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HK: It's Oblivion time!

This weekend will officially mark the start of the 2013 summer season with a couple of new entries expected to land in the top 3. Oblivion will be the first #1 film of the summer and it is looking to equal Battleship's opening weekend number from last year. Unlike Battleship, which ran the gamut at the box office same time last year, Oblivion faces a stiff challenge from the 3rd Detective, a.k.a. Conspirators.

Rank Movie Prediction % Change Total
1  Oblivion $1,000,000   $1,000,000
2  Conspirators $400,000   $400,000
3  G.I. Joe: Retaliation $200,000 -71% $3,285,000
4  The Croods $180,000 -70% $2,605,000
5  Saving General Yang $175,000 -45% $695,000


Oblivion headlines this week and is looking to destroy Battleship's opening weekend. Battleship opened with a 5-day total of $1.2m and while Oblivion will post similar numbers, it is looking unlikely that it will match the board game inspired alien science fiction film. Tom Cruise is a draw in Hong Kong despite Jack Reacher failing to leave a mark in HK. Though he was coming off MI4 at the time, Jack Reacher did not have a big budget nor the big scale marketing that Oblivion has. Universal will definitely be scrutinizing Oblivion a lot closer than Paramount did with Jack Reacher. Budgeted at 120m, this will become Tom Cruise's 20th film to make over 200m worldwide. Most Broadway/AMC and MCL theaters have given Oblivion 2 screens at night with UA/GH assimilating by giving it the biggest screen at their theaters. Pre-sales have looked average in regular theaters but walk-ins should pick up heavily like any action movie. IMAX has looked good with 50% filled during peak hours. Opening super saturated this week, Oblivion hopes to save HK with $1,000,000 this weekend.

Embarking on another mission in South East Asia, Conspirators' leading man Aaron Kwok will be joined this time by Nick Cheung to investigate the murders of Chan Tam's parents. The 3rd film in The Detective franchise, it is a little odd that Conspirators is not presented as part of the "The Detective" franchise, however, the squabble over the title won't affect its box office as more people will focus their attention on this being Nick and Aaron's first time working together. It's a highly attractive pairing in the industry with many watching Conspirators' box office with keen interest. Another point that works in Conspirators' favor is that Aaron Kwok is coming off Cold War, a smash hit that grossed 5.5m in HK and has spawned a sequel which is expected for later this year. The last Detective came out 2 years ago on the same weekend and debuted at #2 with $354,974. It won't make much more with Oblivion swarming HK this week but it should see a steady rise in opening weekend gross due to the star pairing, sequel factor and possible finale factor? Theaters have scheduled Conspirators in the 2nd biggest theaters all around. Pre-sales have looked very good with many places outpacing Oblivion. That will change as it gets closer to showtime with many walk-ins expected for Oblivion. Pushing with a very wide release, Conspirators will team up for $400,000.

Reigning 2 week champ G.I. Joe: Retaliation will surrender a lot of screens and showings to Oblivion as the latest action movie comes to the big screen. It passed 3m on Wednesday but not much is left for the sci-fi action adventure film. Theaters have been merciless and thrown it out to pasture with many leaving it with just 1 or 2 showtimes. The competition with Oblivion will hit it hard but it is still far ahead of other films to drop any further below #3. The Ching Ming holiday from last week will affect its drop this week and make it worse than it looks. Dropping to 3rd, G.I. Joe 2 will squander 71% from last weekend under the loss of showtimes and Ching Ming holiday for $200,000 and $3.285m in 19 days.

The Croods suffered a major setback last week when it was unable to overthrow GI Joe from #1 despite the extra holiday. It spiraled further down when it collapsed on Monday with a 4th place finish. It is the only animation in town though so it is has an empty marketplace to itself. Nevertheless, animation films have dived hard after the Easter/Ching Ming holidays in recent years. The Lorax dumped 68% of its business the weekend after Easter last year while Rio shed 65% and Hop dove 74% in 2011. The Croods will experience a drop close to 90% on Thursday although it will recover a bit on Friday and Saturday. Exploring the world from a myopic viewpoint, The Croods will lose 70% from last weekend and slip to 4th with $180,000 for an 18 day total of $2.6m.

Saving General Yang got off to a great start last weekend, grossing $400,000 including previews. It is another hit for Ronny Yu, Adam Cheng and Ekin Cheng as they all have at least several hits attached to their names. Now it will face direct competition from local film Conspirators but Conspirators will not harm General Yang that much. Last weekend saw the period action thriller ease just 2% in admissions on Saturday from Ching Ming on Thursday. It had the best Saturday increase as well as one of the best Sunday holds. Weekdays have sustained its weekend holds as it zoomed into #2 behind G.I. Joe 2 on Monday. It will have one of the best holds this week apart from Finding Mr. Right. Theaters have saved it this weekend and has given it half day showings. Charging into its 2nd weekend, Saving General Yang looks primed to make $175,000, declining an excellent 45% from last week, and accumulate $695,000 through 11 days.

Outside the top 5, Finding Mr. Right posted the best hold out of any holdover last weekend but its low weekend number last weekend means missing the top 5 this weekend. It has a bit more competition to deal with this week due to Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? and I Give It A Year opening but those seem to be fillers with no real support coming from theaters or audiences. This still has some traction in theaters with many leaving it with half day showings at least. Making another trip, Finding Mr. Right will take another $150,000 and will break through 1m.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and I Give It A Year are both romantic movies looking to make a splash. But never seem to have theater support or audience pre-sales to suggest an opening inside the top 5. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow is getting a wider release than I Give It A Year so it should hit 6 digits with about $105,000 while I Give It A Year looks to only make around $85,000. 

Seven Psychopaths is getting an exclusive UA release with 6 theaters going all out. This might not resonate with the public that well and pre-sales don't look that great so a $25,000 opening is expected.

The Hunt opens in the 2 arthouse theaters this week. It looks like the recent accolades have given this a little life. Pre-sales have been OK so far. It should make around $12,500 for a PTA over $6,000.

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