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Box Office Wizard (4.22.11)

Welcome to Box Office Wizard, Player Affinity’s premiere movie box office prediction competition that you ignore every week because you don't hath the stones of a real wizard. Entering is and always has been simple, so why not get your beard on and give it a try? Just read through this post and leave a comment with, in order, what you think the top five box office finishers will be this 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 15. 

How it Works: For every movie you correctly place in the box office top five (say you pick “The Fastest and Furiousest” to rank first in the box office that weekend and it comes in first), 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. Rio - $39.2 M (weekend) ... $39.2 M (gross)
2. Scream 4 - $18.7 M ... $18.7 M
3. Hop - $10.7 M … $82.2 M
4. Hanna - $7.29 M … $23.3 M
 5. Soul Surfer - $7.28 M … $19.9 M

Week #14 Wizard(s): Kieran and Jamven - 5 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 44 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s):  Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 55%

Hanna managed to jump Soul Surfer between estimates and actuals to give those with Rio on top a perfect five. No surprise that Rio came in first, but a big surprise that Scream 4 did as badly as it did. We had a nice turnout last week thanks to Simonious and Jamvens' returns. Let's keep it up! Welcome MacGumblebug the Third. I have heard good things about the first two MacGumblebugs, so pleased to have you!


Cinemus the Predictor - 44 (39/70 - 55%)
Herpious Derpious - 41 (36/70 - 51%)
Simonius Saysian - 36 (31/60 - 51%)
Kieran - 32 (32/70 - 45%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 20 (15/35 - 43%)
MacGumblebug the Third - 9 (4/10) - 40%)
Julian - 7 (7/15 - 48%)
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

Water for Elephants
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Written by Richard LaGravenese, Sara Gruen (novel)
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook
Genre: Drama/Romance
Distributor: Fox
Release: 2,700 theaters 


Madea's Big Happy Family 
Written and Directed by Tyler Perry
Starring: Tyler Perry, Loretta Divine, Bow wow
Genre: Comedy
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release: 2,100 theaters 

African Cats
Directed by Alistair Fothergill, Keith Scholey
Starring: Lions and Cheetahs
Genre: Nature Documentary
Distributor: Disney
Release: 1,200 theaters 


My Box Office Predictions

Easter weekend has been a tough egg to crack, but not if a Tyler Perry comedy is in the picture. The man seems to have this weekend cornered every other year. His last two comedies to release at this time made more than $30 million, which will be enough for Madea’s Big Happy Family to beat out a second strong week from Rio.

With the lack of options in the romance genre thus far, some good star power and a popular book adaptation, I suspect Water for Elephants will be an easy fit for third place. Maybe around $15 million, which will be heads and tails above the other finishers.

It’s Easter weekend, so there’s no reason that Hop should fall very far at all. It’s been a few weeks, but without tons of other options, I suspect a good $8-10 million, which should be enough to hold off African Cats. This will be the first DisneyNature Earth Day film to open on a Friday. The first two docs opened with $8.8 and $6.1 million on a Wed. and Thur. respectively. I think a return to the $8 million range seems likely. It would be a shock if either of those two films lost to Scream 4 as horror films and excessive sequels are the two most notorious genres/kinds of films when it comes to bad second weekends.

1. Madea’s Big Happy Family
2. Rio
3. Water for Elephants
4. Hop
5. African Cats


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