Weekend Box Office Predictions: 9/18/12

My apologies for taking a week off from my box office preview and wrap up but after the surprisingly huge amount of time writing my end of year preview took, I was a bit mentally exhausted and discussing the box office was far from my mind. Given a week, though, I’m back and ready for more. We’ve got two strong releases this weekend, but there’s about a 90% that the significantly worse film will open at number one.

Hotel Transylvania

Like I said in my end of year preview, I do like this concept. And the best comparison is still probably Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It’s not too often anymore that we get a light-hearted Halloween movie and, for whatever reason, Adam Sandler does still get people to turn out for his films. Although reviews for his latest project are mediocre (46% at Rotten Tomatoes), that’s still an improvement from most of his other recent films. I’ll stick with 27 million as my prediction.

Second place will go to Looper, which as its reviews indicate (a stellar 92% at Rotten Tomatoes), successfully melds philosophical dissections of time travel coupled with intense action scenes and strong acting. I’m pretty excited to see this movie, the first time I’ve been legitimately pumped for a movie since in over a month. I hope Americans actually respond to a smart film, but they often disappoint me. Nonetheless, I will again stand by my prediction from my end of year of preview and say 21 million.

Third will likely go to last weekend’s champ, End of Watch, which won a tightly contested weekend in which the top three films were separated by less than one million. It’s well reviewed, so I think it should have a decent hold. Give it 7.8 million. Not far behind will be Trouble with the Curve, which should also hold decently, so let’s give the Clint Eastwood film 7.3 million.

House at the End of the Street, as a horror film, will fall harder than either of the other two openers from last weekend. It should plummet down to about 5.7 million. I’m thinking the third opener of the weekend, Won’t Back Down, should follow in sixth with 5.5 million. Finding Nemo 3-D will come in just behind with 5.4 million. In eighth, we have The Master, which had a decent debut when it expanded to wide release last weekend. It doesn’t add too many theatres this weekend, so I think it should make about about 3.5 million.

Next up is Resident Evil Retribution, which should stabilize a bit, but will probably still fall about 50% to around 3.4 million. Dredd is going to crash and burn, soon to be almost entirely forgotten. I think it’ll fall over 60% down to around 2.6 million. And that wraps up this weekend. I’ve decided to go to back to only predicting the top 10, since that seems to be the common practice, although I find it very strangely that when ranking weekends’ cumulative grosses among all movies, Box Office Mojo uses the top 12. Go figure. Anyway, check back Sunday night to see how (in)accurate my predictions were.

1. Hotel Transylvania: 27 million

2. Looper: 21 million

3. End of Watch: 7.8 million

4. Trouble with the Curve: 7.3 million

5. House at the End of the Street: 5.7 million

6. Won’t Back Down: 5.5 million

7. Finding Nemo 3D: 5.4 million

8. The Master: 3.5 million

9. Resident Evil Retribution: 3.4 million

10. Dredd: 2.6 million

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