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BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS: Can Hop Bounce to Victory This Weekend?

By David Ozanich — April 1st, 2011

PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

1Hop
2Source Code
3Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules
4Limitless
5Insidious
6The Lincoln Lawyer
7Sucker Punch
8Rango
9Battle: Los Angeles
10Paul

The Easter bunny movie you never asked for, Hop, bounces into theaters this weekend just in time for spring. The mixed live-action/animated pairing of Hugh Laurie and James Marsden should get enough parents and their kids to turn out for a weekend win - maybe. The film hasn't been tracking especially well and, along with its generally terrible reviews, is only expected to gross about $22 million (maybe it goes big and does $25M?). The good news for rabbit fans is that the film cost a meager $63 million, so it should recoup its cost relatively easily.

A more intriguing film opening today is the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Source Code. It's been getting high marks (and includes the lovely Vera Farmiga and the always exceptional Jeffrey Wright) so it should play well with the older crowd and is positioned to take in something in the mid-to-high teens. So let's predict a solid $18 million for this high-concept action movie based on its positive reviews.

Insidious, meanwhile, is a low-budget horror flick starring Patrick Wilson. As it's from the makers of Paranormal Activity it should have a built-in audience of teens and scary movie fans ready to line up for a Friday night fright. Look for it to gross about $11 million.

From an industry perspective Hollywood will be keeping its collective eye on the reintroduction of Best Picture winner The King's Speech. The much-lauded period picture has already grossed a whopping $373 million internationally. So why the relaunch? This time it's been scrubbed of its naughty F-bombs so it sneaks back into the theaters as a more family-friendly PG-13 rather than its original hard R. It's getting rolled out in over 1,000 theaters across the country so it's positioned to do very well (though it was in a few more as an R last week when it grossed $1.6 million). I predict it does similar business - maybe up to 2 million? The movie is fairly innocuous despite its language so it seems to me that any teenager who was just DYING to see a movie about a King of England who was most decidedly not King Arthur has already managed to score a ticket. But if it makes a big haul, look for the studios to consider this tactic again in the future.

As for the holdovers, Rango, Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules will probably remain strong in the rankings along with the surprisingly popular The Lincoln Lawyer and the Bradley Cooper thriller Limitless.

See you back here Sunday night for the projected grosses. Until then, happy movie going!

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