As we could be on the verge of smashing box office records, it's an ideal time to better explain how the B.O. estimates that appear here are calculated. Movie studios will never come out and announce what they expect a movie to rake in its opening weekend - the baseline number that allows Hollywood suits to continue driving their Mercedes S-Class sedans and live in mansions up on Mulholland Drive. With that in mind, here are those anticipated figures:
- The Avengers ($160M) - When you pack a gaggle of superheroes who've collectively banked over $1B domestically into one parcel, you had best come very close to beating the record for biggest opening ever. The final 'Potter' installment holds that mark at $169M, but Disney (with an assist from Paramount) will not bust out the bubbly unless 'The Avengers' tops at least $160M (my estimate is $165M). God forbid it falls short of 'The Hunger Games' $152M - if that were to happen, expect every single story on Monday to make mention of that very fact. Here's my B+ review.
- Think Like A Man ($10M) - Steve Harvey's book-turned-film has banked $65M in its first two weeks - a prodigious profit margin.
- The Pirates! Band of Misfits ($8M) - You'd have thought the first family flick in months would score more than $11M opening weekend but that whole 'Wallace & Gromit' look is a tad too bizarre for both kids and adults like me.
- The Five-Year Engagement ($6.5M) - Massive disappointment for Jason Segel - his leading man status took a hit with the rom-com's underperformance.
- The Hunger Games ($6M) - Will surpass 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' for 15th on the all-time box office list by Sunday - over $375M domestically.