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Whisper Numbers: Will The Hobbit have long legs?



Despite setting a new opening weekend record for December, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [HOBIT] faces an uncertain holiday season. Reviews are not as good as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, while the HFR version has been divisive amongst audiences. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King decreased 30% in its second weekend, but that came after Christmas. With its sophomore weekend falling on the pre-Christmas shopping weekend, The Hobbit may decline about 45% to $45 million.

Tom Cruise [TCRUI] stars as Jack Reacher [1SHOT] based on the book series by Lee Childs. Despite bearing little physical resemblance to the 6”5' tall character, Cruise and the Paramount release has earned great reviews. The PG-13 rated film is an action throwback with old-fashioned fisticuffs instead of explosive stunts. Targeted at older men, Jack Reacher could punch out $18.5 million from 3352 theaters.

Paul Rudd [PRUDD] and Leslie Mann [LMANN] reprise their roles from Knocked Up in the spin-off sequel This is 40 [TIS40], once again written and directed by Judd Apatow [JAPAT]. The R-rated comedy focuses on the couple’s issues with turning 40. Since Rudd and Mann are not exactly box office draws, the marketing has played up appearances by Megan Fox [MEFOX], Jason Segel [JSEGE] and Melissa McCarthy [MMCCA]. But much like Apatow’s unfunny Funny People, the average moviegoers may not related to the first world problems of the well-off. Debuting in 2912 theaters, This is 40 may knock out $14 million.

With its prequel Monster University set to open next summer, Monsters, Inc. 3D [MON3D] becomes the latest animated film to be re-released in 3D. As Disney reaches deeper into their vault, the re-releases have observed diminishing returns. Although the lackluster Rise of the Guardians is the only competition, parents are hestitant to spurge on yet another 3D film that’s already in their home video collection. Monsters, Inc. 3D opened in 2618 theaters on Wednesday and may net $13 million over the weekend.

The PG-13 rated comedy The Guilt Trip [GTRIP] stars Seth Rogen [SROGE] and Barbra Streisand [BSTRE] as son and mother taking a cross-country road trip. The film appears too light-hearted to draw Rogen's young male fanbase, leaving older women as its priamry audience.  The Guilt Trip got a head start on the weekend with $1 million on Wednesday and looks gas up $8.5 million over the weekend from 2431 locations.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): HOBIT, TCRUI, 1SHOT, PRUDD, LMANN, TIS40, JAPAT, MEFOX, JSEGE, MMCCA, MON3D, GTRIP, SROGE, BSTRE

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 05:05 PM        2155 views


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