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Box Office Wizard (5.27.10)

Get your Wiz on. Don't be shy and enter Player Affinity's weekly box office prediction competition. All you have to do is read this post and comment according to my mind-numbingly simple instructions and you could be on your way to Dumbledorian levels of accomplishment.

All we want you to do is get out your box office crystal balls and tells us which five movies will place in the top five of each weekend's U.S. domestic box office chart. Simple enough, right? I will make my own predictions here and explain them to you each week to give you some sort of reference point. It's then your job to enter a comment with your top five. 

This is Week #5. The first week you predict is the first week you enter the Box Office Wizard competition. For every correct prediction each week, you earn a point. Points are cumulative. The game keeps going on and on forever and ever except we will reset everyone back to zero -- let's say -- once a year. Each week there will be at least two winners: a weekend wizard for the users who guessed the most correct and a box office wizard for the user with the most points to date. The goal is to be Box Office Wizard for as long as you can. I'll pick an end date for the year at some point and then whoever has the most becomes the year's box office wizard. Maybe by the team that happens, Player Affinity will be so wildly popular that we'll have some cool free stuff to give the Box Office Wizard of the Year. Regardless, it's worth giving a try. What do you have to lose?

Week #4 Wizard(s): Olly H - 4 pts
Current Box Office Wizard: Steven C - 15 Pts 

Currently, Steven C is the Box Office Wizard with 15 Pts. Olly, however, was Week #4's wizard, correctly predicting Letters to Juliet would be in fourth place, a spot that many of us predicted MacGruber would fill, only that movie tanked and didn't even hit the top five. He moves up to a tie for second on the all-time list, which grew by three new players, thanks guys! Keep on guessing! This weekend is Memorial Day, but totals will only count for the three-day take from Friday to Sunday. Keep in my Sex and the City 2 comes out a day earlier.

Steven C - 15
SimonSays - 13
Olly H - 13
TheGamerGeek - 7
Matthew D - 3
Lydia - 2
Dementious - 0 

Remember, only submissions in the comment section count and they must be made by 12:01 AM **FRIDAY. Check our weekly recap posting late afternoon every Monday for the box office figures of the weekend. Remember, we count the WEEKEND ACTUALS, not the ESTIMATES announced on Sundays. On 4-day weekends, only the 3-day total matters.

Here are last week's top five finishers and this week's new contenders followed by my predictions.

Last Week's Top Five
    1. 1. Shrek Forever After - $70.8 M (weekend) … $70.8 M (gross)
    2. 2. Iron Man 2 - $26.4 M … $251.0 M
    3. 3. Robin Hood - $18.8 M … $66.6 M
    4. 4. Letters to Juliet - $9.0 M … $27.3 M
    5. 5. Just Wright - $4.3 M … $14.7 M
    New Contenders this Weekend

    Sex and the City 2 (on Thursday)
    Directed by Michael Patrick King

    Written by Michael Patrick King, Candace Bushnell (characters), Darren Star (TV show)
    Starring: Sarah Jessica-Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis
    Genre: Romantic Comedy
    Distributor: Warner Bros. (New Line)
    Release: 3,445 theaters 

    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

    Directed by Mike Newell

    Written by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Jordan Mechner (video game)
    Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley
    Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy
    Distributor: Disney/Buena Vista
    Release: 3,500 theaters 

    My Top Five Predictions

    This is the first really tough weekend of the competition thus far. Two films with their sights set high will be vying for the top spot, which is usually the case on Memorial Day weekend, plus a family film in its second weekend (on a weekend without school on Monday) coming off a $70 million performance. This is tough. The top three should all finish close to another for a very distributive box office weekend. Kinda weird to predict a Communist outcome on Memorial Day weekend.

    I feel far from good about this, but I'm going to pick Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to eek one out over Sex and the City 2 with the only good reason I can think of being that "Sex" will come up short in its three-day total because it releases today (Thursday), which will cut about $10 million off its total weekend pull. The first film made $57 million in 2008 over a three-day weekend and I expect without that novelty the first time had of no one having seen the fab four in action in years will wear off with this one. Meanwhile, the closest thing to compare "Persia" to is the first "Pirates" movie when no one knew what to expect. That film made $45 million, which is exactly what I think "Persia" will make. "Sex" should land about $40 million.

    Shrek 2 did well in a second weekend Memorial Day weekend run in 2004, but there's no reason to suspect that the
    Shrek Forever After, the tired fourth film in the series, which fell way short of estimates, will hold up well even with the holiday. Expect the standard 50 percent drop to $35 million. I'm nervous that it could drop just 40 percent and end up between $40-45 million, which is smack between my very shaky estimates for the top two films, however, but you gotta guess something with confidence.

    The holiday weekend should be helpful to the other main contenders from the last couple of weeks. Expect
    Iron Man 2 
    to earn at least $15 million and Robin Hood to make $10 million.

    1. 1. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
    2. 2. Sex and the City 2
    3. 3. Shrek Forever After
    4. 4. Iron Man 2
    5. 5. Robin Hood 



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