Weekend Predictions: 'Hotel Transylvania', 'Looper', 'Pitch Perfect' and 'Won't Back Down'

Featured Stories - on September 26, 2012 by BOXOFFICE Staff

sep28.pngThis closing weekend of September sees the debut of three new wide releases: Hotel Transylvania, Looper and Won't Back Down. Please also note that the format of our weekend predictions article has changed this week.

Below this brief analysis you'll find our lists of pros and cons for each new release, followed by predictions for the entire top ten.

Hotel Transylvania

PROS:

- A voice cast featuring Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez gives this a fighting chance to interest both parents and kids.
- ParaNorman and Finding Nemo 3D failed to capture a large audience in recent weeks, so there could be a growing demand for a family outing.
- Director Genndy Tartakovsky has built up a solid fan base through Samurai Jack and the original Star Wars: The Clone Wars shorts. The question is: will that matter?

CONS:

- The close proximity to ParaNorman and Finding Nemo 3D could hurt if families have been over-exposed to animated movies over the past few months.
- The movie has posted Flixster anticipation numbers just slightly ahead of ParaNorman ($14.1 million opening) at the comparable time before release.

Looper

PROS:

- Pairing a veteran like Bruce Willis with the up-and-coming star Levitt in a sci-fi genre flick should cater well to both of their audiences.
- As an original film, could jaded audiences find something worth checking out in Looper almost by default? If so, this could be a dark horse contender to win the weekend -- particularly if Hotel Transylvania disappoints. Comparable original sci-fi openings include 2011's Source Code ($14.8 million opening) and The Adjustment Bureau ($21.2 million).
- The strong reviews could indicate good word of mouth spreading via Twitter and Facebook after opening day.
- Over 98% of nearly 29,000 Flixster users are anticipating the film. That's well in line with recent R-rated actioners Total Recall and The Expendables 2, which opened to $25.6 million and $28.6 million respectively, and made more impressive due to its nature as an original movie with little or no built-in audience.
- A strong, confident marketing campaign.
- Even if the film opens softer than expected, legs on this one will tell the whole story. 

CONS:

- Strong reviews and marketing aside, this is still an R-rated original sci-fi film. If anything is a contender to get stuck in a niche, it's this one.
- Willis opened Surrogates to a then-disappointing $14.9 million on the same weekend three years ago.

Pitch Perfect

PROS:

- Decent reviews and solid buzz have surrounded the pic for the past few weeks.
- Anna Kendrick may not be a proven draw yet, but she adds credibility for younger female moviegoers. 

CONS:

- The limited opening holds back any breakout potential this weekend.
- Films that cater strongly toward young women aren't known for big box office success. 

Won't Back Down

PROS:

- Could find an audience among older females looking for a crowd-pleaser.

CONS:

- Awareness may not be high enough to generate more than modest numbers for the opening.
- Reviews are in the cellar and the film's anticipation level on Flixster is equally lackluster. 

For reference, Fandango's daily website ranking shows Hotel Transylvania leading End of Watch, Finding Nemo 3D, Looper and Pitch Perfect (in that order).

Check out the Boxoffice.com team's predictions for this weekend in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Weekend Gross
Cumulative
Hotel Transylvania Sep 28, 2012 Sony / Columbia
$22,500,000 $22,500,000
Looper Sep 28, 2012 Sony / TriStar
$20,200,000 $20,200,000
End of Watch Sep 21, 2012 Open Road
$7,800,000 $25,800,000
Trouble with the Curve Sep 21, 2012 Warner Bros.
$7,000,000 $23,000,000
House at the End of the Street Sep 21, 2012 Relativity Media
$6,200,000 $21,300,000
Won't Back Down Sep 28, 2012 Fox
$4,900,000 $4,900,000
Finding Nemo 3D Sep 14, 2012 Disney
$4,000,000 $36,100,000
Pitch Perfect Sep 28, 2012 Universal
$3,100,000 $3,100,000
Resident Evil: Retribution Sep 14, 2012 Sony / Screen Gems
$3,000,000 $38,700,000
Dredd 3D Sep 21, 2012 Lionsgate
$2,900,000 $11,400,000
The Master Sep 14, 2012 Weinstein Company
$2,800,000 $9,500,000

Shawn Robbins, Phil Contrino, Daniel Garris and Alex Edghill contributed to this article.

Tags: Pitch Perfect, Won't Back Down, Hotel Transylvania, Looper

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