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Box Office Wizard (7.22.11)

Welcome to Box Office Wizard, Player Affinity’s 1st Movie Box Office Prediction Contest. The final "Harry Potter" film has recently cast a spell over the box office, so if you can't get in the mood to be a box-office wizard now, you might as well go sit in a box ... in your office. Just read through this post and tell us your top five box office predicted finishers for this weekend. Finish out 2011 on top and you will win something COOL.

This is Week 26. 

Contest Rules: To qualify, entries must be submitted in the Comments Section. 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 one point. The movie selection must be in its correct rank to earn a point. Points are cumulative. We will keep track of your correct percentage.  WANT FIVE BONUS POINTS???  Leave your official wizard name in the Comment Section with your entry. Be creative. Example names are in our Wizarding Leaderboard.

How scoring works: 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 comments section qualify. 
-Predictions must be in by Noon (in the time zone you’re in) the Saturday after the weekly post goes up and Noon Friday on Holiday weekends. 
-Only the Weekend Actuals (released Monday afternoons) count as the official totals, not the estimates that most news sources publish Sunday afternoons. 

-For 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).


Top Five From Last Weekend

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2- $169.1 M ... $169.1 M 
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - $21.3 M ... $302.8 M 
3. Horrible Bosses - $17.7 M ... $60.1 M 
4. Zookeeper - $12.3 M ... $42.3 M 
5. Cars 2 - $8.4 M ... $165.3 M

Week #25 Wizard(s): Cinemus, Herpious - 4 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 80 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s):  Simonious Saysian - 63%

In Week 24, it was Simonious and Kieran. This week, they put their faith in a silly old bear. We all did, but they more so than others. Damn you, John Lasseter, damn you.


Cinemus the Predictor - 80 (75/125 - 60%)
Herpious Derpious - 77 (72/125 - 57%)
Simonius Saysian - 68 (63/100 - 63%)
Kieran - 67 (67/125 - 53%)
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

Captain America: The First Avenger
Directed by Joe Johnston
Written by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (screenplay), Jack Kirby, Joe Simon (comic)
Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci
Genre: Action/Adventure

Distributor: Paramount
Release: 3,715 theaters 

Friends With Benefits
Directed by Will Gluck
Written by Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Will Gluck, Harley Peyton
Starring: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Woody Harrelson, Patricia Clarkson
Genre: Comedy

Distributor: Sony/Screen Gems
Release: 2,926 theaters  


My Box Office Predictions

It’s true that the bigger they come, the harder they fall, but fall as hard as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 might, there’s no way it could make less than another $70 million, which is good enough for first place pretty much any weekend of the year minus a few.

The superhero films this year have all had modest takes and I suspect that will be the case for Captain America: The First Avenger. July is a great time for an action release, but with nothing to distinguish it from any of the earlier titles, plus some summer fatigue, the $50-60 million of X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern seems spot-on.

Friends With Benefits should also claim third easily. R-rated comedies have been booming this summer at the box office and while fatigue is a possibility, Kunis has rising star power and Timberlake is always a draw. I think $25 million is reasonable.

Fourth and fifth will be a tough battle this week. Horrible Bosses seems to have pulled ahead of Transformers: Dark of the Moon at the weekly box office so I think it should hold up to just nudge it with $11 million versus $10 million. “Transformers” has yet another big action film taking away its return numbers and earlier this month we saw how R-rated comedy competition doesn’t really impact returning films.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2. Captain America: The First Avenger
3. Friends With Benefits
4. Horrible Bosses
5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon


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