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Box Office Wizard (9.23.11)

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 35. 

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. The Lion King (in 3D) - $30.1 M ... $30.1 M 
2. Contagion - $14.5 M ... $44.2 M 
3. Drive - $11.3 M ... $11.3 M 
4. The Help - $6.5 M ... $147.4 M 
5. Straw Dogs - $5.1 M ... $5.1 M

Week #34 Wizard(s): Cinemus and Herpious - 2 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor - 96 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s):  Simonious Saysian - 56%

Why is it that whenever we have the most participation that everyone gets obliterated? How am I supposed to keep you here!? Many of you had a lot of faith in Drive which only managed third. Fourth and fith were anyone's game and I lucked with Straw Dogs in fifth (and Herpious too, I guess).


Cinemus the Predictor - 96 (91/170 - 53%)
Herpious Derpious - 94 (89/170 - 52%)
Kieran - 79 (79/165 - 48%)
Simonius Saysian - 75 (70/125 - 56%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 20 (15/35 - 43%)
PeeWee the Purple - 9 (4/20 - 20%)
MacGumblebug the Third - 9 (4/10) - 40%)
Julian - 7 (7/15 - 48%)
Max A - 5 (5/10 - 50%)
Alex M - 3 (3/15 - 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

Dolphin Tale
Directed by Charles Martin Smith
Written by Karen Janzsen, Noam Dromi
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr.
Genre: Family/Drama
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release: 3,507 theaters 

Directed by John Singleton
Written by Shawn Christensen
Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina
Genre: Action

Distributor: Lionsgate
Release: 3,118 theaters 

Directed by Bennett Miller
Written by Steve Zaillan, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Michael Lewis (book)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Genre: Drama/Sports

Distributor: Sony/Columbia
Release: 2,993 theaters  

Killer Elite
Directed by Gary McKendry
Written by Gary McKendry and Matt Sherring, Ranulph Fiennes (Novel “The Feather Men”)
Starring: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro
Genre: Action
Distributor: Open Road Films
Release: 2,986 theaters 

My Box Office Predictions

It’s hard to argue with the “King,” but providing the best box-office puns by weekend’s conclusion should be Moneyball. Arrows have been pointing up all week with reviews and Brad Pitt’s no slouch when it comes to getting an audience. The Lion King in 3D will make it close, but I see Moneyball as this year’s The Social Network, a bit of a surprise that shows people will show up for well-reviewed films with mainstream appeal. I’m thinking $20-25 million, whereas “Lion King” should hit at $20 million.

Strong reviews and impressive early sales (as well as the weekend’s widest release) have me thinking that Dolphin Tale should get third place despite a lack of star power. I’m thinking $15 million, especially considering a similar film in April’s Soul Surfer managed $10 million with a lesser studio and a smaller release. I could go higher, but it's still competing with The Lion King.

Next I have the wild card of the bunch, Taylor Lautner’s Abduction. With a breezy action premise, teens could flock to it, but I’m skeptical that anyone else will even consider it, so I think close to $10 million should be accurate. Given Jason Statham’s track record, Killer Elite should have a hard time besting that, ending up with $8-10 million most likely. Returners Drive and Contagion will likely come up just shy of it, with Contagion possibly ending up in fifth if Killer Elite doesn’t draw and Moneyball finishes below expectations.

1. Moneyball
2. The Lion King in 3D
3. Dolphin Tale
4. Abduction
5. Killer Elite



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