Friday, April 11, 2014

Captain America Battles Blue Macaws, NFL Draft and Possessed Mirrors in an Attempt to Retain Top Spot at Box Office

Scott looks at the chances that three new releases have against Marvel's latest red hot juggernaut.

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After being absent from my weekend analysis on Tuesday due to some nasty bit of sickness, I am attempting to return to stake my predictions for this week’s box office top five. However, writing from a den of illness and pestilence today means that there may be a little less intellect behind my thoughts as the majority of my waning brain power has been spent on making sure I keep drinking my orange juice and other such simplicities. I do apologize ahead of time for the lack of critical thinking this week.

First Place – Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $41 Million

After having a strong opening weekend that saw the largest percentage increase for an Avengers franchise post The Avengers (it scored an opening weekend 46% higher than the first movie), and there is a good chance that it could take the number one spot again. Other Disney Marvel movies generally hit a decline of around 60% in their second week (Iron Man 3 had a drop of 58% and Thor: The Dark World dropped 57%), and it is safe to say that something similar should be happening again here. It is hard for a film that makes so much money in its opening weekend to maintain such a pace, even when both audiences and critics are enjoying it as much as they are The Winter Soldier.

Second Place – Rio 2 - $40 Million

In 2011, Rio (starring Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg) opened to $39 million and signalled the start of a franchise. Three years later, Rio 2 comes out in a year where only two family movies have opened north of $30 million (The LEGO Movie $69 million and Mr. Peabody & Sherman $32 million), which could indicate that there is plenty of room for a the right type of movie to do well as parents may not have already broken the bank on movie tickets for 2014.

Third Place – Draft Day - $11 Million

Audiences love a great sports movie, and Draft Day looks to try a bit of a non-traditional approach to the genre by focusing on decisions made around the day of the NFL draft, and stars Kevin Costner. Costner’s ability to draw solid opening weekend numbers is not incredibly reliable. Most recently, 3 Days to Kill opened at $12 million, which perhaps showed a little glimmer of hope for the actor’s chances, especially in a role that may be more suited to his fan base and not one as an action star. The reviews have not been overly kind to this movie, which currently it has 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fourth Place – Oculus - $10 Million

Out of the three new wide release movies this weekend, it is the horror flick that currently has the best critical reception. Oculus is boasting a decent 77% rating right now on Rotten Tomatoes, with a possibility of that dropping over the weekend as more critics see it. However, a solidly reviewed horror never means that it will fare well in theatres, as fans tend to be drawn more to the style of a horror than to its substance.

Fifth Place – Noah - $7.5 Million

While some films are able to hang around and secure solid numbers for a while, I am not seeing that as the case for poor Noah. After falling 61% in its second weekend (probably thanks to the attention that Captain America received) it will most likely see a fall this weekend of around 55%. That would mean that this film that opened to an impressive $43 million will only have two weekends in double digit millions.

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