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Box Office Wizard (2.11.11)

Welcome to the NEW Box Office Wizard, Player Affinity’s premiere movie box office prediction competition and your chance every week to feel like a flippin’ genius – nay – wizard. Entering is and always has been simple. You read through this post and leave a comment with, in order, what you think the top five box office finishers will be that weekend. Finish out 2011 on top and you will win something COOL.

WANT FIVE BONUS POINTS??? In your comments, leave your official wizard name. Be creative. See some example names in our Wizarding Leaderboard.

Below you’ll find another recap of the rules, last week’s Top Five, current BOW Standings, a list of new movies getting wide releases this weekend and some details and then finally an explanation of my Top Five predictions to give you a starting point.

This is Week 5. 

How it Works: For every movie you correctly place in the box office top five (say you pick “The Land Before Time XXVI,” to rank second in the box office that weekend and it comes in second), you earn a point. Only if a movie is in its correct place can you earn a point. (You could have all top five movies out of order and get a fat 0, it happens.) Points are cumulative. We will also keep track of the percentage you have correct.

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 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 comment section count.
  • - Predictions must be in by Noon (the time zone you’re in) the Saturday after the weekly post goes up.
  • - Only the Weekend Actuals (released Monday afternoons) count as the official totals, not the estimates that most news sources     publish Sunday afternoons.
  • - On 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)


Last Week's Top Five 

. The Roommate - $15.6M (weekend)…$15.6M (gross)
2. Sanctum - $9.2M…$9.2M
3. No Strings Attached - $8.4M…$51.7M
4. The King’s Speech - $8.3M…$84.1M 
5. The Green Hornet - $6.1M…$87.2M

Week #4 Wizard(s)
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 19 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s): None. Must Play 8 Weeks.  

Well, last week was voided because the switch to the new Player Affinity stuff wiped out all comments from the last five months. If they fix it, I'll update accordingly, but as of now, we're still on week five.


Cinemus the Predictor - 19 (14/20 - 70%)
Herpious Derpious - 15 (10/20 - 50%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 14 (9/20 - 45%)
Simonius Saysian - 13 (8/15 - 53%)
Julian - 6 (6/10 - 60%)
Kieran - 6 (6/20 - 30%)
Max A - 5 (5/10 - 50%)


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

Just Go With It

Directed by Dennis Dugan
Written by Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling, I.A.L. Diamond (“Cactus Flower”)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson
Genre: Comedy

Distributor: Sony/Columbia
Release: 3,548 theaters 

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Directed by Jon Chu
Starring: ... Justin Bieber ...
Genre: Musical/Documentary
Distributor: Paramount
Release: 3,105 theaters 

Gnomeo & Juliet

Directed by Kelly Asbury
Written by Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton, Kevin Cecil, Emily Cook (and 7 others)
Starring: (voices) James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith
Genre: Animation/Family

Distributor: Buena Vista
Release: 2,994 theaters 

The Eagle
Directed by Kevin Macdonald
Written by Jeremy Brock, Rosemary Sutcliff (novel)
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong
Genre: Period Action
Distributor: Focus Features
Release: 2,296 theaters 

My Box Office Predictions

With four new wide releases coming out for the first time since Christmas, you’d think predicting this weekend’s box office would be awful. Sometimes, however, it’s a lot easier than it looks.

Last weekend, a horror film topped the box office with just $15 million. When that happens, it’s usually quite likely that whatever films come out the next week are going to beat it. All four of this weekend’s films have different audiences and relatively different projections from one another and I think all of them will finish above the $7 million that no returning film will exceed.

At the top spot, while I would hate to get caught underestimating Bieber fever, Adam Sandler leads the only new romantic comedy on the weekend before Valentine’s Day. That’s a sure thing right there. I’m estimating Just Go With It will make the $40-million mark of Sandler’s last film, Grown Ups.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is the toughest to predict. We saw the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus concert films earn vastly different totals at this same time of year. The safest thing to do is predict middle ground. I think $20 million is a safe target but there will be a good reason to justify lower or higher than that number when the estimates roll in on Sunday.

In third I like the kids fare of the weekend, a genre that has been short-changed in 2011 thus far whereas last year the kids market was already saturated with The Tooth Fairy and The Spy Next DoorGnomeo & Juliet should do better than you’d expect in this time slot. I’m saying $15 million, so depending, it could put up a fight with that Bieber kid.

In fourth, I will take The Eagle with $8-10 million. While I’m optimistic about the film’s quality, I recognize that Channing Tatum is a draw for women, and women are not the target audience of “The Eagle.” Nevertheless, at this time of year, films like this one tend to make around that much, which will be good enough to fend off last week’s films.

I’ll also take The Roommate to wrap things up. It will fall a lot as horror films do, but I don’t see a way “The King’s Speech” could jump it.

1. Just Go With It
2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
3. Gnomeo & Juliet
4. The Eagle
5. The Roommate


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