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

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