Box Office Predictions (Dec. 24-26)

Howdy folks!  Hope everyone’s having a fantastic holiday weekend with all of your friends and family.  After you exchange gifts and eat your holiday feast, go out and see a movie!  There are a lot of goodies for all types of audience this weekend.  Let’s break it down…

Probably the biggest competitor to top Avatar this weekend at the box office is Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.  Yes, the “squeakquel.”  This is your family and kid-friendly film for the weekend.  I didn’t really expect the first chipmunk CGI film to hit it off in 2007, but it ended up grossing a total of $217 million.  It’s only right to expect at least the same from the “squeakquel.”  But will it be enough to take down the extremely strong Avatar?

Next, Robert Downey Jr. stars in Sherlock Holmes.  Also starring Jude Law and Rachel McAdams, this Guy Ritchie film should hit a note with the teen and young adult demographic.  Robert Downey Jr. has had a pretty quiet year after his enormous 2008, so this seems to be his all-or-nothing fame for 2009.  Can it really sell to the public?  With stiff competition surrounding this weekend, it’s going to be tough for Sherlock Holmes to debut in the #1 or #2 spot.

Now for the films that fit a more mature audience.  The R-rated romantic comedy, It’s Complicated, stars Meryl Streep and the two hosts of the Academy Awards in Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.  We all know that Streep can hold her own, but can the men keep up with her?  This is pretty much the only film out now that zones in on the mature women audience, so I expect this film to make the Top 5.

And then we have two Oscar-competitors receiving an expansion this weekend.  First, Jason Reitman’s (Juno) critically acclaimed Up in the Air starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick (all whom should receive acting nominations for the Oscars).  You can read my review for Up in the Air here.

Secondly, Daniel Day-Lewis stars in the musical Nine along with a number of gorgeous, supporting women:  Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson, Fergie, etc.  Mixed reviews will probably hurt this film from the box office success of other musicals like Chicago and Dreamgirls… but the movie will rely on its star-power alone to fill the theater seats.

Here are my predictions:

1.  Avatar – $56 million
2.  Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $45 million
3.  Sherlock Holmes – $40 million
4.  It’s Complicated – $21 million
5.  Up in the Air – $15 million

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