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Box Office Wizard (3.4.11)

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 8. 

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. Hall Pass - $13.5 M (weekend) ... $13.5 M (gross)
2. Gnomeo & Juliet - $13.4 M ... $74.3 M
3. Unknown - $12.5 M  ... $42.9 M
4. I Am Number Four - $11 M ... $37.7 M
5. Just Go With It  - $10.5 M ... $78.7 M

Week #7 Wizard(s):  Cinemus, Simonius and Herpious - 2 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 26 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s): None. Must Play 8 Weeks.  

Another brutal weekend thanks to Drive Angry debuting at No. 9. Strangely enough, we all picked Just Go With It for fifth and were correcto. Hmm.


Cinemus the Predictor - 26 (21/35 - 60%)
Herpious Derpious - 22 (17/35 - 48%)
Simonius Saysian - 19 (14/30 - 46%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 15 (10/30 - 30%)
Kieran - 12 (12/35 - 34%)
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

Directed by Gore Verbinski
Written by John Logan, Gore Verbinski, and James Ward Byrkit
Starring: Johnny Depp, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty
Genre: Animation/Family
Distributor: Paramount
Release: 3,917 theaters 

The Adjustment Bureau 
Directed by George Nolfi
Written by George Nolfi, Phillip K. Dick (short story)
Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Distributor: Universal
Release: 2,840 theaters 

Take Me Home Tonight 

Directed by Mike Dowse
Written by Jackie and Jeff Filgo, Gordon Kaywin, Topher Grace
Starring: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer
Genre: Comedy
Distributor: Relativity Media
Release: 2,003 theaters

Directed by Daniel Barnz
Written by Daniel Barnz, Alex Flinn (novel)
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
Distributor: CBS Films
Release: 1,952 theaters 


My Box Office Predictions

The animated film Rango will easily clean up this weekend. We’ve seen a few animated films open to box office glory the past few years in March and Gnomeo & Juliet continued to prove the need for family entertainment in the earlier months of the year. Most families suffer a serious bout of cabin fever, but with cold still lingering, the movies become the best choice. Rango will make at least $45 million, but more would not be out of the question, especially with good reviews.

In second, I’m taking The Adjustment Bureau. Matt Damon is not a box-office draw as I learned the hard way last March when Green Zone made just $14 million. With a wider audience, some marketing that pushed the romantic angle, and audiences still smitten by Inception, I think $15 million is in the cards but $20 million would be possible if good reviews continue to come in.

Small theater counts and release delays on the last two films coming out have me reserved about where they can finish, so I’m putting them aside in favor of The King’s Speech. The last time a film came out in November and won the Oscar for Best Picture (Slumdog Millionaire), it expanded to a few hundred additional theaters and sales went up about 25 percent. Considering there’s room for more theatrical expansion for “Speech,” I suspect the Weinstein Co. will widen the distribution. Depending on how wide, I could see “Speech” making anywhere from $8-12 million this weekend after $7 million or so a week ago.

As for the rest, I think I’ll give benefit of the doubt to Beastly. I’m not high on this film in economic terms, but the market for films aimed at the “Twilight” demographic has to this point been mostly untested. This summer, a film with a High School Musical star in Charlie St. Cloud made $12 million, so I’ve got Beastly pegged for $8-10 million.

For fifth place, I’m going to pass on Take Me Home Tonight, an R-rated comedy with little appeal (few know who Topher Grace is and Anna Faris is not the focal point) and lots of returning competition. Instead, I will stick by Hall Pass and say it will stave off a close call from Unknown and “Gnomeo.”

1. Rango
2. The Adjustment Bureau
3. The King’s Speech
4. Beastly
5. Hall Pass



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