Friday, October 04, 2013

Gravity will Battle a Thriller and Concert Movie to Drift Up to the Top of the Box Office

Most experts think Gravity is the guaranteed winner this weekend.  We all know it really matters what Scott thinks.

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Well, I need to admit right at the beginning that this week’s weekend preview will be a little rushed, and likely not as detailed as other weeks. Schedules are a surly beast, and in a few moments it will be departure time to head out for Metallica Through the Never, an IMAX concert film that Chris and I will be reviewing on Monday’s podcast. It opened in just over three hundred theatres last week, and is expanding to around twice as many this weekend. Let us ponder on how it may fair, as well as two wide release newcomers that will be trying to fill up their coffers this weekend.

Just as sure as I was last weekend that Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 would come in first, I have the same cocky strut in believing that Gravity will be this weekend’s number one flick. The space thriller stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and is absolutely thriving off of a lot of buzz from recent festival performances and is looking like a safe bet for getting a best picture Oscar nomination. It is directed by Alfonso Cuaron, whose last movie, Children of Men, was nominated for three Oscars and was able to average over $8,000 when it expanded to wide release its second week. There is much more room for financial success this time around, as Sandra Bullock has proven to be a major draw and has had three movies open to over $30 million in the past four years. As well, it has performed well on Facebook and Twitter for a movie that is geared towards an older audience.

Gravity Opening Weekend Prediction - $40 million

Also opening this weekend is Runner Runner, a crime thriller that stars Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck. It is hard to predict exactly what factor Ben Affleck will have on the financial success of this movie. On one hand his star is rising as ‘Ben Affleck the director’ is showing the world that he is an elite story teller. On the other hand, he was hauled to the social media gallows when it was announced that he will be the next Batman, so ‘Ben Affleck the actor’ was the focus of fanboy anger just a month ago.

People forget things quite quickly, so it really is a bit of a wildcard. While Timberlake is quite popular on the singing front, he is still developing both his talents and a fan following in the realm of acting.  Two years ago In Time opened to $12 million, and that is most likely the mark that this movie will land on. Add to that the lack of critical love (it is currently 18% on Rotten Tomatoes) and the fact that it is opening opposite a movie with two proven leads that is at an incredible 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it may be a long walk to make back the rumoured $30 million budget.

Runner Runner Opening Weekend Prediction - $12

And lastly, there is Metallica Through the Never, which has been getting some decent critical love. Over the past week and a half, it has hovered just above and just below 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. Given the length of the career of Metallica, there are a number of generations who have either been long-time fans, or who have gone through fan phases that could be curious about this movie. Its opening weekend it pulled in $5,000 per theatre, and I am thinking that it will suffer a decent, but not horrific, drop and will land in the realm of around $2,700 per theatre in its expansion weekend.

Metallica Through the Never Expansion Weekend Prediction - $1.7 million

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