Box-Office Oracle: Dec. 18 – Dec. 20, 2009

#1 movie predicted correctly: 7 Weeks in a Row
I’m finally going low on a big title. Too low? We’ll know soon enough. Yes, it has 3-D and IMAX dollars rolling in, yes it’s got a massive marketing budget and the power of James Cameron behind it. But it also has something big working against it too: Timing. The third weekend in December isn’t the best time to be shooting for massive dollars, folks are finishing up shopping and entertaining family. King Kong opened at $50m, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King brought in $73m. National Treasure: Book of Secrets could only rustle up $45m in a similar time slot.

Is Avatar different? Will the years of waiting translate to big dollars? We’ll see. Here’s the even bigger question: If Avatar clears $60-80m this weekend, and then loses to Sherlock Holmes next weekend, is that good enough?

Estimate: $60.4 million
The production budget is listed at $105m on BoxOfficeMojo, yikes. With that massive number they’re going to need returns well into January to have any hope of theatrical profit. You can pretty much count on a lovely DVD treatment too.
Estimate: $14.0 million
That Globe nomination for Bullock in The Proposal was interesting, no? She can thank The Blind Side for that. Speaking of, even if you consider profit at 3x production budget The Blind Side is already + $63m in the black. That’s so hefty a number you know they are wondering how they can come up with a sequel.
Estimate: $12.1 million
Yes, I did hear about the Morgans. I heard they aren’t going to make much money this weekend.
Estimate: $10.9 million
You’ll notice the drop-off between the #4 and #5 slot. If you only want to predict the top four I’ll understand.
Estimate: $5.1 million
6. 2012
It’s gaining theaters this weekend. Are they dollar theaters? Dinner theaters? It’s a mystery.
Estimate: $4.4 million
The international numbers were finally updated on BOM and they say Christmas Carol has taken in $118m overseas. Not shabby! Sadly, the total take is now only at $244m on a budget of $200m… so they’ve still got their work cut out for them.
Estimate: $4.2 million
I’ve seen New Moon advertising lately. I suppose they are shooting for those last few dollars?
Estimate: $3.6 million
Not really a holiday film. Not really a coherent film either, but that’s a criticism for another venue I suppose.
Estimate: $3.2 million
Expand this already! The people are waiting.
Estimate: $3.1 million

How say you? Anyone brave enough to call for $100m + for Avatar now? Anyone bold enough to go below my number, limbo style? Should be an interesting few weekends guys, looking forward to the discourse.


Marvel and DC