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Box Office Wizard (8.27.10)

Feel funny lately?  Do you tremble at the sight of a cross? Does your head occasionally rotate around as you vomit pea soup? No, you don't need an exorcist, you need Box Office Wizard, 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 #16. 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?

Since we missed last week (it was a crazy weekend on all accounts), here are last week's results and the winners of the competition for the weekend before that as well as the current all-time wizard.

Last Week's Top Five
                          1. 1. The Expendables - $16.9M (weekend)… $65.3M (gross)
                          2. 2. Vampires Suck - $12.2M…$18.5M
                          3. 3. Eat Pray Love - $12.1M…$47.1M
                          4. 4. Lottery Ticket - $10.6M…$10.6M
                          5. 5. The Other Guys - $10.1M…$88.1M
                          Week #15 Wizard(s):  SimonSays - 3 pts
                          Current Box Office Wizard: Steven C - 49 Pts 

                          Most of you were on board with my predictions and overestimated "Scott Pilgrim" a couple weeks back. Congrats to Simon for predicting more modest numbers for the film and coming so close to a perfect top five.

                          ALL-TIME TOTALS
                          Steven C - 49
                          TheGamerGeek - 45

                          SimonSays - 37
                          Sallas - 27
                          Olly H - 14
                          Dustin C - 10
                          OracleofGame - 6
                          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 Last Exorcism
                          Directed by Daniel Stamm
                          Written by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland
                          Starring: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Caleb Landry Jones
                          Genre: Horror

                          Distributor: Lionsgate
                          Release: 2,874 theaters 


                          Directed by John Luessenhop
                          Written by Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop, Avery Duff
                          Starring: Chris Brown, Hayden Christiansen, Matt Dillon, Idris Elba
                          Genre: Action/Thriller
                          Distributor: Sony
                          Release: 2,206 theaters 

                          Avatar: Special Edition
                          Written and directed by James Cameron
                          Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang
                          Genre: Action/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
                          Distributor: Fox
                          Release: 811 theaters 

                          My Top Five Predictions

                          The box office is primed to be taken over. It would be embarrassing if a film could eclipse the $9-10 million I predict for the winner of the last two weeks, so with that in mind, I pick The Last Exorcism, seeing as there's always that one late August horror film that comes out and wins the box office for a week or two. I'm thinking $12-15 million, but given the lull this week, closer to $20 M is not out of the realm of possible given the reviews are mostly positive.

                          I also think that the name recognition for younger audiences in Takers should earn it second with $10-12 million. No reason it should fall to The Expendables, which will easily be the highest-finishing film already released. Last week's second-place finisher Vampires Suck should have a huge drop-off, so Eat Pray Love should jump it for fourth considering the two films were neck-and-neck (no pun intended) last weekend anyway. I also suspect The Other Guys will leapfrog over Lottery Ticket, two films that were also very close in the box-office race last weekend. It'll be close between those guys and "Suck," but I will put my money on quality.

                          1. 1. The Last Exorcism
                          2. 2. Takers
                          3. 3. The Expendables
                          4. 4. Eat Pray Love
                          5. 5. The Other Guys


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