) directs. Adult women make up the core audience for Alfie which less than a month ago was pushed back two weeks from its previous launch pad of October 22. With Ray playing very well to the target audience, and Sarandon's other entry Shall We Dance? showing good legs, it will be tough sailing for Law this weekend.

The actor has never anchored a hit film on his own and his recent leading man role in the studio's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow has led to just a $37M gross. As a side dish he adds value, but as the main course, American moviegoers just do not fork over their cash. The U.K. is another story where Alfie has been number two behind Shark Tale two weeks in a row now. Paramount's marketing has not been too aggressive and with the female Alfie, Bridget Jones, opening next week targeting the exact same crowd, long term strength seems impossible. Reviews are mixed and won't help too much. Opening in over 2,200 theaters, Alfie may gross about $7M this weekend.

Universal rocked the charts last weekend with the debut of the well-received musical tale Ray and will expand the Jamie Foxx hit from 2,006 to 2,458 locations on Friday. Word of mouth and critical reviews have both been excellent and competition from new releases is moderate, but nothing the studio can't handle. A 30% drop in its per-theater average would give Ray about $17M over the weekend and a remarkable $43M in ten days.

After enjoying two terms in office, lame duck box office champ The Grudge will step down from the top spot but still remain a force in the top five. With Halloween over, and Pixar pulling in all age groups with their super hero pic, sales should tumble hard. A 50% decline would give Sony $11M for the frame and a spooky 17-day total of $88M.

Lions Gate should see a steep drop for the horror entry Saw with the pumpkin holiday now gone. A weekend tally of $9M, off 55%, would leave the gruesome film with a ten-day gross of $30M.
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Gunslinger
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05 Nov 2004, 01:43 #21

November 5, 2004 // Final Predictions..

THE INCREDIBLES: $62.5 million
ALFIE: $6.8 million
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Mike
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05 Nov 2004, 06:40 #22

This is from the IMDB:

'The Incredibles' Performance Won't Be Incredible, Say Analysts

Analysts doubt that Pixar's latest CGI movie, The Incredibles, which opens on Friday, will achieve the same degree of success at the box office as its previous film, Finding Nemo, Investor's Business Daily reported today (Thursday). The newspaper observed that the film will be facing tougher competition from other family films than other Pixar movies had. Among the rivals: Warner Bros.' The Polar Express (Nov. 10), Paramount's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and Paramount's Jim Carrey starrer, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Harris Nesbitt Gerard analyst Jeffrey Logsdon predicted that The Incredibles will gross $225 million domestically and close to $500 million worldwide -- ordinarily a huge result, but well below the $865 million for Pixar's Finding Nemo. It would also be well below the record (for an animated film) $882 million earned by DreamWorks' Shrek 2.
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05 Nov 2004, 16:43 #23

Wow, that's quite a large prediction drop there Gun...

I'm sticking with my 69 million prediction, because I like that number. I'll be seeing The Incredibles tonight (but it's for free so I won't be contributing to its gross, which I feel bad about because when it doesn't make as much as Nemo, people will think it's a disappointment...)
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05 Nov 2004, 18:37 #24

I myself don't get the huge appeal of THE INCREDIBLES, but I raised my prediction to 64.8 Million and now I'm wondering if that's too much. I'm confused. It doesn't look that incredible ;) to me, but a lot of people want to see it. It doesn't look like no FINDING NEMO, MONSTERS, INC., or SHREK, which it is in the tradition of.
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07 Nov 2004, 17:36 #25

November 12, 2004 // Early Predictions..

THE POLAR EXPRESS: $55 million (3-day) ; $75 million (5-day)
SEED OF CHUCKY: $16.4 million
AFTER THE SUNSET: $9.8 million
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON: $7.9 million
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07 Nov 2004, 18:49 #26

***MY PREDICTIONS***

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 47.3 MILLION (3-Day)/56.8 MILLION (5-Day)
SEED OF CHUCKY - 12.2 MILLION
(If this would have opened in October I would have predicted more. It could have made a killing Halloween weekend :P.)
AFTER THE SUNSET - 11.6 MILLION
BRIDGET JONES 2 - 10.3 MILLION
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08 Nov 2004, 01:05 #27

****EARLY PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT WEEKEND****

THE POLAR EXPRESS - $49.5 million (3-day)/$68.2 million (5-day)
SEED OF CHUCKY - $12.1 million
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON - $11.7 million
AFTER THE SUNSET - $9.8 million

I have a feeling that BRIDGET JONES is gonna be HUGE...
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08 Nov 2004, 23:53 #28

***MY UPDATED PREDICTIONS***

1. THE POLAR EXPRESS - 47.3 MILLION (3-Day)/56.8 MILLION (5-Day)
2. THE INCREDIBLES - 44.4 MILLION
3. SEED OF CHUCKY - 12.2 MILLION
4. AFTER THE SUNSET - 11.6 MILLION
5. BRIDGET JONES 2 - 10.3 MILLION
6. RAY - 9.3 MILLION
7. THE GRUDGE - 7.1 MILLION
8. SAW - 6.8 MILLION
9. SHALL WE DANCE - 4.5 MILLION
10. ALFIE - 3.8 MILLION
11. SHARK TALE - 2.7 MILLION
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11 Nov 2004, 16:22 #29

This is from Box Office Guru:

THIS WEEKEND After four straight weeks of only two new wide releases each weekend and no sequels in the top ten, the North American box office gets very crowded very fast as four new films open including two franchise pics. Warner Bros. unleashes the magical holiday extravaganza The Polar Express, New Line offers the action caper film After the Sunset, Focus counters with the slasher sequel Seed of Chucky, and Universal unveils the comedy Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. The fantastic four will take on another powerful quartet, the family of superheroes in The Incredibles which has no plans of giving up its spot at number one no matter how many contenders come its way.

After putting on quirky accents in a pair of underperforming films this year, Tom Hanks reunites with the director of his two highest-grossing live-action films, Robert Zemeckis, for the computer-animated holiday tale The Polar Express. Packing a production budget estimated at a whopping $165M, the G-rated family picture stands as one of the most expensive gambles Hollywood has during this holiday season. Adding to the risk is the decision Warner Bros. made to open the film just five days after the surefire blockbuster The Incredibles which has been attracting massive crowds of young kids since last Friday. The direct competition will play a big factor this weekend. In Express, Zemeckis uses new performance-capture technology to tell the story of a boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus and the North Pole.

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, the marketplace usually handles more than one family film. The box office expands and good product can survive next to good product. But The Polar Express lacks the main ingredient common in all of the top-grossing animated films of today - comedy. The film's uplifting holiday theme certainly will play well, especially at this time of year, but the lack of comedy could prevent broader appeal with teens and young adults. Toon titans like Shrek and The Incredibles soar to amazing heights because of the added dollars kicked in by the non-family crowd. Warners is betting that Hanks can bring in long lines by not playing a Cajun thief or an immigrant stuck in an airport. To take advantage of Thursday's Veterans Day holiday when many schools have off, the studio launched Express on Wednesday in 3,650 theaters, including over 70 Imax locations. With no expense spared in the marketing, Warner Bros. boldly enters the holiday season with two more high-priced star-driven entries on deck - Oliver Stone's Alexander and Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Twelve. This weekend, The Polar Express should arrive in second place with about $30M and around $36M over five days.

New Line offers up the unoriginal plot of a retired thief going back for one more score in the action thriller After the Sunset starring Pierce Brosnan. Directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon), the PG-13 film does add some starpower with Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, and Don Cheadle. Adults make up the target audience and the fall has been light on action fare, but the storyline brings absolutely nothing new to the table. Sunset will have to rely on starpower, mostly Bond boy Brosnan's, in order to sell tickets. Reviews have been poor which can only hurt this type of film and November has never been very kind to non-007 action movies. The heist pic should open much like the actor's 1999 thief pic The Thomas Crown Affair which bowed to $14.6M on its way to $69.3M. Sunset will not have the same legs, but the same type of crowd should show up in the first three days. Brosnan's core fan base of mature women will also be distracted by Bridget Jones and some of the holdovers so grosses won't get too high. Breaking into over 2,700 locations, After the Sunset might open with roughly $12M.

Sixteen years after the launch of the Child's Play franchise, and six years after the last installment, comes Seed of Chucky, the fifth film of the slasher doll series. Focus Features' Rogue Pictures unit, which is taking over for parent Universal which released the other four flicks, aims to tap into the lucrative horror crowd which has been spending feverishly on fright flicks all season. Over the last two months, grosses for Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Forgotten, The Grudge, and Saw have amounted to a staggering $245M to date. Have fans had enough, or do they want more? In Seed, Chucky and wife Tiffany add a baby boy to their killing spree. Focus is not screening the film for critics which makes financial sense. Why waste the money and the time on a film sure to be trashed by critics anyway? Plus horror fans could care less about what reviewers have to say so the box office impact will be minimal. The R-rated sequel will appeal to the usual genre crowd but will have to face competition from both The Grudge and Saw which have both been holding their own at the turnstiles. Opening in over 2,000 theaters, Seed of Chucky could slice up around $9M this weekend.

After winning an Oscar for the Civil War saga Cold Mountain and playing a digital fish in Shark Tale, Renee Zellweger caps off her year reprising the title role in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Picking up domestic distribution duties from Miramax, Universal has chosen to follow its Love Actually formula from last November and open Jones in a semi-national release before expanding before Thanksgiving hoping to capitalize on good word-of-mouth. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant again co-star in the R-rated comedy while Beeban Kidron (To Wong Foo...) replaces Sharon Maguire in the director's chair. Jones, which has garnered not-so-great reviews, should play to the same audience of adult women who like British comedies that Love Actually played to a year ago. That ensemble pic opened to $6.9M from 576 theaters for a smashing $11,955 average while 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary bowed to $10.7M averaging $6,663 from 1,611 sites. The second Jones pic, which was just recently moved up a week to match its U.K. launch, should tap into a large built-in fan following looking for more misadventures from their favorite chubby gal. Adult-skewing pics like Ray, Shall We Dance? and Alfie will provide competition as will the broad-appeal comedy The Incredibles. Opening in 530 theaters, Reason could find itself with around $7M over the weekend and good legs ahead as more playdates are added.

Some notable new films open in limited release this weekend as well. Miramax unleashes the Oscar hopeful Finding Neverland starring Johnny Depp as the writer who created Peter Pan and Kate Winslet as the mother of the children who inspired him. The PG-rated film enters ten theaters in New York and Los Angeles and expands nationally in the weeks ahead. Yash Raj Films unveils the biggest Bollywood film of the year with Veer-Zaara which opens in 88 theaters in top markets across North America. Starring India's top box office draw Shah Rukh Khan, the Hindi-language film opens for the Indian New Year holiday, Bollywood's biggest weekend of the year. Fox Searchlight offers in five New York and Los Angeles locations the biopic Kinsey starring Liam Neeson as the famed sex researcher of the 1940s.

Aiming to reign supreme at the box office despite the incoming firepower from all the new releases is the Disney/Pixar smash The Incredibles which hopes to smash through the $100M mark on Saturday, its ninth day of play. Monsters, Inc. the last toon from the companies to debut in early November, slipped by only 27% in its second weekend while facing no new direct competitors. Last year's Finding Nemo saw a similarly low 33% drop in its sophomore frame in June while also not facing any new kidpics. But The Incredibles has Hanks to deal with and The Polar Express will certainly draw some of the family audience away this weekend. A 35% drop would give the family of superheroes another first-place finish with about $45M and shoot its ten-day cume to an incredible $132M.

Universal's hit piopic Ray won't have a 400-theater expansion to benefit from this weekend. The Jamie Foxx drama looks to drop 40% to about $8M and lift its 17-day sum to $51M. The Grudge will see direct competition from Chucky so a larger 45% decline could result. that would give the Sony smash $7M for the frame and $98M after 24 days.

Fellow horror flick Saw should also drop by 45% to $6M and push its tally to $44M. Paramount saw a miserable start to the Jude Law starrer Alfie and can only go down from here. With Bridget Jones playing to the exact same crowd, a 50% fall would give the comedy $3M and a ten-day sum of only $11M.
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thompsoncory
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13 Nov 2004, 12:51 #30

I'm lowering my AFTER THE SUNSET prediction to around $8 million and CHUCKY to $10 million. Both have not been doing very strong business thus far.
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thompsoncory
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13 Nov 2004, 12:55 #31

****EARLY PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT WEEKEND****

THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE - $34 million
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON - $25 million
NATIONAL TREASURE - $16 million

People are seriously underestimating SPONGEBOB as well as BRIDGET JONES. Apparently BRIDGET was on track to have a $40 million weekend when it was initially supposed to open at this date. And people are forgetting that SPONGEBOB, unlike some of the other recent TV-show adaptations (**coughYU-GI-OHcough**) is actually one of the most popular shows on cable. It's going to do great business, and I think it will be one of the season's biggest surprises.

I can't see NATIONAL TREASURE doing well. It has a lot of competition. Good, because I sincerely hope it bombs.
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Mike
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13 Nov 2004, 16:41 #32

I'm keeping my predictions even though I don't think either will make as much as I originally predicted :P. I'm too lazy to change them, and it really doesn't matter much now anyway.


Here were my predictions for some of the new, smaller openings:

FINDING NEVERLAND - $400,000
VEER ZARA - $352,000
KINSEY - $70,000
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Gunslinger
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13 Nov 2004, 19:19 #33

November 19, 2004 // Early Predictions..

NATIONAL TREASURE: $31.2 million
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON: $18.2 million
THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE: $9.8 million
SIDEWAYS: $6.3 million
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Mike
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13 Nov 2004, 19:47 #34

Gun, you'll be WAY off with SPONGEBOB. I think it looks dumb and I don't like the show at all, but TONS of people do, old and young alike. It's hugely popular. The first Rugrats movie opened with $27,321,470 in November of 1998, and SPONGEBOB should be able to do around 30 Million.
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Mike
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13 Nov 2004, 19:51 #35

My early estimated predictions for the new wide releases next weekend and the expanding-to-wide-release BRIDGET JONES 2:

SPONGEBOB - 30 Million
NATIONAL TREASURE - 22 MILLION
BRIDGET JONES 2 - 18.5 MILLION
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Gunslinger
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13 Nov 2004, 20:55 #36

Mike @ Nov 13 2004, 02:47 PM wrote: Gun, you'll be WAY off with SPONGEBOB. I think it looks dumb and I don't like the show at all, but TONS of people do, old and young alike. It's hugely popular. The first Rugrats movie opened with $27,321,470 in November of 1998, and SPONGEBOB should be able to do around 30 Million.
November 19, 2004 // Early Predictions..

NATIONAL TREASURE: $31.2 million
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON: $18.2 million
THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE: $25.8 million
SIDEWAYS: $6.3 million

---------------

Mike, do you believe SIDEWAYS has a chance of being a mainstream hit, unlike I HEART HUCKABEES, or do you think it will fail once it expands to 500 theatres next weekend and 900 theatres near Thanksgiving?
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Gunslinger
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13 Nov 2004, 22:10 #37

Box Office Mojo has lowered their estimated theatre count for NATIONAL TREASURE from 3000 to 2500. In accordance, I have lowered my estimate to $25.2 million.
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Mike
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13 Nov 2004, 23:49 #38

I think SIDEWAYS has more of a chance than I HEART HUCKABEES, but they could be bringing it too wide too fast.
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thompsoncory
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14 Nov 2004, 02:40 #39

SIDEWAYS has been doing great in limited release, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was this year's ABOUT SCHMIDT.

SPONGEBOB and BRIDGET will hopefully slaughter the horrible looking TREASURE! :D
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Gunslinger
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16 Nov 2004, 02:12 #40

November 19, 2004 // Final Predictions..

01. THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE -- $51.9 million
02. THE INCREDIBLES -- $29.3 million
03. BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON -- $25.5 million
04. THE POLAR EXPRESS - $19.2 million
05. NATIONAL TREASURE -- $15.2 million
06. AFTER THE SUNSET -- $8.7 million
07. RAY -- $6.3 million
08. THE GRUDGE -- $4.2 million
09. SEED OF CHUCKY -- $3.9 million
10. SAW -- $2.1 million
11. SIDEWAYS -- $2.0 million
12. SHALL WE DANCE? -- $1.9 million
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