Box Office Predictions: October 10-12

Four new movies make their debuts on Friday at the box office – Robert Downey Jr.’s The Judge, the Steve Carell/Jennifer Garner family comedy Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the horror retelling Dracula Untold, and steamy thriller Addicted. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each one of them here:

The question is: can any of them make current #1 Gone Girl disappear from the top spot? It’s certainly possible as The Judge, Alexander, and Dracula could all exceed my estimates and all stand at least a chance of opening atop the charts. Addicted, on a meager 800 screens, is highly unlikely to even crack the top five.

However, I believe Gone Girl will manage to stay #1, despite it serious competition. Annabelle, after a fantastic debut (more on that below), should suffer the same large fall in its sophomore frame that most horror titles do.

And with that, my predictions for the weekend’s top five:

1. Gone Girl

Predicted Gross: $24.2 million (representing a drop of 35%)

2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Predicted Gross: $18.7 million

3. The Judge

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

4. Annabelle

Predicted Gross: $14.8 million (representing a drop of 60%)

5. Dracula Untold

Predicted Gross: $14.4 million

**My Addicted projected gross of $4.5M should put it in eighth place.

Box Office Results (October 3-5)

The debuts of David Fincher’s acclaimed Gone Girl and Conjuring horror prequel Annabelle injected some much needed life into the box office and created the biggest October weekend of all time!

As predicted, Gone Girl took top honors with $37.5 million, just below my $39.6M projection. This is Fincher’s highest debut of all time and clearly audiences were ready for the much buzzed about adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel. I expect it to perform well in the coming weeks and it should easily blast past $100M.

I did not give that demonic doll Annabelle nearly enough credit as it opened just behind Girl with a magnificent $37.1 million – miles ahead of my small $21.2M prediction. This is easily the best horror opening of 2014 and bodes extremely well for that Conjuring sequel coming in October of 2015.

Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer fell to third with $18.7 million in weekend two, holding up better than my estimated $16.7M. The action thriller has earned $64 million in ten days and should have no problem passing the century mark.

The animated pic The Boxtrolls dropped to fourth with $11.9 million, in line with my $11.4M projection. The decently performing kiddie pic has earned $32 million in two weeks and should finish with around $65M.

The Maze Runner held up well in weekend three with $11.6 million – more than my $9.8M estimate. The new YA franchise has taken in $73M thus far and will also become a member of the $100M club.

Finally, Nicolas Cage’s Left Behind posted an unimpressive opening of $6.3 million, below my $7.6M prediction. Look for this one to disappear faster its lead actor’s hairline.

And that’s all for now, friends!

Box Office Predictions: October 3-5

The first box office weekend of October is bound to be a highly unpredictable one as three new pics enter the marketplace: David Fincher’s Gone Girl, the horror prequel Annabelle, and faith-based Nicolas Cage thriller Left Behind. You can read my detailed individual prediction posts on each of them here:

Here’s where the unpredictability comes in and it applies to all three new films…

Gone Girl is riding a wave of favorable reviews and it’s based on a very well-known 2012 Gillian Flynn novel. Yet movies like this can sometimes open decently and develop sturdy legs in subsequent weekends. My prediction for Gone Girl is definitely on the high end of expectations.

Annabelle, the prequel/spinoff of last summer’s hit The Conjuring, could easily surpass my prediction, which is definitely on the low end of expectations. It’s conceivable that these two newcomers could fight it out for #1, though my estimates do not reflect that.

Left Behind is another wild card. It is based on a series of well-known novels and its Christian themes could certainly give it a better opening than I’m predicting.

Add all that up and it equals a weekend where surprises would not be surprising. As for holdovers, I anticipate current #1 The Equalizer should lose about half its audience, with smaller declines for the animated The Boxtrolls and YA flick The Maze Runner.

And with that – we’ll do a top 6 predictions for the weekend:

1. Gone Girl

Predicted Gross: $39.6 million

2. Annabelle

Predicted Gross: $21.2 million

3. The Equalizer

Predicted Gross: $16.7 million (representing a drop of 51%)

4. The Boxtrolls

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million (representing a drop of 34%)

5. The Maze Runner

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million (representing a drop of 44%)

6. Left Behind

Predicted Gross: $7.6 million

Box Office Results (September 26-28)

It was a terrific weekend for yours truly with newcomers, while I didn’t give a couple of holdovers enough credit and gave another a bit too much.

As expected, Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer easily topped the charts with a rock solid $34.1 million, right in line with my $34.8M projection. The action thriller managed the fourth best September debut ever and the third best for star Washington.

YA hit The Maze Runner slipped to second with $17.4 million, holding up quite better than my $14.6M estimate. The budding new franchise has earned $57 million in ten days and is definitely a treat to pass $100M when all is said and done.

The animated feature The Boxtrolls took third with $17.2 million. My prediction… $17.2M! I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that one and this represents a decent opening for the pic.

In fourth, ensemble comedy This Is Where I Leave You made $6.8 million in week two, outpacing my $5.8M projection. It’s made an OK $22 million in ten days.

Fifth place belonged to Dolphin Tale 2 in its third frame with $4.7 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five.

That’s because I had the Liam Neeson actioner A Walk Among the Tombstones earning $6.1 million in weekend #2, yet it only managed $4.1M. This major disappointment has grossed only $20 million so far and should top out with only about $30M.

That’s all for now, friends. ‘Till next time…

Left Behind Box Office Prediction

While much audience anticipation should be focused on Gone Girl and Annabelle this weekend, there is another title heading to theaters Friday. It’s the apocalyptic thriller Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage, based on a bestselling series of books catered to faith based readers.

This is not the first adaptation of the novels to the screen as a version starring Kirk Cameron (!) opened in 2005. This reboot costars Chad Michael Murray and former “American Idol” Jordin Sparks. As far as making a prediction for how this will perform, here’s the main challenge: there’s no current theater screen count at press time.

If this opens on 2000 screens, my predicted number will certainly be different than if it opens on 700. In other words, I’m in a guess work frame of mind here. I’ll say this: this will probably be the only time I wager an estimate on a Nicolas Cage flick where his role was originally played by Kirk Cameron.

This could potentially reach the Christian audience it’s going after, but I don’t see this doing much at all. I’ll reserve to right to change my prediction if the theater count forces me to do so, but for now…

Left Behind opening weekend prediction: $7.6 million

For my Gone Girl prediction, click here:

For my Annabelle prediction, click here: