Box Office Beat: Weekend of July 20

Danny Baldwin's Box Office BeatHello and welcome back to Box Office Beat, the column in which I hopelessly predict the upcoming weekend’s box office grosses. This may be the shortest edition I ever write, being that there is only one opener–the mega-blockbuster finale to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises”–and trying to forecast a precise number for what will be a huge opening is mindless.

In truth, “The Dark Knight Rises” could open anywhere between $150m and $250m (the current all-time record is $207.4m for “The Avengers”). I could look at the percentage drops/surges of other third entries into popular trilogies. I could compare the number of tweets about the film over the past week to similar humongo superhero hits like “The Avengers.” I could count the number of sold-out shows at my local megaplex and compare the figure to those of other tent-pole releases. But when a movie sells over a certain number of tickets, correctly predicting the exact tally ultimately defies all science and reason. It’s just plain dumb luck. Hence, I’m not even going to put my prognosticator’s cap on this week. I’m simply going to split the difference between the aforementioned floor and ceiling ($150m and $250m) and guess that “The Dark Knight Rises” grosses a massive $200 million. If the arbitrariness of such a strategy makes this column less respectable, so be it.

My prediction of what the full top 10 will look like:

  1. “The Dark Knight Rises” … $200m
  2. “Ice Age: Continental Drift” … $27.3m  -41.5%
  3. “The Amazing Spider-Man” … $15.0m  -56.7%
  4. “Ted” … $12.8m  -42.9%
  5. “Brave” … $7.8m  -30.1%
  6. “Savages” … $5.6m  -40.4%
  7. “Magic Mike” … $5.4m  -40.1%
  8. “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection” … $2.8m  -49.9%
  9. “Moonrise Kingdom” … $2.8m  -24.4%
  10. “Madgascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” … $2.5m  -31.9%