|1||Kung Fu Panda 2||$1,300,000||-25%|
|2||Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2||$900,000||-46%|
|4||Transformers: Dark Of The Moon||$240,000||-8%|
|--||Cars 2||$170,000 (sp)|
|5||Love Is The Only Answer||$120,000||-49%|
Note: The predictions above do not take the typhoon into account. Should the typhoon make a direct hit, grosses will be significantly lower.
Kung Fu Panda 2 will once again stake its claim at the top as it looks to pull further away from Harry Potter. Weekdays this week have proven quite useful as they indicate that Kung Fu Panda 2 is widening the gap between itself and Harry Potter. Still, it will be another great battle for screens between the two although Kung Fu Panda 2 should dominate on the weekend. Schedules this weekend slightly favour Kung Fu Panda 2 as Harry Potter has lost showtimes while Panda kept almost all of its showtimes. While Transformers and Harry Potter saw declines over 55% in its 2nd weekend, indicating frontloadedness, Kung Fu Panda 2 will be the opposite. Opening against Potter's 2nd weekend, it definitely lost some of its opening weekend to Harry Potter as high demand drove the top 2 to over 3.2m combined. This weekend will see Panda benefit from that smaller than expected opening and legs will come through. Saturday, in particular, could see it increase from last Saturday where showtimes weren't as favourable. Pre-sales have Panda ahead of Potter and Wu Xia and it is still playing to high demand with morning shows as families take advantage of the 45% discount. Doraemon should have little effect as Panda is still powering through with high demand due to a softer opening. A $1.3m weekend, off 25%, sounds about right as walk-ins will drive most of this weekend's gross and would put it around 3.5m in 11 days.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will see another favourable drop as no big openers threaten its screen count this week unlike last week. It will fall under 50% and is expected to battle with Kung Fu Panda 2 throughout the weekend. Scheduling so far has noticed the lack of sales from last week so theaters have slightly cut its showtimes but have still given it in 1 or 2 screens in the evening. It will battle with Wu Xia in admissions for 2nd place but will handily defeat it in gross. A $900,000 weekend is expected given the showtimes loss but lack of a big opener and strong business should keep its drop afloat. That would push it to 8.3m in 18 days.
Wu Xia is the only opener expected to make a dent on the charts as 5 new openers come out this week. Donnie Yen is back in another martial arts flick and he will try and use his starpower to boost the films sales. Interestingly, 2 versions of this movie (Cantonese & Putonghua) will be shown so it will help out its gross. It will open in the realm of The Lost Bladesman although that had a holiday to inflate its weekend. The recent China opening will have no bearing here since films end up bombing here but do well in China and vice-versa. Mysterious Island did not even cross $10,000 here but is doing well in China since it was locally made there. Wu Xia will grab action fans and those not interested in Hollywood productions. #2 in admissions is within reach as it is expected to put up a fight against Harry Potter and is expected to be a good counter-programming movie as the market hasn't seen one of these since The Lost Bladesman. A weekend of about $500,000 could happen.
Other openers include Doraemon: Nobita and the New Steel Troops which will play to a small audience not enthused by animated pandas. The movie could bring in about $110,000 for the weekend. The last Doraemon movie opened to $150,000 last year with Inception opening but Panda 2 is direct competition and only in its 2nd weekend so Doraemon's gross will be deflated a bit. The Beaver will play in limited release and could score a $30,000 weekend. Nowhere Boy is an arthouse film in limited release and could take in about $10,000 for the weekend. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is also playing in a handful of theaters but sales haven't been too great so a $10,000 weekend will have to suffice.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon continues to play well here even though it is on its last legs. And last legs will it show as it has kept all of its showtimes and has even added some in places which bodes well for this weekend. A scant -8% drop would give it another $240,000 for the weekend and an oustanding 10.8m total. 11m should be achievable but taking down Toy Story 3 might be difficult with Smurfs and Captain America opening next week.
Interestingly enough, Cars 2 has 2 weekends of special previews starting on Saturday. I think all theaters will be showing Cars 2 in some form on Saturday/Sunday. Last year, Inception opened to a pretty good $104,362 in previews so a $170,000 weekend with inflated 3D prices + IMAX should be doable. Pre-sales so far have looked good so a good weekend gross should be expected. Special previews may or not work to Cars 2's advantage with it competing against Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes August 11 and with the middling word-of-mouth being associated with the Pixar franchise, this could ultimately backfire on Disney who will try and put a lid on Kung Fu Panda 2's ultimate success.
Love Is The Only Answer will fight hard with Doraemon for #5 next week but ultimately it is playing like A Beautiful Life. It has kept almost all of its showtimes and opened to a strong gross last weekend. It has the capacity to drop below 50% but it is a toss-up and #5 will be decided on the weekend. $120,000 would launch it to about $500,000 total.