The box office is not looking too hot. So far this year, it’s underperformed significantly as compared to 2010. That year did have Avatar pulling in massive amounts of cash at this point, but even comparing the 2011 numbers to the totals in 2009 and 2008 shows we’re off to particularly slow start. So, is this the weekend we could finally see some higher numbers? Quite possibly. With four new wide releases, two of which certainly have a shot at cracking $20 million, we could see a nice improvement.
First up is Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. No, documentaries aren’t typically cash cows, but this is Justin Bieber we’re talking about. This is basically Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, but bigger. That one only earned $12.5 million in its opening weekend about this time in 2009, but it opened in half the amount of theaters. You can also consider Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour. That one arrived in 683 theaters, but came in with a whopping $31.1 million in week one. It’s quite unlikely that Bieber will repeat Cyrus’ $45,561 per theater average, but he certainly has a shot at $8,000, which would give him a $24 million opening.
Just Go With It will likely be this weekend’s big winner. It’s getting the widest release of the batch, opening in 3,400 theaters, and has Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman to boot. With Valentine’s Day on Monday, odds are, a number of you out there will be looking to get your romcom on at the theater and other than old-timer, No Strings Attached, this is your only option. Last year, the hit of the holiday was Valentine’s Day. Just Go With It probably won’t come anywhere near that film’s massive $56 million start, but it certainly has a shot at being on par with another Aniston film, He’s Just Not That Into You, taking in around $28 million.
Debuting in 2,700 theaters is Kelly Asbury’s animated film, Gnomeo and Juliet. This one might need a little help with Bieber stealing all the younger moviegoers. It’s the first family friendly film to hit theaters in a bit, so that’ll certainly be a draw, but not enough to enable the film to post a number. We’re not talking Alpha and Omega bad, but Gnomeo and Juliet might have a tough time cracking $15 million even with the higher 3D ticket prices.
Last up for the new releases is The Eagle, which doesn’t look as though it’ll put up an impressive weekend total either. This one is dropping in 2,150 theaters and as a period action piece, might have a hard time attracting a wide audience. The Eagle will probably draw the folks who’ve already covered Sanctum and The Mechanic and considering neither of those films put up big numbers, this one won’t either. In fact, it might not out-earn The Mechanic’s $11.4 million opening or even Sanctum’s $9.4 million start. It’s looking like an $8 million first week for The Eagle.
On the bright side, that should be enough for it to steal the fourth position from last weekend’s top earner, The Roommate. Should that one follow the path of The Crazies, it’ll see a rough 50% week two drop, leaving it with just over $7 million. As for Sanctum, there’s just really no light at the end of the tunnel. After a tough start, it’ll only get worse. Its earnings could be slashed in half and then some giving it a weak $4 million intake for week two. Should The King’s Speech continue to just inch its way down, it should find a place right between last weekend’s newcomers in the sixth spot with about $6 million.
As for the rest, it’s all about which downhill slope is steeper. After a massive 62.2% drop in week two, The Rite looks to have no chance at holding onto a top ten position and the same goes for The Mechanic which fell 53.6%. That leaves us with fifth week vet The Green Hornet holding on with about $4 million, No Strings Attached getting a little love for the holiday with $4 million and Oscar nominee, True Grit taking the last spot with $3 million.
1. Just Go With It
2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
3. Gnomeo & Juliet
4. The Eagle
5. The Roommate
6. The King’s Speech
8. No Strings Attached
9. The Green Hornet
10. True Grit
By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)