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Box Office Wizard (7.9.10)

Have you seen the most recent Harry Potter movie trailer? Did it make you want to grab a wand and start avada kedavra-ing some muggles? Then this is your chance to do so, at least in the monetary guessing game sense. I challenge you to beat me, the Voldemort of Player Affinity's 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 #10. 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 #9 Wizard(s): TheGamerGeek - 5 pts
Current Box Office Wizard: Steven C - 33 Pts 

This was my first week without a share of the Weekly Wizard title! Congrats to GamerGeek for having more faith in The Last Airbender than the rest of us. Still, we only had two contender this week. Let's go people! This week's a real challenge -- anyone's game!

Steven C - 33
TheGamerGeek - 24
SimonSays - 20
Olly H - 14

Sallas - 12
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 last week's top five finishers and this week's new contenders followed by my predictions.

Last Week's Top Five
              1. 1. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – $69M (weekend)… $161M (gross)
              2. 2. The Last Airbender - $30.1M… $56.8M
              3. 3. Toy Story 3 - $30.1M … 226.8M
              4. 4. Grown Ups - $19.1M… $77.6M
              5. 5. Knight and Day - $10.4M… $45.7M
              New Contenders this Weekend

              Despicable Me
              Directed by Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
              Written by Ken Daurio, Sergio Pablos and Cinco Paul
              Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Jason Segel
              Genre: Animation/Family
              Distributor: Universal
              Release: 3,474 theaters 


              Directed by Nimrod Antal
              Written by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch, Jim and John Thomas (characters)
              Starring: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo
              Genre: Action/Sci-Fi/Horror
              Distributor: Fox
              Release: 2,669 theaters 

              My Top Five Predictions

              This weekend we have a tighter race than usual for the number one spot. “Eclipse” projects to make right around $30 million, which is right where both newcomers should land taking into account decent reviews and comparing them to similar films released in July. Because it’s tough to bet against, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is my pick to retain the top spot. “New Moon” dropped 70 percent in its second weekend, but that was because the three-day totals for the first weekend were astronomical. With all the die-hard fans seeing the film Wednesday and Thursday of last week, the numbers from last weekend appear more normal, so I expected the typical 50 percent drop to 30 million.

              The wild card in the group is Despicable Me. Here you have an animated film that’s not a sequel and is not based on any previous material from a new studio. Last year, the third Ice Age movie made around $40 million at the beginning of July. In September, a non-sequel based on a book called Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs made $30 million. I’m guessing $28 million, but it could surprise and take first with ease. Anyway, that leaves Predators for third with $25 million.

              Based on this week, expect Toy Story 3 to leapfrog The Last Airbender as well. With terrible word of mouth, “Airbender” should drop at least 60 percent, which should allow the Pixar hit to be fourth.

              1. 1. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
              2. 2. Despicable Me
              3. 3. Predators
              4. 4. Toy Story 3
              5. 5. The Last Airbender


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