Box-Office Oracle: ‘The Grey,’ ‘Man on a Ledge’ and ‘One for the Money’ vs. the Oscar Bump

Box-Office Predictions: Jan. 27 - Jan. 29, 2012
It’s one of the most difficult weekends to predict of the year. Oscar nominations were announced this week, which means people will be seeking out the prestigious titles, some of which are expanding. There’s also three new releases, of varying quality, which adds up to chaos when trying to nail down the exact order. Still, we’re paid to break this thing down, so let’s break this thing down!
Laremy predicted the #1 movie correctly 2 Weeks In A Row

The Grey

I’m above tracking here by a healthy $4m. Why? Very solid (though somewhat misleading) trailers. And Taken, which pulled down almost $8k per theater back in January of 2009. It can’t be denied, people just love to see Liam Neeson fight mammals of all types.

That said, this isn’t Taken, and wolves don’t scale the way kidnapped daughters do at the box office. As such I’ve penciled in $5,800 per theater. I’ve seen a listed production budget of $34 million so if that’s accurate they should be happy with this result. First place for Mr. Neeson, the second time in a row he’ll have pulled that off (Unknown).

Prediction: $17.1 million

This is that one about a man on a ledge, right? $4k per theater means it should break the top ten of Summit’s portfolio, it only needs $31m to push past Push.
Prediction: $12 million
The Kat Heigl experiment seems to be nearing its natural end. Life as We Know It and New Year’s Eve are the canaries in the coal mine. Sell your stock and get out of the business if you can find a taker. By the way, did you hear she now wants to get back on “Grey’s Anatomy”? She must have had a conversation with David Caruso about leaving a solid TV gig for the movies.
Prediction: $11.34 million
I can’t knock it more than 40 percent because it didn’t seem to be very front-loaded.
Prediction: $11.26 million
This, on the other hand, is looking at (at least) a 55 percent dip. It’s a rule of the box office business: Underworld fans don’t wait!
Prediction: $10.88 million
The Best Picture nomination will help, and it’s managed an A- Cinemascore from audiences.
Prediction: $8.03 million
Can you say Oscar bump? I think you can.
Prediction: $7.9 million
This is a complete shot in the dark because I can’t find (at press time) theater counts. But it should do well given the double digit nom total.
Prediction: $7.5 million
$52m worldwide on a $25m production budget, and that ain’t bad!
Prediction: $6.5 million
I still need to see this. Anyone want to recommend it to me?
Prediction: $5.05 million

How say you? Will Hugo come from nowhere this weekend? Will The Artist and The Descendants shine? And what do you make of all these new releases? Predict early, predict often!

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