Box-Office Oracle: Jul. 23 – Jul. 25, 2010

I’d really like to keep the streak intact, but this weekend presents something of a challenge. Do you go with the heavily marketed actioner Salt? Or the highly acclaimed holdover Inception? Let’s break it down!
#1 movie predicted correctly: 5 Weeks In A Row
I’m only dipping it 35 percent based on strong word of mouth. It also retains the theater count crown, and it’s put up strong Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday results, with almost another $30m added to the bottom line in 72 hours.

As for the box office status, I’m still calling it uncertain. The movie is quality, that’s for certain, but we’ll need the international results to start being reported to fully understand how the $160m budget mindbender will play out. The “see it twice!” phenomenon certainly helps it, I know the second time I saw Inception it made more sense — and Brad caught new things on his third showing too. So it’s a film that rewards effort and introspection. It’s certainly the film I’ll be pulling for this weekend.

Prediction: $40.8 million

2. Salt
This projection has Salt winning the per theater average battle … and losing the box office war. It’s not great, so even though it should have a nice Friday we’ll see it tail off as the weekend progresses. That’s my theory at least, I placed the per theater average right in the middle of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Knight and Day.
Prediction: $39.73 million
Another strong holdover result, and it is gaining theaters this weekend! See? Distributors are finally catching on.
Prediction: $21.92 million
To me, this has Nancy Drew written all over it. I know the market is ripe for a new children’s film but this one hasn’t been marketed to the extreme like Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me. One caveat: I’m not sure how much power Selena Gomez exerts on the box office. Is she another Miley? Probably my riskiest prediction of the weekend.
Prediction: $19.58 million
Not much excitement for the rest of the top ten, so start pondering your own predictions right about now.
Prediction: $8.45 million
Avatar will keep the overall 3-D crown, but Toy Story 3 has already cracked the domestic top 15 of all-time. Solid.
Prediction: $6.73 million
The film cost too much (twice as much as Predators!) but it looks as though DVD sales and other revenue outlets (TV, Netflix, Redbox, PPV) will tip the balance for them.
Prediction: $6.45 million
Bright side: Eclipse didn’t beat Toy Story 3 in the head to head battle. That gives you some hope, right?
Prediction: $5.76 million
I don’t see how they could justify a sequel, financially. Then again I didn’t see Ghost Rider 2 happening either .
Prediction: $3.23 million
The international box office bailed them out. Thanks overseas!
Prediction: $1.94 million

How say you? Salt or Inception, which will prevail? Is my Beezus number bonkers? It’s your time to shine, predict away!

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