Weekly Anticipation Index: 'Avatar' and 'Did You Hear About the Morgans?'

Featured Stories - on October 24, 2009 by Phil Contrino

James Cameron's Avatar will try to live up to some huge expectations at the box office this December.

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This week, we've added two new films to the Anticipation Index. Avatar and Did You Hear About the Morgans? both open on December 18.

To say there is a ton of expectations attached to Avatar is an understatement. Not only does the film mark director James Cameron's first fiction effort since Titanic, but it is also being viewed by the exhibition industry as a film that could represent a major turning point in the 3D revolution. Unfortunately, Avatar carries a production price tag of as much as $250 million, and the buzz behind the film can best be described as mixed at this point. Reactions to the special 15-minute preview that was screened for free on IMAX screens across the country in August ranged from enthusiastic to highly skeptical. While audiences still have faith in Cameron, some moviegoers have unfavorably compared footage of the film to the videogame Halo. The 20th Century Fox release certainly has a big mountain to climb, and it needs to win over a lot of people in order to become a profitable venture.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? should work as a perfect bit of counterprogramming to Avatar. The film pairs two reliable romantic-comedy icons in Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, which means that date audiences will see Morgans? as a no-brainer.

Check out predictions for both of these films as well as others in the table below.

Weekly Anticipation Index, October 24, 2009
Title Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Michael Jackson's This Is It October 28 Sony $50M $125M
Disney's A Christmas Carol November 6 Disney $47M $175M
The Box November 6 Warner Bros. $12M $33M
The Fourth Kind November 6 Universal $14M $38M
The Men Who Stare at Goats November 6 Overture $11M $40M
2012 November 13 Sony $64M $165M
The Twilight Saga: New Moon November 20 Summit $98M $250M
Planet 51 November 20 Sony $16M $50M
The Blind Side November 20 Warner Bros. $12M $38M
Old Dogs November 25 Disney $26M $90M
Fantastic Mr. Fox November 25 Fox $20M $65M
The Road November 25 The Weinstein Company $11M $32M
Everybody's Fine December 4 Miramax $13M $43M
Armored December 4 Screen Gems $11M $30M
Brothers December 4 Lionsgate $10M $28M
The Princess and the Frog December 11 Disney $22M $110M
Invictus December 11 Warner Bros. $16M $70M
Avatar December 18 20th Century Fox $65M $195M
Did You Hear About the Morgans? December 18 Sony/Columbia $21M $90M

Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.

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