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The NEW Box Office Wizard (1.28.11)

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 4. 

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.  No Strings Attached - $20.3M (weekend)…$20.3M (gross)
2.  The Green Hornet - $18.1M…$63.4M
3.  The Dilemma - $9.7M…$33.3M
4.  The King’s Speech - $9.1M…$58.6M 
5.  True Grit - $8.0M…$138.6M

Week #3 Wizard(s): Cinemus (Me!) and Max (no wizard name, boo) - 4 pts
Current Cumulative Box Office Wizard(s): Cinemus the Predictor (me) - 16 pts
Current Percentage Box Office Wizard(s): None. Must Play 8 Weeks.  

Most of you had The King's Speech in fifth, when it finished in fourth. Some of you could be doing a lot better if you submitted your official wizard name.


Cinemus the Predictor - 16 (11/15 - 73%)
Herpious Derpious - 12 (7/15 - 46%)
Lord Jamven Serpenthelm - 12 (7/15 - 46%)
Simonius Saysian - 11 (6/10 - 60%)
Julian - 6 (6/10 - 60%)
Kieran - 5 (5/15 - 33%)
Max A - 5 (5/10 - 50%)


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


 The Rite
Directed by Mikael Håfström
Written by Michael Petroni, Matt Baglio (book)
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga, Ciarán Hinds
Genre: Horror

Distributor: New Line
Release: 2,985 theaters 

The Mechanic
Directed by Simon West
Written by Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino (screenplay and story)
Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland
Genre: Action
Distributor: CBS Films
Release: 2,703 theaters 

My Box Office Predictions

How about them exorcism films? The Last Exorcism made about $20 million in its opening weekend last August and we’ve seen some pretty awful films (Legion, from last year, in fact) make good money in late January. Although last week’s number one had a decent opening, there should be no problem for The Rite to become the number one film in America. I’m looking at between $15-20 million.

So that puts No Strings Attached in second, as our other newcomer will not make the estimated $10-12 million that Oscar nominee Natalie Portman’s rom-com should score with no competition and semi-decent word of mouth (although I didn’t find it all that good).

In the battle for third I have a neck-and-neck competition between two action films, one old and one new. When it comes down to it, my faith goes with the old. The Green Hornet has a bit more going for it than Jason Statham’s The Mechanic. Statham’s following is not all that big. His films range from $8-12 million in their opening weekends. The upper part of that range has been the slightly more hyped stuff. It doesn’t help that CBS Films is distributing, as they only made $9 million over Thanksgiving for their last action flick, Faster. Both films should make $8-10 million, but “Hornet” should be closer to 10.

The King’s Speech rounds off my top five. After 12 Oscar nominations, it’s not going anywhere. It made $7.8 million last week and it could even go up, but not enough to threaten the above films unless “Mechanic” really flops. “

1. The Rite
2. No Strings Attached
3. The Green Hornet
4. The Mechanic
5. The King’s Speech


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