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The NEW Box Office Wizard (1.21.11)

Welcome to the NEW Box Office Wizard, Player Affinity’s premiere movie box office prediction competition and your chance every week to feel like a flippin’ genius – nay – wizard. Entering is and always has been simple. You read through this post and leave a comment with, in order, what you think the top five box office finishers will be that weekend. Finish out 2011 on top and you will win something COOL.

Want five bonus points? In your comments, leave your official wizard name. Be creative. See some example names in our Wizarding Leaderboard.

Below you’ll find another recap of the rules, last week’s Top Five, current BOW Standings, a list of new movies getting wide releases this weekend and some details and then finally an explanation of my Top Five predictions to give you a starting point.

This is Week 3. 

How it Works: For every movie you correctly place in the box office top five (say you pick “The Land Before Time XXVI,” to rank second in the box office that weekend and it comes in second), you earn a point. Only if a movie is in its correct place can you earn a point. (You could have all top five movies out of order and get a fat 0, it happens.) Points are cumulative. We will also keep track of the percentage you have correct.

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 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 comment section count.
  • - Predictions must be in by Noon (the time zone you’re in) the Saturday after the weekly post goes up.
  • - Only the Weekend Actuals (released Monday afternoons) count as the official totals, not the estimates that most news sources     publish Sunday afternoons.
  • - On 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)


Last Week's Top Five 

1. The Green Hornet - $34.0M (weekend)…$34.0M (gross)
2. The Dilemma- $17.4M…$17.4M

3. True Grit - $11.2M…$126.4M
4. The King’s Speech - $9.0M…$44.5M 
5. Black Swan - $8.1M…$72.9M

Week #2 Wizard(s): Everyone but Max and Jamven - 3 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 12 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s): None. Must Play 8 Weeks.  

A lot of you went with me last weekend. I'm sorry for not predicting The King's Speech to enter the equation.


Cinemus the Predictor - 12 (7/10 - 70%)
Herpious Derpious - 10 (5/10 - 50%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 9 (4/10 - 40%)
Simonius Saysian - 8 (3/5 - 60%)
Kieran - 5 (5/10 - 50%)
Julian - 3 (3/5 - 60%)
Max A - 1 (1/5 - 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


 No Strings Attached
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Written by Elizabeth Meriwether
Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Distributor: Paramount
Release: 3,018 theaters 

The Way Back
Directed by Peter Weir
Written by Keith R. Clarke and Peter Weir, Slavomir Rawicz (novel)
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong
Genre: Drama
Distributor: Newmarket
Release: 650 theaters 

My Box Office Predictions

There are two main components to predicting this weekend's box office: can the crazy buzz about Natalie Portman counter Ashton Kutcher and land that film in a top spot? And also, how well will the Oscar-bound movies perform again this week? So while we have only one significant new release, we have one heck of a jigsaw puzzle.

The "X" factor for No Strings Attached is its R rating. A similar R-rated film in Love and Other Drugs opened with $9.7 million and had a favorable Thanksgiving release this past year. Now we're in January -- not typical R-rated comedy territory. We've seen rom-coms with PG or PG-13s pull in $20 million in January, can this do it?

While I was initially very hesitant, my vote is yes. No Strings Attached should make $15-20 million (closer to 20) and the The Green Hornet estimates are for around $15 million. As a stand-alone release, it is drawing all the attention it needs to succeed in so far as passing "Hornet."

The rest here is up for grabs as all these films track at about $7-10 million. I'm crossing my fingers that The Dilemma will hold off the Oscar movies with $8-9 million, which is right where I have The King's Speech.

In fifth I have a battle between ballerinas and marshals/outlaws. I'm going to guess Black Swan will have another strong week with Natalie's Globe win and it's been tracking just ahead of True Grit all week. All those predictions said, the bottom four could finish in really any order and "Grit" could still stay in.

1. No Strings Attached 
2. The Green Hornet
3. The Dilemma
4. The King's Speech
5. Black Swan



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