Box-Office Oracle: Jul. 16 – Jul. 18, 2010

The big story of the weekend is Inception. Will audiences rally around a two and a half hour think piece? I loved the film, as did Brad, but I don’t think either of us are certain where the audience is going to come from. Let’s break it down!
#1 movie predicted correctly: 4 Weeks In A Row
Many of you are continually interested in how the math works around here so I’ll take you through my process on Inception. Off we go.

First off, I looked at the opening weekend for The Matrix. Yes, they are way different films, but the 1999 mindbender faced a similar opening weekend struggle. An original idea, with no one really “getting it” beforehand, though the critical reviews were solid. I then adjusted for inflation and added in another $3k per theater to reflect the massive marketing effort Warner Bros. has thrown at this blockbuster.

Those numbers get you around $16k per theater, though that’s not the whole story. IMAX dollars will give Inception a little boost, so if I hit my number dead on it will be because the film slightly underperformed on physical tickets sold.

Prediction: $60.67 million

A 40 percent drop, only Sorcerer’s Apprentice stands in the way but word-of-mouth has been strong here. Which brings us to Nicolas Cage …
Prediction: $34.08 million
I’ve heard it is pretty good. But that doesn’t help the vanilla trailer or the market fatigue potential with Cage. Based on Wednesday’s numbers, I see it struggling to find an audience.
Prediction: $21.02 million
Something called Standing Ovation is getting 600 theaters this weekend. Sadly, that’s not enough to crack the top ten this weekend so we’ll probably never hear about it again.
Prediction: $15.61 million
Facing the biggest drop of the weekend. Because there simply aren’t enough fans.
Prediction: $11.88 million
Is Finding Nemo‘s $867m worldwide Pixar record in jeopardy? Only if the domestic/international multiplier comes in way higher than Toy Story 2.
Prediction: $11.56 million
Still, you have to like the poster where all five guys are on a wild water ride. Someone clearly put in overtime on that.
Prediction: $9.82 million
Losing theaters with a quickness. Not ideal.
Prediction: $6.99 million
It’s not dropping much, but less than 2,000 theaters is no way to go through life.
Prediction: $4.81 million
And so we close the book on The Karate Kid, a film that was only bested by Rush Hour within the “martial arts” genre.
Prediction: $2.6 million

How say you? Feeling bold on Inception? Anyone seeing a repeat of July ’08 on the horizon? Have I sandbagged The Sorcerer’s Apprentice? So many questions, only you can answer!

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