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Box Office Wizard (8.13.10)

There's only one epic of epic epicness at Player Affinity and that's here at Box Office Wizard. 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 #15. 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.  The Other Guys- $35.5M (weekend)… $35.5M (gross)
                        2. 2. Inception - $18.5M…$227.6M
                        3. 3.  Step Up 3-D - $15.8M…$15.8M
                        4. 4. Salt - $10.9M…$91.7M
                        5. 5. Dinner for Schmucks - $10.3M…$46.6M

                        Week #14 Wizard(s):  TheGamerGeek - 3 pts
                        Current Box Office Wizard: Steven C - 48 Pts 

                        "Salt" played spoilers for everyone this past weekend by staying in fourth place. Congrats to GamerGeek for getting the top three right. He's within striking distance of becoming the current BOW.

                        ALL-TIME TOTALS
                        Steven C - 48
                        TheGamerGeek - 44

                        SimonSays - 34
                        Sallas - 26
                        Olly H - 14
                        Dustin C - 10
                        OracleofGame - 5
                        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

                        The Expendables
                        Directed by Sylvester Stallone
                        Written by David Callaham, Sylvester Stallone,
                        Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li
                        Genre: Action

                        Distributor: Lionsgate
                        Release: 3,270 theaters 

                        Eat, Pray, Love

                        Directed by Ryan Murphy
                        Written by Ryan Murphy and Jennifer Salt, Elizabeth Gilbert (memoir)
                        Starring: Julia Roberts, Viola Davis, James Franco, Javier Bardem
                        Genre: Romance/Drama
                        Distributor: Sony/Columbia
                        Release: 3,082 theaters 

                        Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
                        Directed by Edgar Wright
                        Written by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright, Bryan Lee O’Malley (graphic novel)
                        Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkan, Jason Schwartzman
                        Genre: Dance
                        Distributor: Disney (Buena Vista)
                        Release: 2,818 theaters 

                        My Top 5 Predictions

                        There are three big films out this weekend, which usually spells trouble, but I think the winner is clear. Buzz is strongest for The Expendables. August usually has one or two big films, particularly in this genre and with all the names drawing in action fans from all corners of the globe I think a big opening is in order, something probably between $30-40 million, probably the higher end if I had to narrow it down more.

                        The next two spots are where it gets tricky: two totally different demographics, but two films that project to finish in the $20 million range. Last year, the two women-target offerings The Time Traveler's Wife and Julie & Julia earned $18 and $20 million respectively. $20 million is the safe guess for Eat, Pray, Love. "Scott Pilgrim" will be in a couple-hundred fewer theaters. Another alternative comic film, Kick-Ass made $19 million in April in more theaters but with an R rating. PG-13, Michael Cera, the fan following and the hype -- in my estimation -- puts Scott Pilgrim vs. the World over the top with $20-25 million. Eat, Pray, Love would fall just short of that. If anything, I've overestimated "Pilgrim's" following and slightly underestimated Julia Roberts, but I suspect hype and good reviews will give "Pilgrim" the boost it needs despite being in fewer than 3,000 theaters.

                        It will be hard for any returners to put up minimal decreases with so many new and exciting films hitting the market, so The Other Guys and Inception should slide with ease into 4th and 5th.

                        1. 1. The Expendables
                        2. 2. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
                        3. 3. Eat, Pray, Love
                        4. 4. The Other Guys
                        5. 5. Inception


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