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The 8 Most Undervalued Films November - January

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The 8 Most Undervalued Films November - January

Postby W » November 5th, 2009, 7:29 pm

Time to set my line-up. I waited until the last minute like usual and put more stock into my box office picks and like usual I will be throwing an Ultimate slate together at the very last minute like usual. I poured through the Box Office list looking for under-priced bargains. Every holiday the box office explodes with a few films that become huge blockbusters followed by the nothingness that is January. There are still some surprises to be had in January, though such as last year's "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and Liam Neeson's "Taken," which both went for almost $150 M. The year before there was nothing save the surprise that was "27 Dresses". What are the films that are priced too low and why?

1. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel for $30? - The first Alvin and the Chipmunks film scampered their way over $217 million in 2007. In its first six weeks (what the second one) it almost cracked $200 M. Sequels to films that gross $200 M or more usually do better than the first one. So why, why is it set at as much as a film you should be expecting $150 M out of? I'm not sure either... Now that they have some girl chipmunks, I don't think it'll have any trouble passing the $200 M mark for the six weeks its available.

2. Old Dogs for $17? - The comparisons to Wild Hogs seem to be everywhere (just replace W, i, and H with O and D) and if this film is thought of in that way, it'll be the older demographic's film of the winter. Its got John Travolta (who's had a decent box office run in recent years), Robin Williams (who this audience normally eats up), and the late great Bernie Mac in his final role. It looks like a carbon copy with kids instead of motorcycles and Hogs made $160 in its first ten weeks. Why is this one priced to move at $85? I'm not sure.

3. Sherlock Holmes for $23? - No shit, Sherlock Holmes is being offered at Bedtime Stories prices. It's got Iron Man in it for Stark's sake! This is the classic adventure tale that usually does good around this time of the year. I think this one will put up franchise numbers like Iron Man did, though only half as much or so. It isn't summer, you know. People are going to love it.

4. New Moon for $38? - In the first 11 weeks the original Twilight made almost exactly as much as this one is priced at. Since then the film/book/author/cast has only increased in popularity if you can believe that. Plus the new cast members signed for this one are no pushovers either including Michael Sheen, who really deserved more credit for his role in Frost/Nixon last year, and a purely evil Dakota Fanning, who I knew was evil from Daddy Day Care on. New Moon will out-gross Twilight. Will it out-gross it by $50 million or $5 million? I'm not sure.

5. The Spy Next Door for $9? - Last year, Kevin James "Blarted" all over the beginning of the year for a three week of $83 M. This Jackie Chan "Pacifier" remake (not really, but kind of) is coming out the same weekend. The Pacifier had a 3 week of $72 M. I'm sure that this one will do at least $50 M if not more.

6. Precious for $5? - Last year Slumdog scraped together $77 million by its 13th week. You're telling me that this is going to gross only 1/3 of that? I'm not so sure. With the Oscar buzz that Slumdog had already, I'm sure it'll get to at least $25 M. It may be the best pick in the $5 and under category.

7. Case 39 for $4? - That is, unless this one surprises like I think it may. Last January started off a string of horror films that kept out-grossing expectations starting with The Unborn, My Bloody Valentine, and to a lesser extent (of horror) Rise of the Lycans. All three of these hit around $20 M on their opening weekends, which is what a $4 price tag expects overall.

8. The Blind Side for $10? - People love feel-good. People love football. People love Sandra Bullock (even after Steve). This one is going to get played over and over on NFL games (I believe it already is) and wives will take husbands to see it. I've fairly certain of this.

What do you guys think?
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Re: The 8 Most Undervalued Films November - January

Postby Shrykespeare » November 5th, 2009, 7:42 pm

It's not Robert Downey's touch that might detract from Sherlock Holmes's bottom line, it's Guy Ritchie's. The man has never had a blockbuster before, and though I think he'll break that barrier this time, I'm not convinced it will be by that much. I expect a lot more dollars earned from last Christmas's Bedtime Stories (Disney + Sandler), and it just barely cracked $100M, because it ran into the train that was Marley & Me. I think Holmes will lose a lot of business to Alvin 2 (gack), despite the way-different target demographic.

If you think Blind Side is such a bargain at $10, why did YOUR pricing scheme only have it for $6??
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Re: The 8 Most Undervalued Films November - January

Postby Buscemi » November 5th, 2009, 7:48 pm

I called The Blind Side as the sleeper hit of the Holiday season.
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Re: The 8 Most Undervalued Films November - January

Postby W » November 5th, 2009, 7:53 pm

I was cheating! Just kidding.... I just changed my mind, I guess. I keep going back and forth on it. Now I think it'll do well. By the end, I'm just reaching. The ones I believe the most in are higher up on the list. I was going to make it ten, but I didn't want to include 2012. Brothers is the other one I was going to put on here. I think it could get some Oscar Buzz increasing profits. Maybe not, though. :)
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Re: The 8 Most Undervalued Films November - January

Postby Buscemi » November 5th, 2009, 7:54 pm

Brothers will flop. The trailers make it look like Stop-Loss 2.
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