Box Office Forecast: November 4-6, 2011 [EDDIE MURPHY FTW]

Hello and welcome to my brand new weekly blog entry, the Box Office Forecast! This will replace “Box Office Predictions”, because I aim to bring you a better insight of the upcoming weekend in terms of the movies. I realized that my previous entries were too “Stat-centric”, so I changed it up a bit to make this blog entry friendlier to the average moviegoer.

So to start things off let me show you what to expect this weekend. The month of November usually signals the beginning of the holiday season, and you’ll soon witness a sudden jump in ticket sales from last month as Tower Heist and A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas attempt to revitalize the box office. October was ho-hum for the movies, but you can blame it on the movies themselves, which consisted of sequels, adaptations and spin-offs.

Tower Heist stars Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy as they head a group of guys who find out that they’ve fallen victim to a wealthy business man’s Ponzi scheme, so they conspire to rob his high-rise residence.  While the story may seem fairly simple, critics think otherwise, as the movie is already drawing good reviews with a 75% Fresh rating over at Rotten Tomatoes. Critics point out that this is Murphy’s finest performance in a long time. Plus, given it’s the end of the Halloween season, I think people will want to have a few laughs and enjoy a simple movie like this. This could go as high as $30M.

Another movie premiering this weekend is the third entry from the stoner Harold and Kumar franchise, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, starring John Cho and Kal Penn. It’s been years since “Escape From Guantanamo Bay” was released, and this movie seems a bit different from the previous two. But the movie has a respectable following which will flock the theaters for sure. The last movie opened at $14.5M, but this one is in 3D. Given that people don’t seem to be fond of 3D these days we shouldn’t factor this in. My guess is Neil Patrick Harris will steal the show and bring in most of the laughs. I didn’t really enjoy Guantanamo Bay as much as “White Castle”, but some people do and they’ll be the ones who’ll bring this to the high-teens range

As for the holdovers, we first look at Puss In Boots, which was stomped by the unexpected storm last weekend. It earned $34.1M in its opening weekend, very far from the norm (though recently non-sequel animated movies have been earning quite low) so it probably won’t drop too big. It’s a possible contender for the top spot if people end up watching this over Tower Heist. I expect a respectable 35% drop, maybe even smaller, but it won’t do better than the last Shrek movie when its run is over.

Other movies which should stay in the top 7 would be Paranormal Activity, In Time, Footloose and The Rum Diary. All movies will probably earn half of their claim last week, since none of these movies had strong word-of-mouth.

TOP 7 PREDICTIONS

$27.5M – Tower Heist

$21.6M – Puss In Boots

$17.5M – Harold and Kumar

$8.2M – Paranormal Activity 3

$5.9M – In Time

$3.1M – Footloose

$2.6M – The Rum Diary

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