Box-Office Oracle: Jul. 9 – Jul. 11, 2010

It’s an interesting weekend, not because the winner will be massive, but because whatever the result we’ll learn something about the ticket buyers. They’ll either support a reboot/remake sort of thing or spend money on an original idea. 3-D will get a win or Robert Rodriguez will build his brand. And the smaller titles are interesting too: Will Eclipse drop 70 percent? How much will The Last Airbender be hurt by Despicable Me taking 3-D theaters away? Let’s break it down!
#1 movie predicted correctly: 3 Weeks In A Row
I maintain the family dollar is the strongest thing we’ve got going at the box office right now. Plus the 18 percent 3-D cushion helps in a tight race. Finally, it has 800 theaters over Predators, it’s not rated-R, and it’s a really funny movie. Audiences should enjoy themselves here.

It’s also a massive look at how much marketing matters, because ads for this are everywhere you turn. On The Today Show, ESPN, and all around The Internet, they’re trying to build buzz where no buzz was prior. There’s even a smartphone app (which translates Minion language), all to answer the age old question: Can an original animation that’s not from Pixar bank? How to Train Your Dragon indicates yes, but remember that didn’t open massively, only $43m against little competition.

The final factor: the family dollar could be fatigued. Toy Story 3, Shrek Forever After, The Karate Kid and The Last Airbender have all taken chunks of cash out of the market. Will there be enough left for Despicable Me?

Prediction: $32.3 million

It’s not great, but it’s not terrible either. It’s a tweener. I’m equating this one to Rambo, which opened at $18m, though of course that was in January. This one will do better, but only by a smidge.
Prediction: $22.95 million
It’s already hit $300m worldwide, so they’ll be able to afford the $75m in contracts for the trio to finish off the series. I’m dipping it 67 percent, but only because it scooped up another $35m on Monday through Wednesday sales.
Prediction: $21.39 million
It should fall the most of any title that’s not in The Twilight Saga. The 3-D here was another crime, post-production profiteering at its finest.
Prediction: $18.55 million
It won’t pass Finding Nemo this weekend, but it should do so by Thursday of next week. And no, I’m not going to throw inflation at you, don’t worry.
Prediction: $15.52 million
The budget was $80m, and it will clear $100m worldwide this weekend. That’s not great news for Sony.
Prediction: $9.71 million
No hope of profit at the box office unless Cameron Diaz goes door to door selling tickets. And maybe not even then.
Prediction: $4.86 million
Has anyone out there caught The ‘Kung Fu’ Kid overseas? Now that’s a poster I’d like to own.
Prediction: $3.54 million
Once the actuals were in for last weekend it finished in eleventh. But this weekend it gains theaters and a tiny bit of momentum.
Prediction: $2 million
They are probably wishing they’d shown it in 3-D.
Prediction: $1.05 million

How say you? Anyone want to take Predators at the top? Am I too low on the weekend? And what do you make of the holdover chances for Eclipse and Shyamalan? Comment early, comment often!

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