Media Analysts Predict 2008 Box Office Winners

USA Today polled five industry analysis for their 12th Annual Media Prognostication Contest, and four out of five agree that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be the highest opening weekend of 2008 (over Hancock, Harry Potter, Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Dark Knight, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and You Don't Mess With the Zohan). The one outsider, Richard Greenfield of Pali Research is under the belief that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince might edge Indy out for the win, but we all know that just won't happen.

They also asked all five analysts to predict which animated film would open the biggest. Here are the choices:

a) Bolt (Disney)

b) Horton Hears a Who (Fox)

c) Kung Fu Panda (DreamWorks)

d) Madagascar: The Crate Escape (DreamWorks)

e) WALL-E (Disney/Pixar)

Which film do you think will have the biggest opening weekend? Answer after the jump.

Four out of the five analysts believe that DreamWorks' Madagascar: The Crate Escape will open huge. Again, Richard Greenfield of Pali Research is the lone outsider, picking Disney/Pixar's WALL-E.

Madagascar 2

I understand that WALL-E is not an easy movie to market. There are no speaking characters, and the sci-fi heavy storyline might be too much for young audiences. But I believe this could be Pixar's best movie to date. I've seen the footage shown at Comic Con, and I clearly had a sip of the kool aid. And I understand that the first Madagascar movie was big, but most audiences I talked to ended up leaving that movie disappointed. The cute penguins were the focal point of the advertising, but were barely featured in the final film. Or does that even matter? The fact that it is the lone animated sequel in the pack puts the film at a clear advantage.