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Box Office Wizard (7.2.10)

Merlin? Gandalf? The Wizard of Oz? You could be like THEM. 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 #9. 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 #8 Wizard(s): Steven C, TheGamerGeek, Sallas - 5 pts each
Current Box Office Wizard: Steven C - 29 Pts 

This past week proved easier than usual, with three of our four participants (including myself) earning all five available points. This week should provide some challenges, but we have a head start on our new contenders, both of which came out earlier this week.

Steven C - 29
SimonSays - 20
TheGamerGeek - 19
Olly H - 14
Dustin C - 10
Sallas - 8
Dementious - 5 
Matthew D - 3
Lydia - 2

Remember, only submissions in the comment section count and they must be made by 12:00 PM SATURDAY. 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. Toy Story 3 - $59.3M (weekend)… 226.8M (gross)
            2. 2. Grown Ups - $40.5M… $40.5M
            3. 3. Knight and Day - $20.1M… $20.1M
            4. 4. The Karate Kid - $15.5M… $135.7M
            5. 5. The A-Team - $6.2M… $63.0M
            New Contenders this Weekend

            The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
            Directed by David Slade
            Written by Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer (novel)
            Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
            Genre: Romance/Action/Drama
            Distributor: Summit
            Release: 4,468 theaters 

            The Last Airbender

            Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
            Written by M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko (TV series)
            Starring: Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone
            Genre: Action/Fantasy
            Distributor: Paramount
            Release: 3,169 theaters 

            My Top Five Predictions

            For the second week now we’re looking at the three-day forecast but with films coming out a day or two days early. Nothing, however, should stop The Twilight Saga: Eclipse from dominating the box office. Because of the die-hard fans all going at midnight and Wednesday or Thursday, The Twilight Saga: New Moon making $142 million in three days coming out on Friday is a tough comparison. I have to say $75-90 million for "Eclipse" considering it's already made $68 million dollars in one day of release. If it's more than that, then thank the girls who when on Wednesday and then again with their moms this weekend.

            The other newcomer is tougher to predict. It’s hard to say how extensive the built-in fan base for this movie is, which will ultimately determine how it does because the reviews are awful. A good comparison film is a movie that came out on DVD this week, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which earned about $30 million its first week. Using that as a measure, I’m going to say Toy Story 3 will hold up for second with $30-32 million.The Last Airbender will lose its opening day total from Thursday so I expect $25-30 million for the three-day total.

            Much like last week, four and five should be easy to predict. Grown Ups should earn about $20 million and Knight and Day about $10 million. With “Airbender” cutting into The Karate Kid’s audience, I don’t expect it to leapfrog Cruise and Diaz in one of few date movie options, no matter how poorly they underperformed and might continue to.

            1. 1. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
            2. 2. Toy Story 3
            3. 3. The Last Airbender
            4. 4. Grown Ups
            5. 5. Knight and Day 


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