UPDATE: Nikki Finke has estimated Friday numbers that putt my numbers to shame:
- Valentine’s Day Friday $16.5M, estimated 4-day weekend $60M
- Percy Jackson $10.5M, $50M
- The Wolfman $10.5M, $35M
- Avatar $4.8M, $24M
- Dear John $4.5M, $19M
It seems I vastly underestimated the new releases but I also think some of those numbers are a little inflated, we’ll see in less then two days.
In the first corner we have Benicio Del Furry, in the second corner some troubled teenager that can control water and in the third (and final) corner we have some Valentine mash-up with enough actors for 10 movies. One of this three will win the Valentine weekend in NA and I will try to go over each one with all the pros and cons and maybe find out who that will be.
Warning, a long post is coming up, if you just want to see the numbers scroll all the way down.
Valentine’s Day opens in 3665 theaters this weekend and stars Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts and Julia Roberts. It is also directed by Garry Marshall (Pretty Women, Runaway Bride) and it’s missing Richard Gere. V Day has a mighty awful 15% tomato meter (15 fresh, 88 rotten), a running time of 125 minutes and a PG-13 rating.
So we have a big cast that has someone for everyone of all ages, the perfect release date with the perfect title, a very high theater count (that means the studio is sure it will make money) and a director with a lot of background in the genre, someone that knows what he’s doing. On the downside, based on what critics say it’s not a very good movie but really, the audience that this movie is aimed at doesn’t give a damn about reviews so that won’t hurt the opening weekend one bit. Then there’s the running time, about 15-25 minutes longer then the norm for the genre, but this will only affect a little the number of showings for the day (probably 5 instead of 6 a day).
With all of that said Valentine’s Day is looking the movie to beat this weekend, I predict $36 million for the 3-day weekend, $40 million for the 4-day holiday weekend.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief opens in 3356 theaters and stars Logan Lerman, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson, Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan. It’s based on the novel by Rick Riordan and is directed by Chris Columbus (first two Harry Potter movies). 49% on RottenTomatoes (37 fresh, 39 rotten) makes it the best reviewed out of the three. 119 minutes running time and a PG rating.
I have not read any of the novels in the Percy Jackson series so this is all a mystery for me, but the fans seem to like it, so that’s a plus. Cast is good, reviews are decent but again, they won’t matter to much for the opening weekend.
I say $27 million for the 3-day weekend and $30 million for the 4-day holiday weekend.
The Wolfman opens in 3222 theaters and stars Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving. Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park 3, Captain America in 2011) is the director and this is a remake of the classic 1941 The Wolf Man. 30% on RottenTomatoes (33/77) is on par with other genre pics so I personally wasn’t expecting a lot more then that. 102 minutes running time and an R rating will help the movie just as much as it will hurt it.
The very troubled production and numerous delays will not help The Wolfman, a movie that was more suited for a Halloween release date then a Valentine’s Day one.
The Wolfman will probably suffer the most and open with about $22 million for the 3-day weekend and $25 million for the 4-day holiday weekend.
Three major motion pictures with very wide releases and somewhat high expectations from their studios, all released during a holiday weekend, a very crowded holiday weekend.
The top 5 should look like this (4-day holiday weekend):
- Valentine’s Day (WB) $36M ($40M)
- Percy Jackson (Fox) $27M ($30M)
- The Wolfman (Uni) $22M ($25M)
- Avatar (Fox) $18M ($22M)
- Dear John (Sony) $17M ($20M)
Post in the comments your top 5 and in 2 days we will see who was closer to the real results.