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Box Office Wizard (7.23.10)

Okay, punks. If you don't take part in our weekly competition here at Player Affinity that we've been doing for 12 weeks and that you keep ignoring, I will put a curse on you. It's just a weekly box office prediction competition. All you're required to do is predict which five movies will place in the top five of this 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 #12. 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?

Here are last week's results and the winners of the competition for the week as well as the current all-time wizard.

Last Week's Top Five
                    1. 1. Inception - $62.7M (weekend)… $62.7M (gross)
                    2. 2. Despicable Me - $32.8M… $118.4M
                    3. 3. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice - $17.6M…$24.7M
                    4. 4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - $13.4M … $264.7M
                    5. 5. Toy Story 3- $11.9M … $362.9M

                    Week #11 Wizard(s): Steven C, Sallas, TheGamerGeek - 5 pts
                    Current Box Office Wizard: Steven C - 41 Pts 

                    Everyone (the four of us) did well last week predicting Inception as the big winner and figuring The Sorcerer's Apprentice didn't have much magic. 

                    ALL-TIME TOTALS
                    Steven C - 41
                    TheGamerGeek - 34

                    SimonSays - 27
                    Sallas - 20
                    Olly H - 14
                    Dustin C - 10
                    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 this week's new contenders followed by my predictions.

                    New Contenders this Weekend

                    Directed by Philip Noyce
                    Written by Brian Helgeland, Kurt Wimmer
                    Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofori
                    Genre: Action/Thriller

                    Distributor: Sony/Columbia
                    Release: 3,612 theaters 

                    Ramona and Beezus

                    Directed by Elizabeth Allen
                    Written by Laurie Craig, Nick Pustay, Beverly Cleary (novels)
                    Starring: Selena Gomez, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Duhamel

                    Genre: Family
                    Distributor: Fox
                    Release: 2,719 theaters 

                    My Top Five Predictions

                    When a film comes out and generates so much discussion and recommendations and desires for second viewings and it won the box office the week before by about $30-some million, it's good for another weekend. Look for Inception to make a strong second-week showing with $35-40 million.

                    Based on the success of the action thriller genre this time of year and the bankability of Angelina Jolie, I'm going to give Salt second place easily with $25 million, good enough to fend off the solid $20-million take I'm expecting from Despicable Me already in its third weekend.

                    Here's where it gets tricky. I'm expecting about four films to all end up within a range of $6-8 million and there's only room for two more in the Top Five. Considering the competition and the low number of theaters, I'm keeping Ramona and Beezus off the board. Because of it's third place positioning, I have to give The Sorcerer's Apprentice a slight edge in the race. If it's not fourth it should still land at five. Then, in a neck-and-neck battle between tween and toys, I give the edge to Toy Story 3 by mere thousandths.

                    1. 1. Inception
                    2. 2. Salt 
                    3. 3. Despicable Me 
                    4. 4. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
                    5. 5. Toy Story 3


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