Weekend Box Office Forecast

19 Oct

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This weekend gives us another paranormal activity movie. “Paranormal Activity” is now holding the mantle once held by the “Saw” movies releasing a movie every Halloween.  Coming off yet another 100 million dollar film last year it’s obvious there will be a lot more of these. They’re three key questions to ask while forecasting this weekend.

1. What is the consistent appeal of these movies?

The first film came out of nowhere, costing 30,000 dollars to make and then grossing over 100 million dollars. The second opened to 40 million dollars and the third opened to 52 million dollars and made over 100 million dollars. The common rule of sequels is the second movie has higher opening weekend and total gross and every subsequent sequel faces diminishing returns.”The Paranormal Activity” films have the same found footage premise and yet audiences haven’t gotten sick of it.

The found footage phenomenon tries to give the audiences the impression that what is occurring really happened. “Paranormal Activity” was not the first movie to play this concept to huge box office.

“The Blair Witch Project” in 1999 was the first to use this gimmick to make over 100 million dollars. It was a brilliant marketing ploy at the time audiences really weren’t sure if the movie was real or not. The movie itself wasn’t that great except for the ending. Nevertheless the low-budget nature of both films helps sell the perception that it’s real because they look homemade.

When released “Paranormal Activity” took the found footage gimmick and applied it to a home movie of people sleeping while creepy events occurred. I’ve seen two of the three films in theaters and audiences I believe at this point don’t believe this is real. So it seems there is something more to these films than just being scary because it’s real.

When I went to see the films in theaters the real appeal wasn’t the films themselves but the crowd. Yelling and screaming is important when you go to these movies. If you yell and scream at the screen when you go to see “Looper” or “Argo” people would be pissed. The reason to see these movies is to get the community atmosphere because the films themselves are not that good without the crowd.

2. Does this Franchise finally feel the effect of diminishing returns?

The appeal of these movies has to eventually diminish. While the community atmosphere is still appealing  the films big shock moments that cause the screams are becoming increasingly predictable. Eventually audiences will start to predict the shock moments and the screams and yells will be quieter.

Diminishing returns are inevitable likely starting with this movie but, it doesn’t mean the next few movies won’t make a lot of money.

This leads to question 3

3. How Much Will Paranormal Activity 4 make this weekend?

Since I believe the franchise still has momentum due to audiences liking the community atmosphere it will still have a huge opening weekend. As I pointed out earlier the shock moments are growing more predictable so audiences will start to wonder why they’re paying 10 bucks to see the same movie over and over again.

My Prediction: $44 million the movie begins to experience diminishing returns but still opens huge.

My Prediction vs Experts: My prediction is 44 million dollars

 Box Office Mojo predicts: 42 millions

Box Office.com predicts: 46 million

The Hollywood Reporter predicts: less than 40 million.

As you can see only one of us is making a bold prediction because this movie’s performance is very predictable. Throughout this blog I hope to make more bold predictions and compare my results with experts predictions. I also have the benefit of not worrying about any consequences for making too bold a prediction.

Now that I’ve given my opinion give me your opinion of the films or their Box Office prospects

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5 Responses to “Weekend Box Office Forecast”

  1. moose4188 October 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    I always enjoy reading people’s predictions of upcoming movies. You organized this post well. The image portrays what you believe is going to the number one film so it is very relevant. 20/20 hindsight shows that you were correct in your predictions but just not extreme enough. The diminishing returns definitely set in, and you were right on the money with the why. I am interested on hearing your predictions on the big blockbusters that are sequels or prequels beyond the third film in a franchise that are coming soon (Twilight and The Hobbit).

  2. blackjackofalltrades October 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    I really liked this post! (Especially since I saw Paranormal this weekend, which was awful). I liked the questions you posed and the way each answer led to the next question. Adding your prediction to how much money it was going to make this weekend was a nice touch. Good job!

  3. johnmce86 October 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    I found this to be a very easy read, everything was laid out in a good format.

  4. awoznikowski October 24, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    This post was easy to read because the transitions helped the reader to understand where your next point is going to lead into.

  5. Mark November 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Glad to see that your readers found this to be an engaging and easy read. I agree, and I think your writing has gotten much cleaner and clearer over the course of the semester.

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