After a lackluster weekend at the box office, two sequels opening in wide release and another in special preview should bring moviegoers back to the theaters. Two years after Sherlock Holmes opened to a stellar $62.3 million, Robert Downey Jr. [RDOWN] quickly returns for the sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [HOLM2] along with Jude Law [JLAW] and director Guy Ritchie [GRITC]. The original film had the benefit of opening on Christmas Day, while the sequel debuts a week earlier when moviegoers are still busy shopping. The PG-13 rated adventure also faces competition from the sneak previews of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol [MISS4] (along with a 6 min prologue of The Dark Knight Rises [BATM3]) on 400 IMAX screens, which will take away a chunk of the target audience. Checking into 3703 theaters, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows could crack $56 million.
Also returning to theaters two years later is Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked [ALVN3]. The previous installment The Squeakuel scored $48.9 million over Christmas weekend, which topped the first film’s $44.3 million opening in 2007. While the singing critters remain popular, audience fatigue may be setting in as kids grow older. After two PG-rated films, Fox hopes to target families with younger children with a G-rating on Chipwrecked. Landing in 3722 theaters, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked may sing to a tune of $37 million.
Despite its all-star cast, New Year’s Eve [NYEVE] just didn’t interest moviegoers. The romantic comedy might drop around 45% to $7 million.
The comedic drama Young Adult [YADLT] expands to 986 theaters after a week in limited release. Charlize Theron [CTHER] has won acclaim for her performance as a woman who hasn’t grown up, but the film itself has not broken out from the crowded pack of year-end films targeted at adults. Young Adult could muster $5 million.
With two new action films targeted at males, the comedy The Sitter [SITER] may lose nearly 50% to $5 million in its second weekend.
That’s the whisper from the trading floor.
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