Clearly there’s only one game in town this weekend, and that game is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I’ve thrown out a number at $176.3 million, and keep in mind the first version came in at $152.5 million for its opening weekend. My bump is predicated on this one being better (11 percentage points higher on RottenTomatoes as of publishing this post) and the natural sequel bump that should occur now that people have had a chance to check out the first edition on home video. I haven’t seen any tracking just yet, but you may want to factor that in as well. Personally, I dug it, so maybe that will get it another $100 bucks or so in ticket sales (don’t factor that in).
NOT-SO-NECESSARY TRIVIA: To my knowledge this will be the first time two films with a colon in the title have won back-to-back, though it almost happened in 2006 with X-Men: The Last Stand and Mission: Impossible III (they were separated by one weekend).
The other new wide release is Delivery Man. This one is a more complicated call, mostly because it’s being marketed as a comedy even though it’s really a drama. The Internship is a nice comp because the marketing looks similar, so clearly this won’t be a world-beater. I’m going with $14 million, I look forward to seeing the user consensus.
We’ll stay in the top ten for our final two predictions, the first of which is The Best Man Holiday. I’m only dipping it 45 percent, I don’t think it was all that front-loaded, plus it garnered an A+ CinemaScore, all but guaranteeing nice word-of-mouth. I’ve got it finishing in second place, at $16.6 million, with a drop that looks much like Think Like a Man.
Finally, we’ll end with Thor: The Dark World. This one is sinking like a stone, and The Hunger Games sequel is only going to exacerbate that problem. That 57 percent drop last weekend was blistering, but if history is any guide this weekend should be even worse. How bad are we talking? 64 percent, leaving Thor: The Dark World at $13.2 million. It’s still tracking $20 million above its predecessor through day 19, so it’s not as though the sky is falling, but Marvel and Paramount will again be looking to the overseas markets to bring them to profitability.
I now leave it in your gentle hands, predict now or forever hold your peace.
Current Record: 30-54-4 against the wisdom of crowds.
Major Theater Chain (MTC) Tracking
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: N/A
- Delivery Man: N/A
SIDE NOTE: Some of the theater numbers below are estimates. We’ll have the actual counts in Sunday’s wrap-up article.