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Hong Kong: December 22 Predictions
Rank Name Prediction % Change
1  Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol $1,400,000 +8%
2  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $1,270,000 +21%
3  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 $1,050,000  
4  Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked $645,000  
5  Happy Feet 2 $590,000  

Oh what fun it is to see a movie at Christmas. Christmas time in Hong Kong usually means dinner and a movie and with plenty of choices around, moviegoers will certainly get their fill. Leading the way will be our two openers from last week, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. They will be followed closely by the start of the epic conclusion to the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn Part 1 and the rest of the new openers this week.

After winning a close battle last week, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol looks to retain the crown for another week as holidays will increase demand even with less screens to play with. Schedules have been extremely favourable towards Mission Impossible with some theaters giving this two screens. Early advanced demand has tapered off slightly but this should not be a problem for it. Walk-ins will continue to flock to this movie in droves as we saw them do last week. In IMAX, Happy Feet 2 has not dented the schedule for MI4 too much. Mission Impossible still has 5 showtimes (down from 6) and is still commanding a lot of ticket sales with peak hours already reaching 60% full in some cases. The loss of a screen won't hurt it too much and it is favoured to win another weekend thanks to IMAX. It is also looking very good on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with theaters more than 50% full. It has about a 70% chance of extending its weekend reign to 2. A $1.4m weekend would push it past 3m.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows put up a fight last weekend but could not muster enough as it fell apart on Sunday to hand Mission Impossible a widened margin of victory. This weekend should see it rebound with Christmas falling on a Sunday. Essentially, this will give Holmes 2 days of Saturday-like screenings which should see it close the gap between itself and Mission Impossible and make up for the Wednesday previews. Last Saturday was the only day it managed to win in admissions and it will need similar results this weekend to pull ahead of Breaking Dawn. Scheduling has this sharing the 2nd or 3rd biggest screen with Breaking Dawn with some theaters giving Breaking Dawn the bigger theater on Friday. Pre-sales have been about the same last time this week with fairly high pre-sales but not as high as Breaking Dawn. Already, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day has seen shows filled up more than 75% at some theaters. #1 isn't out of the question with about 1/4 chance. $1.2m would see its total rise to about 2.6m.

After a lengthy wait, Twilight: Breaking Dawn finally gets a shot at #1 with its 4th installment in the franchise. The previous Twilight movies did not open to #1 as they opened against a high profile release (Avatar, Shrek 4) or were beaten by a local film (Ip Man). Summit and Golden Scene are hoping that fourth time's the charm but unfortunately, they and their movie will be left standing at the altar once again. Mission Impossible is simply too dominant and has IMAX to soften the admissions blow caused by the new releases. While not impossible, it will need both Impossible and Holmes to falter enough for it to slip into 1st. Judging from Christmas Day pre-sales however, that hasn't happened so the chances of Breaking Dawn actually coming in at #1 is about 5%. Scheduling has it sharing the 2nd or 3rd biggest screen with Sherlock Holmes. As with all Twilight films, this has gotten the highest number of presales so far with theaters already giving it bigger screens on Friday or adding more showtimes. Christmas holidays should help in that demand will not be limited to only opening day but throughout the weekend. With higher ticket prices, this should allow Breaking Dawn to flirt with the 1m mark for the first time and take home the biggest OW in the franchise.

Alvin & the Chipmunks returns for the 3rd time in Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. While much of the focus will be on the top 3 movies, a smaller battle is brewing below. With children on holidays, they now have 2 options to go for and most theaters have Alvin way out in front of Happy Feet 2. With the Chipmunks already out to some hot starts at a few theaters, this will only benefit those Chipmunks for the weekend as it looks like Happy Feet is being downgraded while Alvin will get promoted with bigger screens in the daytime. As Happy Feet slip-slides away, this opens the door for Alvin to sneak in at #4 even without the hefty 3D prices of HF2. Scheduling has this in one of the big theaters or sharing a big screen with Happy Feet 2. This will be a close battle to watch for throughout the weekend.

Happy Feet 2 is the other film directed at children this week. 3D prices and IMAX will benefit its gross but low admissions has dampened its potential for a higher ranking. It will need solid walk-ins to close the gap it has put for itself right now otherwise Alvin taking #4 won't just be a pipe dream but a reality. The previous Happy Feet opened to a $770,000 week during Christmas 2006 but an unnecessary sequel along with strong competition will see this drop from the original. A $590,000 start would be disappointing but IMAX and 3D prices will save it from being a total disaster.

Local/Mainland release The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate may have done brisk numbers in China but that won't be the case here. Scheduling has this in a smaller theater and pre-sales have been poor. Out of all the releases, this has performed the worst but walk-ins could prove effective and $400,000 shouldn't be hard to scrounge up at this time of year. Two versions will help solidify the opening weekend gross of this film but it's looking like the Jet Li movie will finish out of the top 5.

3 Idiots continues to wind down but is still pulling in viewers. 4 theaters are dropping this on Wednesday which will leave it with only 9 theaters for Christmas week. Another couple are not showing this on the weekend so a weekend gross over $100,000 seems out of the question. A rise to a $70,000 weekend might be in the works. That would see it leave with 2.83m after an astounding 116 days or 17 weeks in release.

You Are the Apple of My Eye is falling apart but Fox and fans alike are hoping this has enough gas to inch past Shaolin Soccer for #2 Chinese language film of all-time. It is getting the cut in many places and only a handful will continue to keep it on this weekend. A drop seems likely but how much will all depend on whether or not this gets any weekend showtimes.

Overall, this weekend should climb to the low 5m's which is 500% better than the total gross 3 weeks ago and similar to previous Christmases in recent years.


For more information about this week or any other, visit this thread. -

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