Box Office Predictions: 'Hobbit' Faces Over-Hyped 'Anchorman' in Crowded Marketplace

Box Office Predictions: 'Hobbit' Faces Over-Hyped 'Anchorman' in Crowded Marketplace

Last week Sensei was impressive with his Hobbit prognostication, a $74 million prediction with the film opening to $73.6 million. This week, it’s pure chaos with so many holiday openers. Sounds like fun.

Sensei’s weekend predictions and revenue results are as follows:

1. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” ($34 million) – Film faces a formidable challenge from Anchorman 2, but Sensei sees this film pulling a slight edge. The first Anchorman had its moments but wasn’t exactly a word of mouth bonanza. Meanwhile, word of mouth has been positive on this franchise installment. But hey, you stay in the hunt San Diego.

2. “Anchorman 2” ($32 million)– Good start for this one, but the film may have actually “over-marketed” a bit, scaring away much of that coveted male 24-35 demographic. A demo that Hobbit will gladly take instead. College crowds will fuel this one, but past Will Ferrell films haven’t held well over weekends in recent years. Still, look for a close race at the top.

3. “American Hustle” ($17 million)  So begins this film’s major Oscar push. Reviews are stellar (which doesn’t really help here really), but audiences so far have been supportive of the cast (especially Jennifer Lawrence). Lawrence is also very good in Oscar appeal (Silver Linings Playbook) and will help the film considerably. Oh, and on the plus side, she faces no homicidal monkeys (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire).

4. “Frozen” ($16 million) – Walt Disney’s latest animated fare only posted a 28 percent drop last week–that’s fantastic for this time of year. Family audiences continue to not to be disappointed with this one.

5. “Saving Mr. Banks” ($11 million) – Film has Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson hoping for Oscar attention. The true story of adapting Mary Poppins to the big screen is great for spectacle, but Sensei feels Oscar nominations will be tough in the Academy’s current heated climate. Still, can anyone remember the last time a “live action” Disney labeled film hit the marketplace? If you said The Lone Ranger, you’d be right. That seems like forever.

In other calls:

Walking With Dinosaurs is being released in mostly 3-D based theaters, look for around a $9 million start. Hunger Games: Catching Fire will hit the $370 million domestic mark (passing Despicable Me 2 for the year’s #2 spot), look for Thor: The Dark World to also break the $200 million domestic mark.

Those are Sensei’s calls. Have a great weekend.