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Box Office Wizard (8.19.11)

Welcome to Box Office Wizard, Player Affinity’s Movie Box Office Prediction Contest. 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 30. 

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. Rise of the Planet of the Apes - $27.8 M ... $105.2 M 
2. The Help - $26 M ... $35.9 M 
3. Final Destination 5 - $18 M ... $18 M 
4. The Smurfs - $13.7 M ... $101.7 M 
5. 30 Minutes or Less - $13.3 M ... $13.3

Week #29 Wizard(s): Everyone - 1 pt
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 88 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s):  Simonious Saysian - 59%

What a rought week! The Help started the domino effect of suckage and some of you had Glee in the top five and it ended up coming in 11th for the week. Dang.


Cinemus the Predictor - 88 (83/145 - 57%)
Herpious Derpious - 87 (82/145 - 56%)
Kieran - 73 (73/140 - 52%)
Simonius Saysian - 70 (65/110 - 59%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 20 (15/35 - 43%)
MacGumblebug the Third - 9 (4/10) - 40%)
PeeWee the Purple - 8 (3/10 - 30%)
Julian - 7 (7/15 - 48%)
Max A - 5 (5/10 - 50%)
Alex M - 2 (2/10 - 20%)


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

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
Written and Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale
Genre: Family/Action/Adventure

Distributor: Weinstein/Dimension Films
Release: 3,295 theaters 

Fright Night
Directed by Craig Gillespie
Written by Marti Noxon, Tom Holland (original)
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Tennant
Genre: Horror

Distributor: Disney/DreamWorks
Release: 3,114 theaters  

Conan the Barbarian
Directed by Marcus Nispel
Written by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer and Sean Hood, Robert E. Howard (character)
Starring: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan
Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release: 3,015 theaters 

One Day
Directed by Lone Scherfig
Written by David Nicholls (screenplay and book)
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson
Genre: Drama/Romance
Distributor: Focus Features
Release: 1,600 theaters   


My Box Office Predictions

This week strikes me as the most challenging of 2011. With last weekend's top two looking like strong long-term contenders and four new releases that all have questionable box-office gall, there's no telling how the top five will shake out, so I'm going mostly by instinct here.

The Help looks like another The Blind Side. This sucker will not go away lightly, so expect the most minimal of drops, nothing below $20 million. Although you'd think someone could beat that, the market's a bit over-saturated right now. If I had to choose, Conan the Barbarian looks to be the most appealing newcomer given the tendencies of August films. Somewhere up near $20 million seems possible (anything less would be a failure for Lionsgate).

Returners will get the benefit of the doubt again in third place. Rise of the Planet of the Apes should land around $15 million and I trust it more than Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. The one time a "Spy Kids" movie released in August was Spy Kids 2, which opened the poorest of all the series — and now it's almost 10 years late. Close to $15 million seems right.

The wild card is Fright Night. I can't think of a single good comparison film for this one as it's not a typical vampire film. It could either tank or be a surprise hit thanks to good reviews. I have to play it modest like most non-"Twilight" vamp flicks and say $10-15 million.

1. The Help
2. Conan the Barbarian
3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
4. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
5. Fright Night



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