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Box Office Wizard (7.30.10)

Wanna see a magic trick? Thought so. This one doesn't involve pencils, but the good part is that you have a chance to outdo me, the magic-man himself. It's our 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 #13. 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 - $43.5M (weekend)… $143.6M (gross)
                    2. 2. Salt - $36.5M…$36.5M
                    3. 3. Despicable Me - $24.1M… $161.7M
                    4. 4. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice - $9.6M…$42.6M
                    5. 5. Toy Story 3 - $9.0M … $379.5M

                    Week #12 Wizard(s): Steven C - 5 pts
                    Current Box Office Wizard: Steven C - 46 Pts 

                    I owned you all, but not by much. The four and five spots were tricky this week. Thanks to newcomer OracleofGame. Keep on playing, you'll get better!

                    ALL-TIME TOTALS
                    Steven C - 46
                    TheGamerGeek - 38

                    SimonSays - 31
                    Sallas - 23
                    Olly H - 14
                    Dustin C - 10
                    Dementious - 5 

                    Matthew D - 3
                    Lydia - 2
                    OracleofGame - 1

                    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

                    Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
                    Directed by Brad Peyton
                    Written by Ron J. Friedman and Steven Bencich, John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (characters)
                    Starring: (voices) James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Bette Midler
                    Genre: Family Action Comedy

                    Distributor: Warner Bros.
                    Release: 3,705 theaters 

                    Dinner for Schmucks

                    Directed by Jay Roach
                    Written by David Guion, Michael Handelman, Francis Veber (French original)
                    Starring: Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Zach Galifianakis
                    Genre: Comedy
                    Distributor: Paramount (DreamWorks)
                    Release: 2,911 theaters 

                    Charlie St. Cloud
                    Directed by Burr Steers
                    Written by Craig Pearce, Lewis Polick, Ben Sherwood (novel)
                    Starring: Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, Ray Liotta, Kim Basinger
                    Genre: Drama
                    Distributor: Universal
                    Release: 2,720 theaters 

                    My Top 5 Predictions

                    This weekend is tough. It’s hard to pinpoint talking animal movies. They can earn anything from about $10-30 million in a weekend, which puts us right where our current box office leader projects to land (toward the top of that number of course). My faith is with Inception. The film dropped just 30 percent last week. A good sign of a gradual decrease, so I project the film to end up with $25-28 million this weekend. With $10-30 being the range for a film like Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, I see somewhere in the middle. (The original made $20 million.) So I will slate it for just north of that amount, maybe $20-22 million.

                    Your standard comedy with high-profile comedians along the lines of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd usually earns about $20 million, so that’s where I expect Dinner for Schmucks to land with ease. I don’t see anything a couple million more or less being possible. These films are fairly simple to predict.

                    That leaves two returners to duke it out for the last spot. They should finish neck and neck, but because of last week’s finish I will take Salt for fourth and Despicable Me for fifth with a difference of $1-2 million between them. I project Salt to finish at $16 M and Despicable Me to finish at $15 M.

                    1. Inception
                    2. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
                    3. Dinner for Schmucks
                    4. Salt
                    5. Despicable Me


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