Friday, April 18, 2014

The Top Box Office Spot May Be for the Birds (from 'Rio 2')

It is a busy long weekend at the box office as there are 4 new releases opening in America and in Canada was have a fifth with Trailer Park Boys: Don't Legalize It. Scott has decided to ignore the Canuck darlings but he still offers up his predictions on the other new releases' chances along with a top five prediction.

Also, Happy Easter.

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Four new movies are popping out in theatres in wide release this weekend in time for Easter and looking to make a run at box office glory. I can easily see three of those films falling in the top five, leaving Disney’s Bears documentary most likely ending up taking the sixth spot. This makes seven wide releases in the last two weeks, creating quite the battleground in some very busy theatres.

First Place – Rio 2 - $25.5 Million

After getting held out of first place by Captain America: The Winter Soldier in its debut weekend, I am putting my money on the family movie coming through and sustaining well enough to suffer a drop of only around 35% from last week’s $39 million opening. It is quite possible that it may only drop 30%, but I am not completely confident of that. It will all depend on how many families take to the theatre during a time that can be busy with family and church commitments. Regardless of how it does this weekend, it has the advantage of not having any direct competition until May 9 when Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is released.

Second Place – Transcendence - $22 Million

It is the directorial debut of Wally Pfister the Oscar winning cinematographer from many Christopher Nolan films, and he looks to make a splash as he brings some science fiction to the table. It is a film about a person (played by Johnny Depp) who integrates himself into what looks like the internet. It is not an incredibly new concept (The Lawnmower Man took a ‘lawnmower man’ into the interwebs long ago), but it is packaged in a visually interesting way and has a great cast to support Depp in Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy.

There are, however, a few issues that this movie will be battling. While it had some great looking trailers, there has not been a lot of money being made in science fiction movies lately. This issue is compounded by the fact that there has been very little critical appreciation of the film with it currently sitting at only 13% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing this. Depp himself can be a decent draw, but his opening weekend numbers are not as good as when he is playing a ‘quirky’ character. For a little Johnny Depp trivia, would anyone have guessed that his highest movie on Rotten Tomatoes is A Nightmare on Elm Street with 96%? Hooray for 80s horror flicks!

Third Place – Captain America: The Winter Soldier - $18.5 Million

After having two weeks at number one, it is hard to believe that this film will be able to hold on to grab the much coveted three weekend run at the top. The Winter Soldier saw a drop of 57% from week one to week two, and I am thinking it could be seeing a decrease of 55% this weekend. It has been able to outperform expectations so far, and I will be guessing that the third film (which should enjoy a bump from the next Avengers movie) will be landing comfortably over $100 million in its opening weekend.

Fourth Place – Heaven is for Real - $18 Million


This year has seen its fair share of faith based productions. Movies such as Son of God and God’s Not Dead have shown that there can be interest enough in such films making their way to theatres. While they have performed decently, they have failed to hit the mark with critics with Son of God only scoring 22% on Rotten Tomatoes and God’s Not Dead landing in Transcendence territory with 13%. The reception for Heaven is for Real has been much better, as it currently sits at 55% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Starring Greg Kinnear it is able to bring some legitimate star power into the mix. As well, judging by the trailers, the production quality seems to be miles ahead of typical religious productions that generally suffer from sub-par technical attributes. Churches have apparently been getting behind this film and encouraging congregation members to see it, which will lend a massive hand in its chances. I am figuring that it should end up making over $7,000 per theatre this weekend.

Fifth Place – A Haunted House 2 - $16 Million

Sigh… I suppose I should give some insight here, but it is very hard to do for me to do. Not because there are no numbers to dig into, but because what really is there to say about modern ‘spoof’ movies, which is just a compilation of several genre scenes transformed into an awful parody? There was a while where these types of movies were able to make around $20 million in their opening weekend like clockwork, but there has been a little dip in the trend, and A Haunted House fell just shy of the mark with $18 million. I think there will be another dip this time around, and even so, I have fears that I will have to write about another one a year from now.

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