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Box Office Wizard (9.30.11)

Welcome to Box Office Wizard, Player Affinity’s Movie Box Office Prediction Contest. Just read through this post and tell us your top five box office predicted finishers for this weekend. Finish out 2011 on top and you will win something COOL.

This is Week 36. 

Contest Rules: To qualify, entries must be submitted in the Comments Section. For every movie you correctly place in the box office top five (say you pick “Resident Evil: Afterthought 3D” to rank first in the box office that weekend and it comes in first), you earn one point. The movie selection must be in its correct rank to earn a point. Points are cumulative. We will keep track of your correct percentage.  WANT FIVE BONUS POINTS???  Leave your official wizard name in the Comment Section with your entry. Be creative. Example names are in our Wizarding Leaderboard.

How scoring works: So, let’s say you’ve played for four weeks and missed only four movies. You then have 16 Cumulative Points out of 20 and a prediction percentage of 75%. Not too shabby. Someone else could have 64 CP out of 110 and be ahead of you in CP, but behind you (58%) in percentage. You must, however, have played 8 weeks to be eligible for the Percentage crown. When the year is up, whoever has the most cumulative points and whoever has the highest percentage (could be the same person) wins the title of Box Office Wizard 2011.

Official Scoring/The Fine Print:

-Only submissions in the comments section qualify. 
-Predictions must be in by Noon (in the time zone you’re in) the Saturday after the weekly post goes up and Noon Friday on Holiday weekends. 
-Only the Weekend Actuals (released Monday afternoons) count as the official totals, not the estimates that most news sources publish Sunday afternoons. 
-For holiday weekends that start early or end late, only the three-day Friday through Sunday totals count.
-Look for Dinah Galley’s box office recap on Mondays for the weekend’s results (not always the actuals, so look closely).

 

Top Five From Last Weekend

1. The Lion King (in 3D) – $21.9 M … $61.4 M 
2. Moneyball – $19.5 M … $19.5 M 
3. Dolphin Tale – $19.1 M … $19.1 M 
4. Abduction – $10.9 M … $10.9 M 
5. Killer Elite – $9.3 M … $9.3 M

Week #35 Wizard(s): Cinemus – 3 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor – 99 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s):  Simonious Saysian – 56%

The Lion King made fools of us all, but my pick for Dolphin Tale to beat Abduction played in my favor as the family film did well for itself.

WIZARD LEADERBOARD 

Cinemus the Predictor – 99 (94/175 – 54%)
Herpious Derpious – 95 (90/175 – 51%)
Kieran – 80 (80/170 – 47%)
Simonius Saysian – 75 (70/125 – 56%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm – 20 (15/35 – 43%)
PeeWee the Purple – 9 (4/20 – 20%)
MacGumblebug the Third – 9 (4/10) – 40%)
Julian – 7 (7/15 – 48%)
Max A – 5 (5/10 – 50%)
Alex M – 3 (3/15 – 20%)


BOX OFFICE WIZARD HALL OF FAME

2010 Box Office Wizard: SimonSays – 97 pts in 34 weeks
2010 Box Office Wizard: Steven C – 97 pts in 34 weeks


New Contenders this Weekend

What’s Your Number?
Directed by Mark Mylod
Written by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, Karyn Bosnak (novel “20 Times a Lady”)
Starring: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Chis Pratt
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Distributor: Fox
Release: 3,002 theaters 
 

Dream House
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Written by David Loucka
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Distributor: Universal
Release: 2,660 theaters 


50/50
Directed by Jonathan Levine
Written by Will Reiser
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard
Genre: Comedy/Drama

Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Release: 2,458 theaters  

Courageous
Directed by Alex Kendrick
Written by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
Starring: Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, Ben Davies, Kevin Downes
Genre: Family/Drama
Distributor: TriStar
Release: 1,161 theaters 
 

Box Office Predictions

A crapshoot week. I don’t know if Disney plans to yank The Lion King in 3D out from that many theaters. It did announce an extension, but we won’t know about yanking until later. If it stays in full force it should win a third week in a row due to the wishy-washy nature of the other releases.

Although some of the newcomers have potential to surpass $15 million, it’s tough to say which, so I’m going to stick with some well-reviewed returnees in Dolphin Tale and Moneyball. The former should jump the latter because it’s a family film and the two finished within a hair of each other last week. The Brad Pitt sports drama should still be the top choice of adults as the newcomers this week skew younger.

As for the newcomers, I’ve got to go where the reviews tell me. 50/50 has the best reviews and reliable draw in Seth Rogen. Many prognosticators fear the cancer theme will keep people away until the word of mouth builds and they could be right. Still, the young adult audience has not had much catering to lately.

In fifth I’m going with What’s Your Number? Anna Faris’ previous fall comedy gig that she headlined was The House Bunny, which earned $14 million. More in rom-com territory, I think any more than $10-12 would be unlikely. Still, considering the state of most female-focused comedies lately, that would be a victory. Dream House could surprise completely with big stars and a glut in horror, but the film wasn’t screened for critics and its marketing was all over the place with a major plot twist involved. Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman teamed for horror a few years ago (after Craig first appeared as Bond) and The Invasion tanked. I think $9-10 million is in the cards.

1. The Lion King in 3D
2. Dolphin Tale
3. Moneyball
4. 50/50
5. What’s Your Number?


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