Box Office Predictions: ‘Prisoners’ Targets #1 Over ‘Insidious 2’


Weekend Box-Office Predictions

PrisonersPrisoners will battle Insidious: Chapter 2 for the weekend crown, though it seems like Hugh Jackman and company should have an edge due to how poorly last weekend’s winner has been received.

But wait!

There’s a caveat to the above statement, because even though the original Insidious has a much higher critical rating, it’s actually the sequel that currently has the higher “fan” rating (on IMDB). Could this be a case of primacy, where the IMDB numbers always start high and taper off? Or might this be one of those critic-fan divides we’re always hearing so much about? Either way, interesting stuff.

Back to Prisoners, there’s always going to be a market cap for a film like this, it’s clearly geared toward young men (I’ve had more than one woman tell me, “oh, hell no”). To me, Zodiac feels like a good comp, and that opened at $13.3 million in 2007. Even the original Taken only managed $7,765 per theater in 2009, it just stayed strong forever. So the tracking number of $18 million should be pretty accurate, though I’ve goosed my prediction to $20.5 million to account for the massive amounts of marketing they’ve been sending over the airwaves.

As for Battle of the Year 3D, it’s only getting 1,800 theaters, the tracking is low and every single Step Up film has opened at a lower per theater dollar average than the last. Might the international dollars save this entire enterprise? They might indeed, but we’re not predicting those here, so be careful on this one if you’re going much higher than my $7.2 million. What little interest people have here dissipates once they see the trailer. A nice little perfect storm of failure for Sony/Screen Gems.

Did you know The Wizard of Oz is in theaters this weekend, arriving in IMAX 3D? It’s true, you could look it up, but the theater counts and tracking are pretty low, so it’s hard to be too bullish here. I know the animations cost around $1 million to post-convert, but I’m not sure about Dorothy and the flying monkeys. It couldn’t have been much, or else they’d be grabbing more than 300 theaters. I’m sticking with a lowish $2 million.

Finally, I’d like to roll out a limited theater release film for predictions, and we’ll all be seeing this one again, I speak of course of Rush. Five theaters, total, and off a marketing campaign that has blanketed the airwaves. I see a big number, say $75,000 per theater, and there’s no tracking so this one will be crazy close no matter what. If you do the math on my call you get to $375,000, plus this is the rare film you could actually rustle up a hundred of your friends and manipulate the number on! Gotta like that, right?

I leave it in your capable hands, predictors, make your Thursday complete by laying down some math on us.

Current Record: 14-35-3 against the wisdom of crowds.

Major Theater Chain (MTC) Tracking

  • Prisoners: $17 million
  • Battle of the Year: $6 million
  • The Wizard of Oz (3D/IMAX): $2.25 million

SIDE NOTE: Some of the theater numbers below are estimates. We’ll have the actual counts in Sunday’s wrap-up article.