The official battle over 3-D screens comes to a head this weekend. (Everything up until now has been preamble.) For Warner Bros. must land its Clash of the Titans in first place to justify its decision to go 3-D and move its release date to the weekend following Dreamworks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon. Dragon, which already suffered from following Alice in Wonderland so closely, has been doing solid business during the week, earning close to $15 million just through Wednesday. And the third party in the race is Alice, which is still a player in the game, earning another $6 million from Monday to Wednesday, primarily from kids out on Spring Break.
The weekend becomes even more complicated when you figure in the fact that it’s Easter, the NCAA Championship reaches its final four on Saturday night, and Good Friday does mean a good day for movie-going. In fact, the highest-grossing film on Easter weekend was Scary Movie 4, which earned $40.4 million back in 2006. Also competing for some box-office coin are two films not debuting in 3-D this weekend. Miley Cyrus opened her tailor-made Nicholas Sparks’ movie The Last Song on Wednesday to $5 million. And Tyler Perry will bow his sequel Why Did I Get Married Too for a bit of counter-programming. Check out my predictions after the jump. And enjoy the Easter Bunny.
1. Clash of the Titans: $70 million
Dreamworks Animation made it very clear to exhibitors that if they chose not to run How to Train Your Dragon on the 3-D screen in their cineplex, the studio would not provide them with a 2-D print to run in the same complex. That hardball approach didn’t sit well with exhibs, who in many cases chose to take more 3-D runs from Warner Bros.’s Clash. In fact the Sam Worthington-starrer, co-produced by Legendary Pictures, will debut in 1,600 3-D locations, close to 600 more than the studio thought they’d be able to land. Also helping the Clash run will be theater chains, who will likely be doing split runs on their 3-D screens with Alice. The little secret behind all this, though, is that Clash doesn’t need to be seen in 3-D. We all know it was converted after the fact, so it’s not like Louis Leterrier (Hulk) shot the film anticipating you in your glasses.
2. How to Train Your Dragon: $30 million
Considering how well this movie has done during the week, and the number of kids available over the weekend, this movie is likely to hold in pretty well its second weekend in theaters. And it would be good news for Dreamworks Animation, who saw its stock get pummeled the Monday after it debuted to underwhelming results.
3. Why Did I Get Married Too: $25 million
Tyler Perry’s first movie in this series Why Did I Get Married debuted in 2007 to $21 million. This one is likely to surpass its predecessor, with Janet Jackson and Tyler Perry offering up their star power to his devoted fans. Also helping this film is the Easter holiday, which has historically been a big movie-going day within the African-American community.
4. The Last Song: $21 million
With Miley’s strong Wednesday debut, this romantic weepy is on track to exceed the original weekend expectations of $17 million. Sunday will be soft but the rest of the weekend should do nicely for this budding movie star.
5. Alice in Wonderland: $13 million
The Tim Burton, Johnny Depp movie just keeps on ticking, just crossing $300 million in domestic box-office receipts. This weekend should see the movie pass $700 million worldwide, despite being in only a little more than 600 3-D screens.