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Box Office Wizard (5.26.11)

Welcome to Box Office Wizard, Player Affinity’s premiere movie box office prediction contest that gives the average Tom, Dick or Merlin the chance to prove his or her worth. 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 19. 

How it Works: 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 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 zero – 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 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 comment section count. 
-Predictions must be in by noon (in the time zone you’re in) the Saturday after the weekly post goes up.
Friday by Noon on early start Holiday weekends 
-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 Weekend's Top Five 

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - $90.1 M (weekend) ... $90.1 M (gross)
2. Bridesmaids - $20.8 M ... $59.3 M
3. Thor - $15.4 M ... $145.3 M
4. Fast Five - $10.5 M ... $186.1 M
5. Priest - $4.7 M … $23.8 M


Week #18 Wizard(s): Simonious - 5 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 54 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s):  Simonious Saysian - 57%

Many of you agreed with me on Bridesmaids holding up and it paid off. Simonious became the lone victor after Priest beat Rio for the five spot when the actuals came in.


Cinemus the Predictor - 54 (49/90 - 54%)
Herpious Derpious - 51 (46/90 - 51%)
Simonius Saysian - 48 (43/75 - 57%)
Kieran - 41 (41/90 - 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

Kung Fu Panda 2
Directed by Jennifer Yuh
Written by Jonathon Aibel and Glenn Berger
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Dustin Hoffman
Genre: Animation/Action
Distributor: Paramount/DreamWorks
Release: 3,925 theaters 

The Hangover Part II
Directed by Todd Phillips
Written by Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong and Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong
Genre: Comedy
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release: 3,615 theaters 



My Box Office Predictions

This weekend is set to be huge. Not only are two big sequels coming out, but also the box office has been rather tame. Thor did not pump up the numbers as it should have at May’s beginning, so expect this to be one of the biggest weekends of the summer. Most other tentpoles are flying solo this year.

Keep in mind that I’m predicting these based on three-day Fri.-Sun. totals, not five-day holiday totals. Also, you need to get your predictions in by NOON FRIDAY

Although our comedy option presents the possibility for the biggest comedy opening ever, considering the way animation has been going lately, Kung Fu Panda 2  is my choice. The last time DreamWorks hds a second movie in a franchise open was Shrek 2 and that was to the tune of more than $100 million. Considering the first “Panda” opened with more than the original “Shrek,” I have little doubts it will own the title of biggest opening in 2011 thus far.

That leaves The Hangover Part II for second place, but making the bigger noise. The current record for a comedy’s opening weekend is held by The Simpsons with $74 million. With an “R” rating and tough reviews, it’s hard to envision that kind of total, but this is an anomaly film and it's tracking like crazy. I tend not to buy all the stats, so I’m going to say $80 million given that the Thursday opening will take a good chunk away, but a near-$100 million five-day gross looks to be in the cards.

The attention to the new films and mediocre reviews will see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides drop significantly, probably to $35 million.

Although being compared to the Wolfpack, Bridesmaids won’t see much of a hit in its totals. I still think $12-15 million seems likely and a fourth-place finish. Thor will stay right behind.

1. Kung Fu Panda 2
2. The Hangover Part II
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
4. Bridesmaids
5. Thor


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