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Box Office Predictions: Unlike Zoe Saldana, 'The Help' Will Need None


Hello again, Big Hollywood. First a brief recap to get you up to speed…

The favorite part of our weekly box office predictions is Sensei White Lotus choosing which film will open at #1. That skill might seem simple enough, but over time you discover how difficult it can be to keep a streak alive. With that in mind, Sensei’s streak of calling the correct #1 film currently sits at 17 straight weeks.

“Shootings will continue until morale and box office numbers improve…”

Every Monday (after weekend box office actuals have been determined) we score how Sensei’s predictions did in what we call the “Box Office Fallout.” You’ll find a record of Sensei’s “fallouts” in the prediction archive here. Sensei also writes various essays on film topics while building his streaks. You’ll find all such essays in the archive here.

Furthermore, if Sensei calls the correct #1 film this weekend, he’ll match his longest streak ever (18 weeks). So no pressure.

Nevertheless, enjoy Sensei’s inaugural weekend predictions.

1. The Help (16 million) — Wins but will be close. The film enjoys very strong audience word-of-mouth like a certain other box office over- performer called The Blind Side (remember that success story, Hollywood?). The Help will continue in the same trajectory to another weekend win.

2. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (13.5 million) The problem is that the film’s screen count and genre are in line with similar films like Insidious and The Messengers, which opened in a similar range of $12-14 million. Sub-par reviews won’t help.

3. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (10.6 million)Other films are not performing well in the August box office doldrums. This bodes well for Rise to post another higher than expected weekend gross.

4. Columbiana (9.2 million) A film based around its star. The problem is Zoe Saldana’s box office hasn’t been great outside of big event movies like Star Trek and Avatar. Bottom line is this one will open similar to her previous effort, The Losers ( which also only managed 9.4 million).

5. Our Idiot Brother (8 million) — Grabs some of the comedy audience, but not much else. The film’s concept is not all that strong which means it will struggle to find traction with audiences.

Quick Note: We’re celebrating joining Big Hollywood as well as our one-year anniversary. You’ll find more details here. Once again, who would have thought Sensei would have an opportunity to tie his longest call streak at our inaugural post? A welcome sign or bad?

Only time will tell.

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