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The NEW Box Office Wizard (1.7.11)

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.

“But Steven,” you ask, “What makes it new? I thought wizards were old immortal souls!”

The key word there is immortal. As such, BOW is an ever-evolving game and since Player Affinity is all about the player, we on staff (not to be confused with a wizard’s staff) are devoted to tweaking anything and everything to improve the quality of our features.

So, here are the featured changes to the game: 

1. There will be three wizards each week: the weekly Weekly Wizard who guesses the most correct that weekend, the current Cumulative Wizard who has the most cumulative points since the start of the year and now Percentage Wizard who has the highest percentage of correct predictions to date.

2. In accordance, in addition to tracking cumulative points (number of films correctly predicted each weekend), percentage correct will also be tracked. This way, someone who starts playing in September can finish as a winner by guessing a higher percentage total correct that someone who has been playing all year (and you aren't screwed completely for missing a week). However, to be eligible for Percentage Wizard, one must play for at least 8 weeks, which is a little more than 15 percent of the year.

3. The Cumulative and Percentage Wizards come the end of the year will receive PRIZES! I don’t know what they’ll be, but over the course of the year we manage to accumulate some cool stuff, so you will be rewarded with some shwag (even though bragging rights alone is worth more than anything, right?)

4. Every player who enters the competition and provides his or her proper Wizard name is entitled to five bonus points. After 20 points are accumulated, a player who has not entered a proper Wizard name is no longer eligible to receive the bonus points.


On to the fun! Below you’ll find another recap of the rules, last week’s Top Five, current BOW Standings (of which this week there are none), 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 One. 

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. Little Fockers - $26.3M (weekend)…$103.1M (gross)
2. True Grit - $24.5M…$86.7M
3. Tron Legacy - $18.3M…$130.8M
4. Yogi Bear - $13.0M…$66.1M 
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader - $10.5M…$87.1M

Week #34 Wizard(s): Steven C, GamerGeek - 5 pts
2010 Box Office Wizard(s): SimonSays, Steven C - 97 pts 

With a perfect 5/5 last-weekend rally, I tied Simon for the Box Office Wizard 2010 title! Huge thanks to those of you top-five finishers who played almost every week with us. I hope you're going to continue now that we've leveled the playing field for 2011!

SimonSays - 97
Steven C - 97
TheGamerGeek - 81
Sallas - 79
Kieran - 48
Max A – 26
Olly H - 14
Dustin C - 12
Dementious - 6 
Joseph – 6
OracleofGame - 6
Dinah – 5
HSXGirl - 4
Harmonica - 3
Matthew D – 3
Julian – 2
Lydia – 2

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


Season of the Witch
Directed by Dominic Sena
Written by Bragi F. Schut
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
Genre: Period Action/Fantasy
Distributor: Relativity
Release: 2,816 theaters 

Country Strong
Written and Directed by Shana Feste
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester
Genre: Musical Drama
Distributor: Sony/Screen Gems
Release: 1,424 theaters 

My Box Office Predictions

My gut reaction was not to award anything to Nicolas Cage and his new film, but movies tend to do better than expected in these post holiday slots. However, medieval action rarely fairs well, so I've balanced out both sides to this debate fairly, I think.

The good news is that True Grit will overtake Little Fockers this week. There's no question that going into an awards-buzz January that a well-received film will have more staying power and the two finished so close last week. I think $16-18 million is safe. "Fockers" should earn about $12-13, which puts it close to Season of the Witch, which I've placed with some modesty and trepidation at $10-12 million. Tron: Legacy should also fall thereabouts, but I'll go with the novelty over expectations of another good week for Disney's big film.

I'm just going to take a stab at no. 5. I'll slide 'em down and pick
Yogi Bear considering it has no competition. The dramas, however, look poised to make a run at the top five again, I just have no time to interpret who might make the big move.

1. True Grit
2. Little Fockers
3. Season of the Witch
4. Tron: Legacy
5. Yogi Bear


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