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HK: April 5 Predictions
Rank Movie 4-day prediction 7-day prediction 4-day % chg. 7-day % chg. Total (after Apr. 9)
1  Love in the Buff $650,000 $1,050,000 -31.6% +10.5% $2,395,000
2  Mirror Mirror $500,000 $650,000     $650,000
3  Titanic 3D $475,000 $700,000     $700,000
4  The Lorax $450,000 $550,000     $550,000
5  Wrath of the Titans $300,000 $450,000 -55.6% -33.3% $1,200,000
6  The Hunger Games $270,000 $475,000 -42.6% +1.1% $2,000,000
7  Man on a Ledge $200,000 $260,000     $260,000
8  A Simple Life $130,000 $250,000 -23.5% +47.1% $3,392,500
9  Nightfall $100,000 $200,000 -47.4% +5.3% $2,188,000
10  The Soul of Bread $90,000 $130,000     $130,000

Note: 7-day predictions span from Tues-Mon (April 3-9)


Easter weekend has always been a busy time of year for theaters. The past 2 Easter weekends, in particular, have seen the weekend crack $3m along with more and more movies coming out. 7 films got their start on Easter weekend in 2010 and that increased to a stunning 11 last April. This year will be similar to the last 2 years with 9 releases getting their playdate some time this weekend. The #1 film, however, will be a holdover such as last year's Sex & Zen: Extreme Ecstasy. The top 10 should take in about 3m for the 4-day weekend and much more when factoring in the two weekday holidays (Ching Ming Festival on April 4 and Easter Monday). With the break on Wednesday, theaters have started rolling out special screenings for certain films and that will have an impact on its 7-day gross. Grosses will be spread out and nothing will break free with the holidays spread out this year. Good Friday will also remain the biggest admissions day for every film as many here do not practice Catholicism although the Ching Ming holiday on Wednesday does complicate matters.

Love in the Buff looks to remain on top after a gigantic opening weekend that saw it flirt with $1m. In the 4-day span, it outgrossed Love in a Puff's final gross and is looking to be the 2nd local film to pass 3m this year. It will be well on its way after this weekend as good WOM has spread and on the fence moviegoers might catch this sometime during the week. It should do very good business on Tuesday night and Wednesday. Tuesday could see it creep up to about 20,000 admissions while Wednesday should be similar to its weekend admissions and target about 40,000-50,000 admissions. The 4-day weekend will be bolstered by the Good Friday holiday and admissions should see a drop with heavy demand already met with last weekend, the sneaks from 2 weeks ago and the Wednesday holiday. Pre-sales for Tuesday night and Wednesday have been very good at most locations. This is still getting 2 screens at most places which will have it out in front with a healthy lead over the holdovers. The newcomers will provide a challenge to Love in the Buff's gross although none will march to #1 due to continued support for the romance film. The Wednesday and Monday holidays will push Buff's 7-day gross into the 1m range and it should increase from its 4-day weekend last week. It's showing very little signs of slowing down and I can't see this being usurped for #1 by any of the openers. Aiming for a $650,000 4-day weekend and over 1m with 7-day, this will fall only 32% from last week as couples will head to the theaters this week to catch it. After Easter Monday, Love in the Buff should stand around 2.4m, almost tripling Love in a Puff's gross, and is headed towards 3m.

The first of the two Snow White flicks takes off this weekend. Mirror Mirror hopes to entrance couples not looking for a more realistic portrayal of their love life or nostalgia. This should play very well with families and couples alike. Although couples may have a hard time choosing which romance film to watch this weekend, 2 things run in Mirror Mirror's favour. While Titanic is an epic romance story, people might not want to pay extra for a 3D version of something that they've already seen 15 years ago and Love in the Buff may have been caught by the majority of moviegoers last week so it would free up their choice of what to watch this weekend. This will be playing either very wide or ultra wide with what appears to be full day showtimes. Since the Ching Ming holiday this year falls on Wednesday, Relativity has decided to bump this up with April 3rd and 4th sneaks. It is not really clear how wide it will go or how many showings it will get in its 2 unofficial days of release, but the holiday will be a good time to pick up business here and there. The Wednesday and Monday holidays won't be that big with schools re-opening the next day so grosses won't see a nice evening push that it will get on the weekend. The Snow White fantasy theme should play really well in Hong Kong as many people dream of finding the perfect partner. Earlier this year, the Beauty and the Beast 3D re-release took in a little more than $100,000 in Hong Kong and that doubled The Lion King's 3D re-release gross, showing that romance films have been known to have more fervent fans. A 30+ theater push will see this fairytale adaptation soaring into the top 3. On the strength of its weekend, a $500,000 4-day weekend should surface. The Tuesday & Wednesday sneaks along with Easter Monday could see it take in another $150,000 but most of its business should happen Friday through Sunday.

After releasing worldwide 15 years ago in 2D, Titanic makes its way back to the big screen with a 3D re-release. Commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the maiden voyage, this epic spectacle will bring in viewers looking for a bit of nostalgia. 3D re-releases haven't done well in Hong Kong, however, with many failing to gross more than $250,000 total. The last 5 3D re-releases (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Toy Story 1 & 2) did not gross more than $300,000 and only 1 cleared $250,000 (Toy Story). All of them were hampered by only getting limited theaters with 2 or 3 showtimes each. Titanic seems to be going very wide in about 30 theaters as some theaters have posted their full day Wednesday lineup and advanced ticketing for Titanic is happening in about 15-20 theaters at the moment. Along with skyhigh 3D prices and holidays, this should easily cross the $300,000 hump on the 4-day weekend. Tickets are about $30-$55 HKD (about $4-$7 US) more expensive than regular 3D films but the long running time is having a major impact on its showtimes as theaters are reluctant to give this full day showtimes (putting this on 2 different screens). Instead they will give this 1 screen with limited afternoon and evening showings. The majority are sticking with Love in the Buff and giving that 2 screens instead so Titanic playing on 2 screens seems unlikely. Given past history with 3D re-releases, Titanic is unlikely to win the jackpot and gross a significant sum. It will most likely gross a respectable opening and place in the top 3 for the weekend. Early Tuesday and Wednesday pre-sales are suggesting that Titanic will make a dent this weekend with solid pre-sales permeating at most locations. It will offload demand on Tuesday and Wednesday as it looks to be slightly frontloaded on the two days before the weekend. Bowing in 30 or more theaters, this should do fairly good business for a 3D re-release and take in about $475,000 for the weekend behind Mirror Mirror. The 7-day week outlook seems brighter with demand high at some locations on Tuesday/Wednesday, slipping it by Mirror Mirror by only $50,000.

A film aimed at kids finally opens as The Lorax gets set to head into theaters this week. It surprised domestically with a $70m bow but it will start off a far cry from those numbers with a Easter opening in the $400,000 range and a ranking somewhere in the top 5. The Lorax is the first wide release animated film since Puss in Boots and From Kokuriko Hill clashed on Lunar New Year. With such an empty marketplace, The Lorax will use it to capture young children's attention and tide over parents for 2 hours. Ever since Toy Story 3, however, openings for cartoon films have seen their fair share of disappointments and barely average grosses. The Lorax may surprise with very good earnings but the recent downward spiral of animated films don't leave any optimistic impressions with The Lorax. Bigger animated openings will be reserved for Ice Age 4, Madagascar 3 and Brave, all of which are getting booked in the summer. Competition with new and old films this week is also putting a lot of pressure on consumers to pick a movie to watch and kids might be left hanging to see Mirror Mirror or even Titanic as a family outing. The last 2 Easter weekends have seen animated films performed to mixed results. In 2010, How to Train Your Dragon opened to $476,000 behind Clash of the Titans but managed to hold well as the weeks went along. Last year was a completely different scenario with 6 new openers aimed at children. They combined for a measly $575,000 and when including Rio's 3rd weekend, animated movies only made $745,000 from 7 kids' films. The Lorax is aiming for an opening similar to Dragon and Despicable Me but several factors including the success and breakout of Love in the Buff will dent The Lorax's own breakout chances. The Lorax could debut to about $450,000, a 4th place finish and add another $100,000 on Easter Monday. It looks like animated films will have to wait for another film to post an outstanding OW gross as this looks unlikely to do it.

Wrath of the Titans is hoping that the Easter holidays will be very kind like what happened last year with its predecessor. Unfortunately, stinging WOM from the first as well as this film will counteract the holidays and new competition will take away screens after a poor start last weekend. Lacking goodwill, moviegoers largely ignored the sequel as a sign of their unhappiness with the first film. Pending actuals, it might not even cross the halfway mark of Clash's opening weekend. In opening weekend admissions, this lost to Clash's daily admissions every day and it also lost to John Carter who blasted off with over $900,000 in gross just a few weeks ago. Pre-sales have slowly tapered off and now it is relying on walk-ins to bolster its admissions but even that is dying out with people saying to skip this film. Bad WOM will kill any chance of a 2nd weekend recovery and with new films on deck, this looks to be a very long weekend and week for Wrath. Love in the Buff is feeling the effects of its breakout opening weekend and will stay on with 2 screens at most theaters and other new films like Titanic and Mirror Mirror will steal some screens. Wrath's disappointing gross will see full day showtimes out of the picture and it will relegated to either half day showings or possibly full day showtimes in the smallest theaters. Pre-sales for Tuesday and Wednesday haven't looked good and Wrath will only see minimal positive effect from the holidays as this film has shown before to be opening weekend heavy with very little legs. In addition to the usual suspects on top, Wrath of the Titans will also be affected by Man on a Ledge which also stars Sam Worthington. Like the Liam Neeson effect last week, the smaller film is being promoted on the strength of one actor and that might cause a slight ripple with Wrath of the Titans with it opening a week before and demand mostly being met. The Tuesday/Wednesday combo should do healthy business before it starts to get pummeled on Thursday. With many choices out this weekend, Wrath of the Titans will succumb to new and improved competition although it does remain the latest action film to come out. Even with no direct competition, Mirror Mirror, Titanic and The Lorax are all expected to make some money this weekend and when facing a below average opening weekend, theaters will not hesitate to bump this down a couple of screens. A $300,000 weekend would put it at a 56% drop, easily the worst of the wide holdovers, and tacking on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Monday holidays, that hold should improve to a 34% slide. After the holidays, it should come close to 1.2m, still behind Clash's total by a wide margin.

The Hunger Games showed considerable strength last weekend with a very nice hold. It tackled openings from Love in the Buff and Wrath of the Titans which combined for over 1.5m and eased less than 40%. It struggled to find its balance opening weekend but turned it around with an amazing drop. It is looking to build on that great drop from last week but it'll have little time to follow though as Easter weekend is expected to trample many of the holdovers and The Hunger Games should be one of the major losers in terms of showtimes loss. Already, Wednesday schedules have seen The Hunger Games pulled back some and Broadway theaters are showing Titanic and Mirror Mirror sneaks in favour of The Hunger Games. This should carry on into Thursday when The Lorax, Man on a Ledge and 4 other films enter. Online WOM has been mixed although last weekend's hold could be signaling that it's having far better WOM with the general public. Early pre-sales for Tuesday and Wednesday are behind Love in the Buff and Wrath of the Titans which is a surprise since it defeated Wrath 3/4 days last weekend. A 7-day weekend of $475,000 will see it hover around 2m which would be a small increase of 1.1% from last weekend's 4-day gross. For the 4-day, it could shoot up $270,000, -43% from last week, which is an acceptable gross given what it started with. It might cross 2.3m before disappearing.

Man on a Ledge is Sam Worthington's is 2nd entry onto the charts and it will make its presence felt somewhere in the bottom half of the top 10. It doesn't have the backing nor the buzz that requires it to surpass the other 6 but holidays will beef up its gross. After seeing the onslaught of action releases come out in February, March has been tame with only 1 action/thriller to note (Nightfall) and that is on its way out. Most of the February releases saw weak openings with the exception of This Means War which corralled another demographic (couples) alongside young adult males. Nightfall, the only other threat, is grossing in the hundred thousands now and is not a major player this weekend. It is also the only foreign action thriller release playing and those not interested in the romance powwow at the top or a kiddie film could defect to this. Sam Worthington is not considered an action star as evidenced by the declining gross of Wrath of the Titans. Similar to Liam Neeson last week, this could actually benefit from the cross promotion from Wrath of the Titans, and being billed as the star of the film could help grab viewers looking for some throwaway explosions and mild thrills. With most of the female demographic entangled with the romance films, there will be little draw in females with this movie. Sam Worthington is not an A-list action star like Tom Cruise who can pull in both males and females. The Hong Kong movie poster is also more concerned about what you would do if you were put in the exact same situation rather than the starpower. Jumping off with a wide release in about 20 theaters, this will not challenge for the top 5 and should do about $200,000 for the 4-day weekend. Easter Monday could see another $60,000 added for a 5-day total of $260,000.

Entering its 4th weekend, A Simple Life has already done what many never expected it to do in the first place. It received all those awards and nominations and defeated John Carter on a very tough opening weekend at a disadvantage with 3 days instead of 4. It took on a very determined Nightfall and came away with another $700,000 that weekend. It slowed down 50% with The Hunger Games opening but rebounded with another 50% fall with the 2 openers last week. It'll be in a tough spot again this week with 9 new openers all fighting for showtimes. Early Tuesday schedules have UA with almost regular full day showtimes while Broadway has taken most of its peak showtimes away and given it to another film. Wednesday schedules at Broadway seem to be even worse with the holiday as theaters have only scheduled this in the morning at most places. Theaters at the Broadway chain have pushed other films like Titanic, Mirror Mirror, Nightfall, Love in the Buff or Wrath of the Titans and this has seen its showtimes slouch to just 1 per day. Early Tuesday and Wednesday pre-sales are still doing great with 9 AM Wednesday showtimes at a couple of locations doing far better than most of the other films full day showtimes. Holidays will prove to be very kind to this film as families will gather with their old relatives and maybe take them out to a movie. A Simple Life could see a resurgence in ticket sales and its older demographic will be swarming the theaters to catch it again before the holidays are over. It should have the best drop of the weekend even with declining showings and holidays could finally be the thing that puts it over the top against Nightfall, which it has been dueling ever since it came out. Slumping only 24% for the 4-day, it could carry another $130,000 and with the 7-day, it should leap forward with another $120,000 to put it almost at 3.4m. It is looking to make just a little bit more than 3.6m which would be a fantastic sum for this movie.

Nightfall dragged its feet last weekend with a harsh 58% drop in admissions. It delivered the worst drop of the top 5 and slid below A Simple Life. Suffering a crushing blow last weekend will jeopardize its chances of staying ahead of A Simple Life as many theaters are making room for the new openers and giving strong theater support to Love in the Buff. Early Tuesday schedules have seen it comfortably ahead at Broadway with it getting almost full day showtimes. UA is the opposite with it getting only morning and afternoon showings at most places. Early pre-sales for Tuesday and Wednesday have been behind most of the holdovers and Titanic. It will face direct competition with Man on a Ledge who is looking to take on the title of being the sole action thriller film to see. WOM has been mixed leaning towards the negative side and it has been seeing larger drops. After last weekend's decrease, theaters will be more reluctant to save this over playing the new openers or stronger holdovers. It will have another iffy drop again this weekend with theaters gravitating towards the new openers or Love in the Buff, Wrath of the Titans or other holdovers. Losing another 47%, this could see another $100,000 4-day weekend and after the 7-day might see it pick up another $100,000, this will stand close to 2.2m.

The Soul of Bread is another romance release out this Easter. It follows a girl in a small village who is romantically linked with her childhood friend but when he proposes, she has doubts. She doesn't want to have any regrets after seeing her mother unable to fulfill her own wish all her life so she wants to go to Paris and see more of the world but her plan is put on hold when a half French, half Taiwanese baker named 'Bread' arrives in the village in search of the bread that his dead mother used to talk about. A competition between the two leading men ensues and we can all guess how this one turns out. In any case, this should pick up a semi-wide run and pending showtimes, this might debut in the top 10. It stars Michelle Chan from You Are the Apple of My Eye so she might get some moviegoers to check this out. Opening in semi-wide release, this is looking for about a $90,000 start and a $135,000 5-day including sneak previews. Too much competition from other rom-coms will see this come in way behind but this will do the best of the bottom-tiered combantants.

Last Easter, Pleasant Goat and Big Bad Wolf 3 burst onto the big screen with only a $50,000 4-day weekend to show for it. Although Pleasant Goat and Big Bad Wolf 4 will contend with The Lorax for interest among children, it still has a small, niche fanbase that could see it flirt with the top 10. It might even gross a higher 4-day weekend as no openers are on tap to break out and deliver a stunning gross so showings should be fairly spread out and this will allow Pleasant Goat and Big Bad Wolf 4 to open with a slightly bigger number. A 4-day weekend tally of $75,000 is $25,000 better than its predecessor and adding on another $25,000 will see it break $100,000 in 5 days.

Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told is another Bollywood release enjoying a limited opening thanks to 3 Idiots' runaway success. It looks like Broadway will be the only theater chain showing this and theaters will be swamped with showing other releases. This could take in about $50,000 for the 4-day and $65,000 for the 5-day, depending on how many screens and showtimes it gets. It won't see big returns as people seem to be getting tired of these Bollywood releases flying out all at once so grosses should be minute.

Guilty of Romance is a Japanese film that has gotten the not-so-coveted or, in this case, "coveted" Category III rating. This should get the ball rolling in arthouse theaters and limited engagements might have to suffice with other films continuing to bring in the money. The director, Sion Sono, is known in Japan and internationally as a controversial filmmaker so it seems like an Easter date with this director doesn't seem like many people's first choice. Opening in either 1 or 2 theater(s), this should engage with about $10,000 in ticket sales for the 4-day and about $16,000 for the 5-day (including sneaks).

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