mar03192010.jpgDiary Of A Wimpy Kid scored 725 tweets on Thursday, up from 494 the previous day. That gave it 1,859 tweets for the entire week, slightly below my Monday estimate of 2,000 to 2,200. Continuing the comparisons I have used this week: The Spy Next Door managed to score 623 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 1,452 for the whole week. It had $2.43 million in sales from 2,924 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 599. In addition, The Tooth Fairy had 640 tweets on its Thursday before release, and 1,720 for the whole week. It had $3.5 million in sales from 3,344 theaters for its first Friday for a Twitter ratio of 491. I think Wimpy Kid is going to perform quite similarly to Tooth Fairy and come in with a ~475 ratio, as such look for a $3.9 million Friday and $13.5 million for the full weekend.

Repo Men landed 1,210 tweets on Thursday, driving its week tally to 3,049, right on the lower end of my Monday estimate of 3,000 to 3,500. Thursday's total also gave it the highest of the openers for the 3rd time this week. This film is a perfect example of what following Twitter for 6 months now has afforded, an ability to use past films as a benchmark to discount buzz volume by genre and audience. Buzz does not always equal Box Office gold, buzz bye genre compared to similar films correlated to past Box Office earnings equals prediction gold. Sci Fi plus low theater count (relatively anyway) and poor negative tweets all point to a ratio in the ~1,000 range. Expect a $2.7 million Friday and $7.5 million for the weekend.

Lastly, The Bounty Hunter had 1,016 tweets on Thursday, up from 917 the day before. This ended up being a ways under my Monday estimate of 3,500 as the film didn't have as strong of a mid-week as I had imagined. By comparison, Couples Retreat had 1,217 tweets on its Thursday before release. Couples had 3,710 tweets for the week and a ratio of 301 for a Friday tally of $12.33 million. Expect The Bounty Hunter to be slightly higher at around the ~350 mark which should afford it a $9 million Friday and $26.5 million for the three day weekend.

Check back Saturday to see Friday's numbers and the actual Twitter ratios for the weekend and follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets031210.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Source: Kyle Ward

UPDATE: Curiously, the Tweet (and three other Tweets about it) have vanished. Mum's the word? Ward's Twitter account can still be found here.

Kyle Ward, one of the screenwriters of the upcoming big-screen adaptation of the popular video game Kane and Lynch, has updated his Twitter account announcing that Jamie Foxx has signed on to take the role of Lynch. Last year, action star Bruce Willis signed to play Kane.

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The plot of the video game follows Adam "Kane" Marcus, a member of an elite group of mercenaries. He is arrested in Venezuela when a job goes awry, killing several innocent bystanders, but rumor leaks out that he turned on his comrades and managed to keep the money. Surviving members of the group break him out of jail and demand the money, as ransom for his wife and daughter, and they send the dangerous madman Lynch, who is trying to join the group, to make sure he follows through.

Willis is coming off of the buddy comedy Cop Out, which has pulled in $39.5 million to date, while Jamie Foxx's last starring gig was last year's Law Abiding Citizen, which made $73.3 million (although he had a cameo in February's $109.1 million-grossing Valentine's Day). Lionsgate is shooting for a 2011 release date.

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Source: Vulture

Negotiate well and you're set for life. This is the issue facing Sony, reportedly in the middle of a minor dispute with director Ivan Reitman over who might sit in the director's chair on Ghostbusters 3.

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When the director signed his contract for Ghostbusters 2, he got quite a bit of power, including a powerful yay-or-nay on the director of Ghostbusters 3. Flash forward 20 years, and that control might mean that Reitman will be the killing blow to plans for a 3D sequel, as Sony wants to move ahead with someone else, and Reitman can veto their choices.

Similar to the Spider-Man franchise, the studio wants to revitalize the Ghostbusters brand with fresh blood, although unlike the web-slinging hero, their plans included the original team, which was comprised of comedian Bill Murray, screenwriters Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, and popular character actor Ernie Hudson. Fresh blood, however, apparently extends to the helmer, and it doesn't help matters that the 63-year-old Reitman hasn't had a hit in years (his last film was the $22-million-grossing My Super Ex-Girlfriend in 2006).

The studio was hoping a competing gig on the upcoming comedy Friends With Benefits would be enough to tie up his free time, but Reitman has apparently insisted he can do both projects. (A logical thought would be hiring Reitman's son Jason, but the director has said in several interviews that he has no interest in making a Ghostbusters film.)

In any case, Sony will have to make a decision soon. They have no other major projects lined up for 2011 (although they could probably push Men in Black 3 -- a series often compared to Ghostbusters -- into production). The studio expects a current draft of the screenplay, by "Office" producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, in May. The previous two Ghostbusters films grossed $341.7 million domestically in 1984 and 1989, which equates to approximately $692.3 million when adjusted for inflation.

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Source: The Los Angeles Times

Bryan Singer's return to X-Men may be a bigger deal for the director than previously thought: new rumblings suggest that Donner may be courting him for for not one, not two, but as many as three X-Men projects currently in the pipeline.

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Near the end of a Los Angeles Times interview with the director and series producer Lauren Shuler Donner are the following paragraphs:

Shuler Donner also has pitched Singer on doing a fourth installment of the previously established "X-Men" franchise and Jackman had that lunch with Singer to coax him into a project as well, which may or may not be a "Wolverine" film, which Jackman has said will be set in Japan and released in 2011. "I wish I could be four people," the director said with a moan. "I could make everybody happy."

Singer turned to Shuler Donner and said of "X-Men 4": "Hold that one off for just a little, I'm fixated on the other one right now." She nodded and answered, "I will, I will ... I'm holding it open with high hopes. It's totally different [from 'First Class'] and it will be so interesting for you."

Singer notoriously left the franchise in order to direct Superman Returns, while director Brett Ratner took over for Singer on X-Men: The Last Stand. Bizarrely, while both films were at least modestly financially successful (Returns made back its money, all told, grossing almost $400 million worldwide against a $270 million budget, and X3 was the most financially successful of the trilogy, pulling in $234.3 million domestically), neither seemed to please the fans of the respective franchises. Following Returns, Singer made the Tom Cruise World War II thriller Valkyrie, which was only modestly successful here ($83 million), but a hit overseas ($117.1 million), despite several delays.

There is currently no date set for X-Men: First Class, although Singer is currently committed to a Jack and the Beanstalk movie for Fox. To date, the franchise (including last year's X-Men Origins: Wolverine) has grossed $786.4 million in the US.

 

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Total tweets for March 19th Openers

Diary Of A Wimpy Kind had a strong Wednesday for its genre as it rose to 494 tweets, up from 347 tweets on Tuesday. In comparison, The Spy Next Door had 342 tweets its Wednesday before release, and The Tooth Fairy had 445. Just as I started to doubt it, it bounces back with a nice total. Look for it to score $3.75 million on Friday and $13 million for the full weekend.

Repo Men stalled on Wednesday with 685 tweets, a tad more than its 671 on Tuesday. Small to non-existant increases from Tuesday to Wednesday is usually an indication of a film hitting a non-Twitter friendly demographic hardest (usually see it with films appealing to the over 35 for some reason) but even with this audience as its base the low theater count and genre is going to ensure a ~1,000 ratio. Expect a $2.75 million Friday and $8m for the weekend.

Lastly, The Bounty Hunter started its rise on Wednesday as it came in with 917 tweets, up from 667 tweets on Tuesday. By comparison, Couples Retreat had 1,022 tweets its Wednesday before release. I was getting some serious doubts after the early week totals but I think it is going to have a solid weekend and pull in $8.75 million Friday and $26.5 million over the whole frame.

Check back tomorrow to see the Thursday numbers and the final predictions for the weekend. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets031210.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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