Box-Office Oracle: ‘Lincoln’ Looks to Leap ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’


Weekend Box-Office Predictions

Current Streak: 3 Straight Weekends #1 Predicted Correctly
Threat Level to Streak Being Broken: Massive
Reason: You could take one of three films this weekend, the historical drama (Lincoln), the actioner (Skyfall), or the teen holdover (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2). I’m taking Lincoln, but I don’t feel great about it, mostly because this weekend is going to take a huge dive.

LincolnLincoln seems to have the most to gain this weekend, and you’d have to think it will be the least front-loaded of the contenders.

Last weekend saw four films in the top ten that went over $10k per theater, very impressive. None of them will hang on to that level of achievement, and for some historical context last year’s top twelve only managed a paltry $81m top 12 gross over this weekend. My top twelve this weekend is around $117m, so clearly I’m either way heavy, or this year’s crop of films is better than last year’s at the box office. That’s the long way of saying I’m dipping Lincoln 42.5 percent for a $17.5 million chart topping weekend as it adds an additional 382 theaters. Civil War, don’t let me down!

As we speculate about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2‘s prospects, I’ve got it as the biggest dipper of the weekend (64 percent). Still, this version is over $600 million after only 13 days, tracking slightly ahead of Part 1. Summit Entertainment will always be the house Twilight built, but let us never forget that Paramount Pictures’ MTV Films optioned the screenplay in April of 2004 – and then cleverly decided against the eventual billions the films would bring in. Nice work, fellas!

As far as new releases, Killing Them Softly is likely too subversive to catch on with general audiences. Still, I’d encourage you to see it if you’re a fan of Brad Pitt, violent cinema, or counter-culture feature films. It’s very interesting, if eminently unmarketable and likely to pull in somewhere around $9 million this weekend.

What do we know about The Collection? As of press time, not too much. With all the year-end catch-up happening there was very little time for a horror film that seems destined for a number around $4,000 per theater ($10 million for the three-day). It will also be a “one and done,” so it seems silly to pay too much attention to a speedy failure (Hi, Red Dawn!).

Skyfall is the biggest Bond in history, it looks primed to hit $900 million worldwide with ease. How do we feel about a billion for it? Do a good research (inside joke)!

Life of Pi should be able to make its money back based on international returns, but that $120 million budget is pretty hefty given $100 million domestic is not a certain thing. Where are the church groups? Are they planning on checking it out this weekend? We’ll all find out together, it could desperately use a nice holdover to factor into the Best Picture (nom only) conversation.

Otherwise, enough equivocation, it’s your time to shine. Calls on The Collection and Killing Them Softly will be noted, as will any salient thoughts on just who the hell is going to win this weekend as I’m sure I’ll see several calls for either Skyfall or Twilight. Lemme know in the comments below.

SIDE NOTE: Some of the theater numbers below are estimates. We’ll have the actual counts in Sunday’s wrap-up article.