UPDATED: Weekend Predictions: 'UP'

Featured Stories - on May 28, 2009 by Phil Contrino

Sure to be the #1 film this weekend, UP will end the month of May on a very positive note.

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Thursday Afternoon Update (4:30 p.m. PT): As of 4 p.m. PT, Fandango.com is reporting that UP is responsible for 54% of daily sales. Meanwhile, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Museum has posted 11% of sales, and Drag Me to Hell accounts for 10% of sales.

As of 10 a.m. PT, UP led with 34% on MovieTickets.com while NATM2 was close behind with 26%. Drag Me to Hell ranked in 5th place at that point in the day with 4% of sales.




Weekend Predictions: May 29 to May 31, 2009
Title Gross (M) Cume (M) Locations Inc./Dec.
1 UP $60.0 $60.0 3,766 New
2 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $28.0 $108.0 4,101 +5
3 Drag Me to Hell $20.0 $20.0 2,508 New
4 Terminator Salvation $18.0 $93.3 3,602 +72
5 Star Trek $14.6 $211.4 3,507 -546
6 Angels & Demons $13.0 $106.7 3,464 -63
7 Dance Flick $5.3 $19.8 2,459 +9
8 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $4.3 $171.3 2,263 -920
9 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $2.7 $50.8 1,450 -805
10 Obsessed $1.1 $67.9 679 -924

Thursday Morning Update (11:58 a.m. PT): As of 11:30 a.m. PT, Fandango.com is reporting that UP is responsible for 62% of daily sales. The Disney/Pixar flick is currently outpacing Monsters vs. Aliens at the same point in the sales cycle. Meanwhile, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian tallied 12%, and Drag Me to Hell accounts for 10%.

A Fandango.com Poll of nearly 1,000 moviegoers revealed the following:

80% of respondents plan to see UP on opening weekend.
50% have seen all of the Pixar movies.
78% say that the Pixar brand is an important factor in their decision to see UP.
44% have viewed UP -related content on the Web.
29% of parents planning to take kids to see UP say those children include 4 year olds or younger kids.
Only 21% of respondents have seen Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
74% are female.
65% are 25-49.

Wednesday Afternoon Update: The last weekend of May is shaping up to be a profitable one. Disney/Pixar's UP and Universal's Drag Me to Hell will push the summer movie season forward in grand fashion.

To say that Disney/Pixar's track record is solid would be an understatement. When those two companies come together the result is always a film that gains the admiration of critics and audiences alike. Last summer, WALL-E opened with $63.1 million domestically before finishing its theatrical run with an impressive $223.8 million. Based on the kind of reviews it has been receiving, UP —which is set to open at around 3,700 locations—will obviously continue that strong tradition. Of course, not everybody will be thrilled with the presence of UP. The folks at 20th Century Fox probably aren't too excited for the latest Disney/Pixar adventure considering that its emergence is going to seriously hurt repeat business for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the reigning box office champ. Both films are aimed at coveted family audiences.

As of 3 p.m. PT, Fandango.com is reporting that UP is responsible for 51% of daily sales. Meanwhile, NATM2 accounted for 14%, and Drag Me to Hell tallied 11%. The ticketing site also conducted a survey of nearly 1,000 moviegoers who are interested in seeing UP, which has revealed the following bits of information:

76% plan to see UP on opening weekend
61% have seen all the Pixar movies
78% say that the Pixar brand name is important or very important in their decision to see UP
49% say the 3D presentation is important or very important in their decision to see UP
44% saw UP isodes or UP -related content on the Web
29% of parents planning to take kids to see UP say their kids are 4 or under
Only 21% have seen Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
75% are female
67% are 25-49

Interestingly enough, MovieTickets.com is reporting that NATM2 is still the #1 seller as of 1 p.m. PT with 36%. UP posted 11%, and Drag Me to Hell didn't even crack the top five. Those numbers should change considerably as the weekend grows closer.

Based on the glowing reviews, strong trailers and the reliability of the Disney/Pixar stamp, UP should easily gross $60 million this weekend.

Drag Me to Hell —which will land at around 2,500 locations—is going to represent a very viable choice for teenage and adult audiences who want chills and thrills instead of child-friendly adventures. Reviews for Hell have been very respectable, and even glowing at times. While director Sam Raimi is known for the Spider-Man trilogy, he is also respected by cult film enthusiasts as a master of horror thanks to his Evil Dead films. Expect Hell to gross around $18 million during its debut frame.

While NATM2 may suffer slightly more than it normally would have during its sophomore frame thanks to UP, it should easily finish in second place with around $28 million.

Since audiences and critics have not been kind to Terminator Salvation the Warner Bros. release could drop as much as 60% from its $42.5 million Friday-Sunday gross last weekend.

Check back tomorrow for our top 10 predictions as well as official location counts.

Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.

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