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Box-office preview: Sandra Bullock's 'The Blind Side' on track to win the weekend

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It’s a rare box-office treat when a film that has been in release for two weeks is destined to hit the number one spot at the box office. But The Blind Side has been a surprise since it debuted opposite New Moon two weeks ago to a solid $34 million and then did the unthinkable, which is gain 18% of its audience its second frame. Now the Sandra Bullock-starrer has earned a robust $105 million and is destined for a number one slot this weekend. It helps that the weekend following Thanksgiving is traditionally a slow one in theaters. Hollywood usually turns it over to the malls and its shoppers. But that bodes well for the holdovers. New Moon is likely to tumble again significantly its third weekend in theaters, but with $236 million already in the bank, another steep drop is to be expected. There are four new releases vying for placement at the box office derby but the only one with a real chance for the Top 5 is Screen Gems’ PG-13 rated heist flick Armored. Neither the Robert De Niro-starrer Everybody’s Fine nor the Tobey Maguire-Natalie Portman-Jake Gyllenhaal three-hander Brothers is likely to crack the top five. It’s interesting that both of the Oscar bait pictures Fine and Brothers are being released wide this frame. Conventional wisdom would suggest they’d open small and expand. Read on for my predictions.

1. The Blind Side: $24 million

The Blind Side is likely to hold in well this weekend and a 40% drop would put its total domestic gross at $130 million, quite a feat for a movie that cost $30 million. This feel-good tale from director John Lee Hancock (The Alamo) is resonating particularly well with audiences in smaller markets. The combination of football and charity seem to be just what they ordered this holiday season.

2. The Twilight Saga: New Moon: $17 million

New Moon is destined to cross the $250 million mark this weekend, trouncing Twilight’s total domestic gross with room to earn more. That’s another remarkable story for a film that sparks such deep emotion both for and against. It’s no wonder Summit is pondering two films with Stephenie Meyer’s final book Breaking Dawn. With this kind of cash, why would they ever stop?

3. 2012: $9 million

International audiences love themselves a good disaster movie. While we here in the states have pumped $140 million into the gross of 2012, overseas moviegoers have contributed an astounding $450 million to the film. Look for another 50% decline here this weekend, but with the film already earning close to $600 million does it even matter?

4. Armored: $8 million

Laurence Fishburne, Matt Dillon and Columbus Short star in this PG-13 rated heist film. The movie isn’t being screened for critics, which is never a good sign of the film’s quality, but it still has the best chance of getting into the top five this frame.

5. Disney’s A Christmas Carol: $8 million

Similar to when Polar Express opened in 2004, A Christmas Carol was deemed dead-on-arrival by the press. Oh, what a Thanksgiving weekend will do for a movie. After opening to a meager $30 million, the Robert Zemeckis motion capture spectacle bounced back, falling only 26% and 45% its next two sessions. It then gained an astounding 28% over the turkey-themed holiday. With three weeks left to go til Christmas, this movie, which has now earned $106 million, is likely to hang in there. Expect a 50% drop this frame, but it could be less should those holiday revelers return to the theater.

In limited release, Paramount will open the George Clooney-starrer Up in the Air in 10 theaters.

Photo Credit: Ralph Nelson