BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS: How Many Will “Like” ‘The Social Network’

There are three new releases at this weekend’s Box Office, but only one film has been buzzed about ad infinitum on the internet over the past several weeks. The highly acclaimed film from David Fincher The Social Network will be finally getting a wide release after lots of Oscar speculation and critical acclaim. We will finally find out whether a mainstream audience will react to it as positively as the critics have and whether or not it will get a Box Office boost in the Oscar race. Here’s what I think:

Box Office Predictions
October 1-3, 2010

1) The Social Network (2,771 theatres)
PREDICTION: $37.4 million

Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures have gone for broke with this movie with hundreds of sneak previews and long-running marketing campaign. They have done a great job marketing the film as a movie about Facebook, a site which has over 1 billion users worldwide. I suspect that their efforts will pay off and the first weekend for The Social Network will be huge for this time of year.

2) Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (3,597 theatres)
PREDICTION: $11.1 million

I imagine that many audience members that would be inclined to attend Wall Street in its second week would be more inclined to attend The Social Network. It’s still the movie with the highest theatre count, which means that it will probably have a low per theatre average. It’s star power should keep it on the top ten list longer than other films, but it’s earnings will slump.

3) The Town (2,935 theatres)
PREDICTION: $10.6 million

Ben Affleck’s film has very positive word of mouth and it has been right on Wall Street‘s heels at the daily box office this week. If it manages to have a few more weekends in the top 5 it will strengthen people’s argument that it is a worthy Best Picture contender.

4) Let Me In (2,020 theatres)
PREDICTION: $9.9 million

Despite the fact that the reviews for this film are mostly positive and it’s a horror movie being released in October, the peak month for horror, I still don’t think it is going to start higher than $10 million. The marketers for the film have been selling it as a generic, fast-paced horror movie and the type of audience that would gravitate towards that may be disappointed.

5) Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (3,575 theatres)
PREDICTION: $6.6 million

Even with the new batches of releases this weekend this is still the most viable family movie in theatres. It should still dominate the 3D screens with no new 3D films entering the market, but it’s not going to be the major success the studio was hoping for.

6) Easy A (2,974 theatres)
PREDICTION: $4.9 million

The film actually adds a few screens in its 3rd weekend, which should easily keep it in the top ten films of the week. I imagine much of its audience will prefer The Social Network, but it should do okay nonetheless.

7) Case 39 (2,211 theatres)
PREDICTION: $4.1 million

From the very limited amount of marketing I have seen for this movie this seems like a pre-destined flop. Those looking for their horror fix are significantly more likely to see Let Me In.

8) You Again (2,548 theatres)
PREDICTION: $3.5 million

All throughout the week this film has been very close to Easy A and it’s niche audience has continued to come out in small numbers. This should be its last weekend in the top ten.

9) Devil (2,400 theatres)
PREDICTION: $3.3 million

Two more horror movies being released will suck the audience away from this reportedly mediocre movie. Not a bad run for an M. Night Shyamalan production.

10) Resident Evil: Afterlife (1,907 theatres)
PREDICTION: $2.9 million

This movie gets a huge theatrical count decline this week, but I still think it’s more likely than Alpha and Omega to make it into the top ten.

What movie are you seeing this weekend?

[Source for Theatre Counts: Box Office Mojo]

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