Though often there are films that succeed because of their inherent draw, just as often a film can win by being in the right place at the right time. Though Oz: The Great and Powerful was kids friendly, the only animated movie in recent weeks was Escape From Planet Earth. So The Croods has a very good shot of making piles of money.

This is the first Dreamworks Animated film to be released by 20th Century Fox, which comes after their last film at Paramount, Rise of the Guardians. That was considered a misfire because it only made $100 Million at the box office. Expectations are a bitch, it seems. But if that film flopped, there are two likely explanations: 1) it wasn’t that good, 2) Paramount, seeing Dreamworks leaving their studio, decided to put way less effort into this title than previous ones as a sort of finger to the party walking out the door. Both are possible.

Which does put some pressure on Fox to deliver audiences, even if this doesn’t have a number after the title. Dreamworks has had a lot of success in this period: Monsters Vs. Aliens opened to almost $60 Million and did nearly $200 Million, while How to Train Your Dragon opened to $43 Million and did well over $200 Million. This should open near $40, but will it keep playing? They’ve got two months until Epic opens, which is the next big animated movie. So there’s room.

Admission looks like a half-ass thing, and there haven’t been tons of positive reviews. People just saw Tina Fey on 30 Rock, so…

Olympus Has Fallen is coming after a string of action films that have disappointed at the box office and it stars Gerard Butler. Still, it should open okay.

So, numbers:

  1. The Croods - $47 Million
  2. Oz: The Great and Powerful - $22.3 Million
  3. Olympus Has Fallen – $19.5 Million
  4. The Call – $10 Million
  5. Admission – $7.5 Million

I’m going high on The Croods, it could surprise, and we’ve seen animated films go bigger than expected. It might not do that well, but that’s the fun of guessing.

What are you going to watch this weekend?