BOX OFFICE: ‘Thor’ Tops, ‘Bridesmaids’ Opens Strong

In my predictions this week I correctly guessed which films would finish in the top ten, but I overestimated how close they would be. Bridesmaids did remarkably well for its genre, but Thor dropped less than 50% and managed to stay on top for a second week in a row. In limited release news Everything Must Go, Hesher, and Skateland all opened to low per theatre averages, which had to have been thought a disappointment. Overall this weekend is down almost 20% from last weekend, although that will definitely change when Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens next weekend.

Box Office Estimates
May 13-15, 2011

1) Thor (Prediction: 1st)
ESTIMATE: $34.5 million | MY PREDICTION: $28.7 million

I’m not sure why I thought that Thor would drop so much in its 2nd weekend, but with no major competitive films opening I should not have been surprised. It looks like this movie will surpass my original summer prediction of $187 million and could easily earn $200 million when all is said and done. That’s a good start for this summer blockbuster season.

2) Bridesmaids (Prediction: 2nd)
ESTIMATE: $24.41 million | MY PREDICTION: $26.9 million

I still have not seen this movie so I can not speak to its quality, but I will say that I am pleased it had a great weekend simply because it shows studios that female-centric movies can succeed with the mainstream audience. I hope this success leads to more films of comparable subject and quality being produced.

3) Fast Five (Prediction: 3rd)
ESTIMATE: $19.53 million | MY PREDICTION: $19.7 million

When you combine its domestic earnings with its international gross this movie could potentially earn half a billion dollars before its theatrical run is done. It will easily reach $200 million domestic and is almost there already in international earnings. That’s darn impressive for the fifth film in a mediocre franchise.

4) Priest (Prediction: 4th)
ESTIMATE: $14.5 million | MY PREDICTION: $12.2 million

I am actually impressed that this movie did as well as it did considering it had very little marketing push and seems to only appeal to a niche, comic book audience. It will probably hold on for a few weekends as it situates at the bottom of the top ten next weekend.

5) Rio (Prediction: 7th)
ESTIMATE: $8 million | MY PREDICTION: $5.1 million

Until Kung Fu Panda 2 comes out in two weeks, this film will continue to do well as it is one of the only offerings for families. It dropped less than 6% this weekend despite being in its fifth week. That drop was less than any other film in the top 20 of the Box Office.

6) Jumping the Broom (Prediction: 5th)
ESTIMATE: $7.3 million | MY PREDICTION: $8.4 million

With a drop of 52% in its 2nd weekend, Jumping the Broom is this weekend’s biggest loser. It actually had a better per theatre average than Rio, but because it is in much fewer theatres it fell behind. As long as it doesn’t lose even more screens, it should be able to hold on to another 2-3 weekends in the top 10.

7) Something Borrowed (Prediction: 6th)
ESTIMATE: $7 million | MY PREDICTION: $7.7 million

Bridesmaids is a better reviewed wedding movie and the audience has responded appropriately. See, critics do matter (kinda).

8) Water for Elephants (Prediction: 8th)
ESTIMATE: $4.1 million | MY PREDICTION: $3.1 million

I slightly underestimated many of my predictions this weekend, but only really had three wrong because of the Rio shuffle. This film will probably be getting a pretty big theatrical count decline next weekend so it might drop off the list next weekend.

9) Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (Prediction: 9th)
ESTIMATE: $2.2 million | MY PREDICTION: $2.4 million

This movie opened ahead of Water for Elephants buy they have been gradually closing the gap and it now leads by only $2 million. If the trends like this weekend continue, Water of Elephants should finish off slightly ahead.

10) Soul Surfer (Prediction: 10th)
ESTIMATE: $1.8 million | MY PREDICTION: $1.8 million

Right on target. This film is in its 6th weekend, which is quite an achievement.

What did you see this weekend?

[Source for Studio Estimates: Box Office Mojo]

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