BOX OFFICE: ‘Twilight’ and ‘Airbender’ Open Strong

Despite the gorgeous weather in most parts of the country, many Americans spent their 4th of July weekend at the movies. The two opening films Twilight: Eclipse and The Last Airbender both opened very strong and the summer’s animated hit Toy Story 3 continued its Box Office dominance for the third weekend. Now we wait to see if any July release can compare to the dominant May and June films of 2010.

Box Office Estimates
July 2-4, 2010

1) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Prediction: 1st)
ACTUAL: $69 million | PREDICTION: $94.7 million

The overall total for the 6-day weekend for Eclipse was $175.2 million, which was just behind New Moon‘s total of $178 million. Since Eclipse has started slightly slower than New Moon and New Moon did not reach $300 million, it would lead me to infer that Eclipse will not reach $300 million. Since Toy Story 3 has already surpassed that mark, it’s clear that we have out hit of the summer (so far).

2) The Last Airbender (Prediction: 3rd)
ACTUAL: $40.5 million | PREDICTION: $28.6 million

A lot of people (myself included) were predicting a flop from Airbender because of its dismal reviews. However, movies aimed at children are more critic-proof then adult fare. The film didn’t get close to its $150 million production costs, but with a 5-day total of $70.5 million, it’s well on its way.

3) Toy Story 3 (Prediction: 2nd)
ACTUAL: $30.17 million | PREDICTION: $32.3 million

Toy Story 3 became the 6th fastest movie to reach $300 million at the Box Office, tying with Shrek 2 to become the fastest animated movie to reach the mark. With Twilight: Eclipse and The Last Airbender sure to decline fast as word of mouth gets around, Toy Story 3 has a strong chance to get back to the top of the Box Office next weekend. I think it is undeniable that this film will be the success of the summer pending the release of Inception.

4) Grown-Ups (Prediction: 4th)
ACTUAL: $19.1 million | PREDICTION: $18.9 million

I could see this movie drawing in a lot of adult audiences when they finish their 4th of July cookout. Escape to the relief of an air-conditioned theater and see whatever you can to avoid children and tweens.

5) Knight & Day (Prediction: 5th)
ACTUAL: $14 million | PREDICTION: $9.1 million

Overall the Box Office numbers were pretty high for a summer Holiday weekend where the tradition is to be outside. After then next few weekend’s slew of adult-aimed releases, I don’t expect Cruise and Diaz to hang around the top ten much longer.

6) The Karate Kid (Prediction: 6th)
ACTUAL: $8.1 million | PREDICTION: $9.1 million

After the first three films I was awfully close in both rank and earnings for the rest of the field. Family films typically do well over Holiday weekends and this movie had a decent showing.

7) The A-Team (Prediction: 7th)
ACTUAL: $3.15 million | PREDICTION: $4.4 million

Even though their overall totals are significantly different, The A-Team and The Karate Kid, which opened the same weekend, are back next to each other on the charts. They enter together and will leave together.

8) Get Him to the Greek (Prediction: 9th)
ACTUAL: $1.25 million | PREDICTION: $0.8 million

When the numbers get low it’s very difficult to predict the order of the rankings. The family films that dominated the top of the chart likely caused this movie to do better than Shrek Forever After.

9) Shrek Forever After (Prediction: 8th)
ACTUAL: $0.85 million | PREDICTION: $1.2 million

Shrek 4 will fall out of the top ten with an impressive $232 million. It will definitely be in the top ten for the summer Box Office of 2010.

10) Cyrus (Prediction: N/A)
ACTUAL: $0.77 million | PREDICTION: N/A

The John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill comedy almost beat out The Last Airbender and Twilight: Eclipse in per theatre total. In only 77 theatres it managed to make the top ten this weekend, which is quite a feat. When it continues to expand its theatre count, it could continue to climb up the Box Office top ten.

TOTAL: 6 correct out of 10.

[Source for Box Office Estimates: Box Office Mojo]

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