Box-Office Oracle: Nov. 6 – Nov. 8, 2009

ON
#1 movie predicted correctly: 1 Week in a Row
First off, an apology that I wasn’t here to take my beating after This is It failed so spectacularly (at least domestically). I was doing a bit of traveling and so Brad had to fill in. I’ll try not to let it happen again!

Now then, there is plenty in the way of early November precedent for children’s movies banking. Madagascar 2 cranked $63m last year. Chicken Little cleared $40m in 2005. Oddly, Christmas Carol isn’t technically a kid’s film, even though it’s rated PG, but no one will know that until Monday. Plus it’s getting a monstrous 3,700 theaters. And the 3-D element adds another ten percent to ticket sales. So we’re going big, once again, only this time it’s going to work.

Estimate: $44.2 million
The problem, if I may be so bold, is that the films coming out right now aren’t very good. Certainly not worth demanding people see them. This weekend’s slate is more of the same, fatally flawed cinema, but at least this one has an interesting trailer. That will be enough to dupe folks for 72 hours or so.
Estimate: $16.8 million
I haven’t seen it, as they are screening it tonight. But I can tell you the “screen it five minutes before it comes out” method is rarely a good sign. The Box looks creepy, but it has huge genre competition in the film right underneath it. You could make a pretty good argument that The Fourth Kind will beat this one straight up, in fact I look forward to you doing so in the comments.
Estimate: $13.2 million
It’s strictly a theater count thing. The Box has 100 more. The Fourth Kind is seeking to cash in on the whole “realistic” angle that Paranormal Activity ran with only Paranormal beat them to the punch, and I’m hearing The Fourth Kind isn’t as good, which will hurt it.
Estimate: $12.6 million
This is It has been whomping Paranormal Activity Monday through Wednesday. But I expect one more rally from the little low-budget film that could.
Estimate: $11.8 million
It’s cleared $111m worldwide cume, they’ll need another $100m or so to feel good about the box office haul. And I’d expect a pretty lavish DVD with plenty of “extra” footage to make one last run at a profit fairly soon after the theatrical run. I heard a January DVD rumor, but that could be wrong.
Estimate: $10.7 million
We’ve entered the “have-nots” portion of the weekend, and even though Law Abiding Citizen has held up pretty well over the past two weeks that bloated $50m production budget probably doomed it from the start. Unless they can muster up a nice overseas run.
Estimate: $4.0 million
It’s almost in the exact position as This is It, $111m on a near $70m production budget, only with much less chance for returns in the next two weekends. Why a comedy would need a $70m production budget is beyond me. The Hangover cost $35m, right?
Estimate: $3.3 million
Will this do well internationally? And on DVD? Because Warner Bros. will definitely need big showings on that front to get anywhere near a profit.
Estimate: $2.8 million
10. Saw VI
Amelia could theoretically end up here. Or Boondock II? Let me know your thoughts… and exactly how much I’ll be off on the top spot this time.
Estimate: $2.2 million