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Box Office Wizard (3.11.11)

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 9. 

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 

1.  Rango - $38.0M (weekend)…$38.0M (gross)
2.  The Adjustment Bureau - $20.9M…$20.9M
3.  Beastly - $10.1M…$10.1M

4.  Hall Pass - $9.0M…$27.0M 
5.  Gnomeo and Juliet - $6.9M…$83.6M

Week #8 Wizard(s):  Kieran - 3 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 28 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s):  Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 57%

I'm sorry to all of you for putting in such a convincing argument for The King's Speech. They didn't even expand the release. Oops. Well done Kieran for getting one of the bottom three in Hall Pass. 


Cinemus the Predictor - 28 (23/40 - 57%)
Herpious Derpious - 24 (19/40 - 47%)
Simonius Saysian - 21 (16/35 - 45%)
Kieran - 15 (15/40 - 37%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 15 (10/30 - 30%)
Julian - 6 (6/10 - 60%)
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

Battle: Los Angeles
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Written by  Christopher Bertolini
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan
Genre: Action/Sci Fi
Distributor: Sony/Columbia
Release: 3,417 theaters 

Mars Needs Moms
Directed by Simon Wells
Written by Simon and Wendy Wells, Berkeley Breathed (book)
Starring: (voices) Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack
Genre: Animation/Family/Sci Fi
Distributor: Buena Vista
Release: 3,117 theaters 

Red Riding Hood

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
Written by  David Johnson
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Max Irons, Gary Oldman, Shiloh Fernandez
Genre: Horror/Thriller/Romance
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release: 3,030 theaters



My Box Office Predictions

Three more films join the fray this weekend after three of last week's four new releases finished in the top spots, so where do our newcomers fit in? Last year, Alice in Wonderland set the tone for March by dominating the market and setting a March opening record. This year, no one film feels like the obvious film-to-see of the month, so expect none of these films to completely explode onto the charts.

That said, among the most anticipated films of the month is certainly Battle: Los Angeles. Mass-destruction films and alien invasion movies are generally hot and cold. Last November, Skyline, with a premise nearly identical to this film, made just over $11 million. However, "Battle" has launched an incredibly impressive marketing campaign that strikes me as being quite similar to District 9 which made $35 million in August 2009. District 9 had the benefit of a summer release, so I see $30 million as a good figure for "Battle," easily giving it first place and extending 2011 to ten straight weeks with a new number one.

Rango will not be far behind. Although our new Disney offering this week will threaten to take some of its audience, it should make $25 million, $20 million at the worst.

In third, I have Red Riding Hood. Predicting this film is a tricky business. Other than I Am Number Four and Beastly this year, no previous films have done the dark teen romance and you can't estimate this film based on Twilight. The two aforementioned did not have Amanda Seyfried who is not a huge draw but solid. The film skews female, but the marketing has horror elements to try and grab a wider audience. At the same time, I think that scares away Seyfried's Dear John and Letters to Juliet crowd. All that in mind, I'm pegging it for $15-18 million. If The Roommate can make $15 M, so should this movie, right?

In fourth I'm putting Mars Needs Moms, a film that will compete with Rango and has a space/alien motif, which has not done many films before it a lot of good. Planet 51 made $12 million over Thanksgiving weekend in 2009. I'll give Disney more credit than that, so $12-15. I could see closer to $20 million without Rango in the fold.

The Adjustment Bureau should have no problems staying in the top five with $10-12 million.

1. Battle: Los Angeles
2. Rango
3. Red Riding Hood
4. Mars Needs Moms
5. The Adjustment Bureau



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