BOX OFFICE FORECAST: DECEMBER 23-25, 2011 [A JAMPACKED CHRISTMAS]

[Note: My apologies for not being able to post detailed box office results for last week. It sucks because I really wanted to write about the disaster that happened. I’ll make it up to you this week]

When five new movies are expected to be released nationwide over five days, you’ll have no choice but to pick the best one out of the crop. Of course, a lot of factors kick in, but in the end there’s only one result: it’s going to be a crowded weekend at the movies.

There’s a film for everyone this Christmas: drama, action, animation, thriller, family, horror, comedy. The variation will not only benefit moviegoers, but the movies as well. These new films may not be expected to break any records, but in the long run they could end up having grosses north of $100M since most of them are currently holding fresh ratings at Rotten Tomatoes. And word of mouth is very important especially during Oscar season.

                However, none of those movies will probably catch up to Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, as it goes all-in and expands into more than 3000 theaters. After having an amazing run  in 400+ IMAX theaters, the critically praised sequel will have no problem in attracting moviegoers and raking in the money to claim the top spot.

                With MI4 taking the crown, the highly-anticipated The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will have to settle for second place. It could end up surprising us though, but I suspect that die-hard fans of the Millennium novels will catch it during the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday), which will affect the film’s performance over the weekend.

                After a very disappointing $39.5M debut last week, the current #1 film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows will have no room to breathe and relax as competition pushes it down the chart. It may even fall a bit lower and concede to fourth or fifth place. Good word-of-mouth could propel it north of $20M though, but it’s highly unlikely.

                This week’s wildcard goes to Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin. Inspired by the series of graphic novels of the same name, Tintin is less popular in the US compared to Europe, but it should entice enough audiences to pull off an average box office run. It will have to battle Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked if it wants to get to the top four but right now Tintin has the advantage since it’s new while the latter even struggled to capture moviegoers’ attention last week with its terrible $25M start (as compared to the previous films).

                Among other new releases, We Bought A Zoo should have a decent debut. War Horse and The Darkest Hour opens on Christmas Eve which means that their weekend grosses will represent only their first day earnings. War Horse should garner more ticket sales than the latter, which looks like it’s being overshadowed by the overwhelming number of new releases. All movies are predicted to do well over the week.

                TOP 7 PREDICTIONS

#1 – $30.4M – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

#2 – $21.2M – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

#3 – $18.1M – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

#4 – $13.5M – The Adventures of Tintin

#5 – $13.4M – Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

#6 – $11.5M – We Bought A Zoo

#7 – $5.1M – War Horse

#10 – $2.1M – The Darkest Hour

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