Box Office Results: November 25-27, 2011 [TWILIGHT FENDS OFF MUPPETS]

Why is it that I always nail the right numbers for Twilight? For the second week in a row, I end up just a couple of million short of the actual gross of Breaking Dawn. The film also managed to hold off three new movies to claim the top spot for the second straight time, albeit lagging behind New Moon once again.

Number One Movie Predicted Correctly: 2 Weeks in a Row

Number of Times I Nailed the Top 7: 5

#1 MOVIE THIS WEEK – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (2nd Week) – You’ve already seen the faces of R. Patz and K. Stew four times in my blog, but what can I do? It’s not like I can put The Muppets there. Fortunately, I see The Muppets pulling off a Blind Side next week, with Breaking Dawn slipping to second place. déjà vu

Predicted Gross: Rank 1, $40M /Actual Gross: $42.0M (booyah!)

Total Gross: $221.3M

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#2 – THE MUPPETS (1st Week) – I’d really like to congratulate the marketing team of Disney for doing an awesome job of making The Muppets reboot look fun and enjoyable. Weeks of aggressive ads and parodies paid off as the film already outgrossed all but one of the Muppets movies in its first five days.

Predicted Gross: Rank 2, $36.5M /Actual Gross: $29.5M

Total Gross: $42.0M

 

#3 – Happy Feet Two (2nd Week) – I was right when I said that Happy Feet wouldn’t be able to follow Puss In Boots’ footsteps. The animated film dropped by 37% in week 2 and is now lagging the original movie by more than $50M. Not good. Not good at all.

Predicted Gross: Rank 3, $18.2M /Actual Gross: $13.4M

Total Gross: $43.7M

 

#4 – ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (1st Week) – I suddenly realized that I was very bullish with most of my predictions.  It seemed that Wednesday/Thursday had a bigger share in the week’s grosses than I had expected. The film has a respectable 91% Fresh Rating over at RT and I’m a bit sad that people didn’t notice this as much as Happy Feet.

Predicted Gross: Rank 4, $16.3M /Actual Gross: $12.7M

Total Gross: $17.0M

#5 – HUGO (1st Week) – Well, look at that! Martin Scorsese’s 3D adventure did exactly what I said it wouldn’t. It entered the top five, grossed more than $10M and defeated the three holdovers which I declared would take the last three spots in the top 7. Way to go Hugo!

Predicted Gross: Rank 8, $8.5M /Actual Gross: $11.3M

Total Gross: $15.3M

 

#6 – Jack and Jill (3rd Week) – Fell only by 12.3% in its third week, probably the only good thing that occurred to this film.

Predicted Gross: Rank 7, $9.8M /Actual Gross: $10.3M

Total Gross: $57.4M

 

#7 – Immortals (3rd Week) – This movie has a similar budget to Jack and Jill, the only difference is that this one has earned $11M more.

Predicted Gross: Rank 6, $10.0M /Actual Gross: $8.8M

Total Gross: $68.6M

 

TOTAL SCORE: 4 out of 7, with a variance of $3.1286 per prediction

Total Weekend Gross: $162.9M, down $18M from the same weekend last year (when Deathly Hallows Part 1 stayed on top)

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BOX OFFICE FORECAST: NOV. 25-27, 2011 [TWILIGHT TO SUCK MORE BLOOD]

[Note: The predictions I’ll give are for the three-day weekend, not the five-day break]

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ‘Tis the perfect weekend to be watching movies as three films with Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 95% Fresh and above will debut and delight audiences over the extended break, which is very rare! The Muppets, Arthur Christmas, and Hugo are all targeting the family crowd, while last week’s champion The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is still getting fans to watch it again.

The weekend is almost similar to last year’s Thanksgiving feast. Harry Potter 7 Part 1 remained atop in its second weekend despite crashing above 60%. The film is closely followed by Disney’s Tangled, while another animated movie, Megamind settled at a distant third. Much like Potter,   Breaking Dawn is also heavily frontloaded and is expected to bleed like New Moon. The film usually caters to its huge fanbase rather than the general audience, which means that Summit Entertainment will rely heavily on the film’s followers to get it to first place again. However, despite the disadvantage, don’t be surprised to see Breaking Dawn atop the box office once again.

If Potter is to Twilight, then The Muppets is to Tangled. The latter won the hearts of many last year with its fresh retelling of the classic fairytale. And judging by the early reviews, I guess we can conclude that Jason Segel, Amy Adams and the Muppets will also get the same reception. With its 97% Fresh rating at RT, this reboot is expected to have a solid run box office run – bringing nostalgia to its long-time fans and at the same time enticing new ones.

Last week’s major disappointment, Happy Feet Two, is set to perform far worse than its predecessor in its second weekend. The sequel to the Oscar-winning animated pic won’t be able to pull off what Puss in Boots was able to do a few weeks back. The film will be dragged down by all new releases but will probably end up taking the third spot.

Another animated movie, Arthur Christmas, is vying for fourth place. The film is backed by Aardman Animations, the same company that brought us Wallace and Gromit and Flushed Away. Although lacking buzz, Arthur is still expected to rake in double digits and finish ahead of the last major new release.

I usually just predict the top 7 movies, but I’ll make an exception to give room for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. This will be his first attempt to make a children’s film, and while it’s being praised by most critics, theatre owners doubt its ability to attract moviegoers. It will open in 1277 theaters, significantly smaller than The Muppets’ 3440 and Arthur Christmas’ 3376. It would be almost impossible for Hugo to get above $10M because of that.

With Scorsese expected to take eighth place, holdovers Puss in Boots, Immortals, and Jack and Jill will get the remaining three spots in the top 7, wherein anyone can outperform each other.

TOP 7 PREDICTIONS

#1 – $40.0M – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

#2 – $36.5M – The Muppets

#3 – $18.2M – Happy Feet Two

#4 – $16.3M – Arthur Christmas

#5 – $10.1M – Puss in Boots

#6 – $10.0M – Immortals

#7 – $9.8M – Jack and Jill

#8 – $8.5M – Hugo

244th Movie Review: King Arthur

A mediocre film in a medieval setting

Nice try, attempting to make the tale of King Arthur less mystical and more legendary by incorporating him into historical facts, but it didn’t work. Somehow, it came out awkward. Still, I was ready to give it a higher rating; but after seeing how it ended, I just couldn’t.

Why? I’ll tell you later. But first, let me take a step back and talk about what happened. The film is set in 450 A.D, when the Roman Empire has begun to fall and its armies are fleeing the British Isles. Arthur (Clive Owen) is a devoted Christian torn between his desire to travel to Rome to serve his faith and his loyalty to the land of his birth. Amidst all the chaos in Europe, Arthur works with a band of knights who hope to restore order to their fair and pleasant land and hopes to win freedom for his comrades, among them Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd), Galahad (Hugh Dancy), Tristan (Mads Mikkelsen), Gawain (Joel Edgerton), Bors (Ray Winstone), and Dagonet (Ray Stevenson). In time, Arthur and his men join forces with Merlin (Stephen Dillane), a shaman (he got demoted) whose band of renegade knights were often pitched in battle against Roman forces. Forming a united front as loyal Englishmen against the invading Saxon armies, Arthur, Merlin, and the brave and beautiful Guinevere (Keira Knightley) are determined to unite a sovereign Britain under one army… and one king.

Typical on films set in the Dark ages, it’s a bit difficult to understand the backstory by the dialogues alone. Not necessarily bad, but it keeps you from enjoying the show. At the same time you’re trying to remember the names of the knights, which is also a headache. One doesn’t have the time to memorize those things. The fighting scenes get a bit tiring too, with only the final exhibition as an exception. The first 50 minutes were meh, nothing out of the ordinary, but I became more attentive when Arthur discovered a gem hidden in a filthy dungeon: Keira Knightley. She looked too precious to be a prisoner, even if they tried making her look dehydrated.

As for the others, no one stood out in particular. I was left unimpressed with their introductions, especially Arthur, but they all seemed to progress fine as time passed by. Later you’ll begin to see the bond that the knights have formed in their 15 years of service despite the lack of a clear backstory.

What I disliked the most about the movie is its lack of focus. There’s the part where Arthur realizes that the Rome he loved wasn’t actually as perfect and as just as what he had boasted it to be. But halfway into the film the Saxons arrive and he almost forgets all about it. Merlin gets tangled in there somewhere, which behaved more like a grandpa than a leader. A couple of the knights then die after Arthur battles the Saxons. However, instead of making the mood solemn, we see Arthur and Guinevere tie the knot at Stonehenge.  The film had two hours and eight minutes, but it’s sad that they only spent a couple to finish it all off. Without the magic, Arthur is nothing but generic.

GRADE: C+

I Agreed With the MAJORITY

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% Fresh, 4.9/10 Critic Rating

Internet Movie Database: 6.2/10 User Rating

Metacritic: 46/100

Box Office Results: November 18-20, 2011 [TWILIGHT STILL A BEHEMOTH]

The Twilight Saga may be the most ridiculed movie adaptation of the century, but its loyal fanbase sure is enormous. Not only did it open at #1, it also managed to boost box office grosses by 12% from the same weekend last year! However, it wasn’t able to top New Moon’s $142M record, which means the result was dead on with my prediction!

Number One Movie Predicted Correctly: 1 Week in a Row

Number of Times I Nailed the Top 7: 5

#1 MOVIE THIS WEEK – THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN (1st Week) – Remember last week when I said I would quit blogging if I guessed the #1 movie wrong? So to all the haters, I’m sorry to say you’re going to have to endure my writing. I was also only about $0.5M shy of the actual gross, which is rare considering the margin of error is huge.

Moving on, Breaking Dawn now holds the record for the 5th Biggest Opening Weekend ever, behind New Moon and pushing back Dead Man’s Chest in the process. That’s insanely high for a film that has a 25% Fresh rating over at RottenTomatoes. If that’s the case, then this phenomenon of a franchise really is unavoidable to the point that those who hate the franchise would still watch the movie to poke fun at it while the fangirls squeal with joy over their favorite actors.

Predicted Gross: Rank 1, $140M /Actual Gross: $139.5M

Total Gross: $139.5M

#2 – HAPPY FEET TWO (1st Week) – It is by sheer observation that I conclude that 3D and Animation don’t mix. The sequel of the Oscar-winning movie had a very bad start this weekend, which does not bode well for the film. For one, it’s a family movie but those higher ticket prices are a burden to parents. But a bigger reason could be that families avoided watching this week due to theaters being flooded by Twihards. Or maybe it’s just that it’s not a good movie. Whatever the reason is, it’s bad news for animated films in general. Puss in Boots managed to hold very well in the past three weeks, maybe this one can too heading into December (It’ll face heavy competition against The Muppets next week though)

Predicted Gross: Rank 2, $40.0M /Actual Gross: $22.0M (not even close)

Total Gross: $22.0M

 

#3 – Immortals (2nd Week) – Last Week’s champion suffered an early descent by crashing 62% from last week. Considering its strong start I’m not surprised by the result and frankly I have to say it’s not performing as well as Relativity had wanted.

Predicted Gross: Rank 3, $14.5M /Actual Gross: $12.3M (62.0%)

Total Gross: $52.9M

 

#4 – Jack and Jill (2nd Week) Adam Sandler’s latest outing bled as much as You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, but it still fared worse than his previous works.

Predicted Gross: Rank 5, $12.0M /Actual Gross: $12.0M (Booyah!) (-52.0%)

Total Gross: $41.0M

 

#5 – Puss in Boots (4th Week) – In its fourth weekend in theaters, Puss still mustered enough energy to rake in more than $10M. It has now earned $122M, almost FOUR times its opening gross. Yep, that’s how great movies perform.

Predicted Gross: Rank 4, $12.2M /Actual Gross: $10.7M (-56.6%)

Total Gross: $122.3M

 

#6 – Tower Heist (3rd week)

Predicted Gross: Rank 6, $6.2M /Actual Gross: $7.0M (-45.2%)

Total Gross: $53.4M

 

#7 – J. Edgar – (2nd Week) – Performed normally. Toldja

Predicted Gross: Rank 7, $6.1M /Actual Gross: $5.9M (-47.4%)

Total Gross: $20.7M

 

TOTAL SCORE: 5 out of 7, with a variance of $3.31428 per prediction

Total Weekend Gross: $218M, up $24M from the same weekend last year (Deathly Hallows Part 1 seized #1)

BOX OFFICE FORECAST: NOV. 18-20, 2011 [BREAKING RECORDS BEFORE DAWN]

The holiday box-office season officially kicks off this weekend with the grand premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, the second to the last entry in the Twilight franchise that is expected by most to break midnight records and eclipse (pun intended) New Moon’s previous opening record of $142.8M. I on the other hand, don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the movie will fall short of expectations. In fact, the only reason why I believe this movie won’t edge out its predecessor is because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 also didn’t outperform Half-Blood Prince (in the long run). But hey, why should Summit Entertainment worry about a few million dollars when they’re about to rake in more than a hundred?

Thanks to the large number of Twi-hards dying to catch the movie, overall box office for the upcoming weekend will end up a lot higher than the same weekend last year – when Deathly Hallows Part 1 went past $100M in its first three days.  Twilight will definitely play a big role in here, but the performance of another movie will also have a significant part of the weekend’s total gross.

Happy Feet Two promises to be a fun animated movie that caters to kids as well as families. It’s an excellent counterprogramming to the teen-driven Breaking Dawn Part 1, which means that it’ll neither be hindered nor aided by its competition. Unfortunately, even if the first movie won Best Animated Feature five years ago at the Oscars, the sequel looks more of the same judging by the trailers. And from what we’ve seen with Kung Fu Panda 2, sequels of animated films that have similar storylines tend to post mediocre grosses.

Last week’s top three films, Immortals, Puss in Boots, and Jack and Jill, will drop by an average of 50%. Immortals’ second week performance will be affected by poor word-of-mouth. The same goes for Jack and Jill, which I believe will be overtaken by Puss for 4th place. Tower Heist and J. Edgar will round out the top 7.

TOP 7 PREDICTIONS

#1 – $140.0M – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

#2 – $40.0M – Happy Feet Two

#3 – $14.5M – Immortals

#4 – $12.2M – Puss in Boots

#5 – $12.0M – Jack and Jill

#6 – $6.2M – Tower Heist

#7 – $6.1M – J. Edgar

Box Office Results: November 11-13, 2011 [GODS BANISH PUSS]

The Immortals vanquished the competition this week when it was expected that either Jack and Jill or Puss In Boots will dominate. Relativity Media just had their big break because I just read that they had their biggest opening weekend ever (Limitless opened with $15M this year)! That’s good news for them because had this not performed well, it could bring the company to ashes.

Number One Movie Predicted Correctly: 0 Weeks in a Row (for the 2nd week in a row)

Number of Times I Nailed the Top 7: 5

#1 MOVIE THIS WEEK – IMMORTALS (1st Week) – Although the film earned less than half of what 300 raked in during its opening weekend, nobody expected it to match the epic. Instead, people think of Immortals as a film that saved Relativity from bankruptcy. Unfortunately, with a weak 38% Fresh rating at Rottentomatoes, you can’t expect it to do well in the next few weeks. That big Friday-to-Saturday fall is already a sign.

Predicted Gross: Rank 3, $20.5M /Actual Gross: $32.0M

Total Gross: $32.0M

 

#2 – JACK AND JILL (1st Week) – Well, look at that! Half a million more people watched Adam Sandler’s lowest-rated movie in RT ever than I expected! But compared to his previous works where he also does his crazy antics, Jack and Jill fared worse (critically and financially). I’m not surprised though. Looking at the movie poster you’d already know it’ll get a 3% fresh rating.

Predicted Gross: Rank 2, $22.2M /Actual Gross: $26.0M

Total Gross: $26.0M

 

#3 – Puss in Boots (3rd Week) – Right on Sandler’s tails is ma’ feline friend named Puss, who I thought was going to make a three-peat this week. But hey, it actually earned more than the $23.1M I predicted. I may not have guessed the #1 movie correctly this time, but I promise you this: Next week I’ll get it right, or else, I’ll quit blogging.

Predicted Gross: Rank 1, $23.1M /Actual Gross: $25.5M (-22.9%)

Total Gross: $108.8M

 

#4 – Tower Heist (2nd Week)

Predicted Gross: Rank 4, $12.5M /Actual Gross: $13.2M (-45.1%)

Total Gross: $43.9M

 

#5 – J. EDGAR (1st Week) – I was dead on with this one! J. Edgar neither impressed nor underperformed, which means it won’t be remembered by the general public at least until we hear that Leonardo DiCaprio’s nominated for Best Actor.

Predicted Gross: Rank 5, $11.2M /Actual Gross: $11.4M

Total Gross: $11.4M

 

#6 – A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2nd Week) – Nailed this one too! The third entry to the franchise held better than its predecessor, but relatively it’s still trailing the second movie by $12M

Predicted Gross: Rank 6, $6.0M /Actual Gross: $5.9M (-54.5%)

Total Gross: $23.2M

 

#7 – In Time (3rd Week)

Predicted Gross: Rank 7, $4.5M /Actual Gross: $4.2M (-44.5%)

Total Gross: $30.7M

 

TOTAL SCORE: 5 out of 7, with a variance of $2.71428M per prediction

Total Weekend Gross: $135M, up $14M from the same weekend last year (Megamind was #1 for the 2nd week)


243rd Movie Review: A Walk To Remember

A little too PG to be taken seriously

A story centered on a bad guy turned good and an old-fashioned, conservative, soft-spoken girl? Not exactly the most exciting pairing, but I guess you can say that A Walk to Remember is the epitome of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation – a movie that was almost alright, but not quite.

Let me give you some info about the plot. Landon Carter (Shane West) is a cocky high school student hanging out with the cool kids over at Beaufort High School. He gets sentenced to community service when a student becomes paralyzed during a hazing incident schemed by him and his peers. He’s also forced to participate in his school’s drama club, which ultimately leads him to seek help from Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. At first Carter decides to conceal his interactions with Jamie to the public, fearing that he may be seen by his friends and be criticized. However, after the school play he falls in love with her, and he begins to change his perception of things around him. He loses his popularity to be with her in public, but problems arise once again when he discovers a secret that Jamie’s been hiding for years.

Save for the squeaky-clean dialogue, the overprotective dad and the outrageous make-up of Shane West, the movie actually looks nice. On paper, a man’s unending love for a dying woman really is romantic, but the execution was so bad that nothing came out interesting enough for me to get emotionally attached to the characters. And it doesn’t help that the lead actors didn’t have chemistry. Although it was her acting debut, I can’t help but notice how dreadful Moore’s acting was during the scenes where we were supposed to be teary-eyed and all that. Heck, the only time I felt that way was when Landon hugged his father. West wasn’t any better either, though he certainly looks the part.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like the film… but it wasn’t that bad. There just wasn’t anything that could’ve made me care more about the story. I don’t know how different Nicholas Sparks’ books are with the movies, but if I were to choose between watching a movie based on one of her books and reading the actual book, I’d pick the latter.

GRADE: C

I Agreed With the MAJORITY

Rotten Tomatoes: 27% Fresh, 4.1/10 Critic Rating

Internet Movie Database: 7.1/10 User Rating

Metacritic: 35/100