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July 13-15 Box Office Preview

Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will no doubt dominate the weekend. The other major question is how well Transformers will hold up in its second week after a very impressive first week/weekend and continued strong week day performances.

Opening on Wednesday obviously limits the weekend box office potential of Harry Potter 5, but that doesn’t mean it won’t still rake in a ton of money over the weekend frame.

Initial estimates for the film were at around the $70-90 million range, but with the midnight, opening day and second days out of the way, we have a clearer view of how it’ll perform. In that vein, the most assured weekend take looks to be around the $75-85 million range. The large dropoff from the strong opening day to second day ($44.23 million to $18.37 million, or 58.5%) indicates it’ll likely open in the low end of predictions. Note: That $44.23 million includes the midnight record take of $12 million.

In terms of critics, the fifth installment is getting fairly good praise. It’s sitting at 77% over at Rotten Tomatoes and 71% at Meta Critic. The general audience seems pleased as well, with the film garnering scores of 87% at RT and a 7.2/10 at Meta Critic.

So onto the predictions. With $62.61 million already netted through its first two days, I’m predicting a weekend gross of $85.8 (from 4,285 theaters–over 9,000 prints), which would put its five-day take at nearly $150 million ($148.4 million).

This weekends only other new release is After Dark Films’ horror/thriller Captivity. The film, which stars Elisha Cuthbert, opens in only 1,050 theaters. With the low theater count and relatively low key presence of the film, it’s not really expected to debut well. Because of those factors, I’m going for a a weekend take of $3.0 million.

Moving to the other expected top 10 films, let’s first look at last week’s number 1, Transformers. It held on fairly strong during the week, and I think the film is pretty safe at staying below the 50% second week drop, dropping somewhere more in the neighborhood of 45-48 percent. I’m going on the lower end and predicting a take of $38.1 million (-46%). That would put the film slightly above $225(.1) million through only two weekends of release and well past the $300 million mark worldwide. With its tight, and may I add well spent, budget of $150 million, it’s doing great business for Paramount. So long as it doesn’t go through drastic 50%+ drops, it has a very good chance at hitting $300 million and beyond, challenging Spider-Man 3 for the crown of highest grossing film of the year. The film will also add an additional 39 theaters, pushing its theater count to 4,050.

Ratatouille also held up well over the week, and should have another 40%/sub 40% week drop. I’m predicting $17.3 million for the Disney/Pixar animated film. That would put its domestic total at $126.8 million. Though it’s gotten great reviews and praise by fans and critics alike, it looks like this will be one of the lower grossing Disney/Pixar films.

And lastly on the agenda is 20th Century Fox’s Live Free or Die Hard. The film should drop less than 50%. I’m going for a third week take of $9.8 million (45% drop). When all is said and done, Live Free should pass the $100 million domestic mark, settling in at around $101.8 million (and approaching $200 million worldwide).

My predictions for the rest of the top 10 follows below (as well as for the five movies mentioned above).

(Place) (Movie) (Theaters) (Weekend Gross Estimate)

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — 4,285 — $85.8 million
2. Transformers — 4,050 (+39) — $38.1 million
3. Ratatouille — 3,625 (-315) — $17.3 million
4. Live Free Or Die Hard — 3,201 (-210) — $9.8 million
5. License to Wed — 2,715 (+111) — $5.5 million
6. Evan Almighty — 2,696 (-764) — $4.9 million
7. 1408 — 2,206 (-425) — $4.4 million
8. Knocked Up — 1,709 (-504) — $3.4 million
9. Captivity — 1,050 — $3.0 million
10. Sicko — 756 (+54) — $2.8 million

Note: These are just predictions. They could be accurate, they could be way off. It’s always fun to play the guessing game.

Source: Official box office stats courtesy Box Office Mojo

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