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Friday, April 18, 2014



Weekend Predictions: Seven-Day Engagement

The four films opening wide this week will be looking to pull in as much money as possible over the next seven days before The Avengers opens and makes everything currently in theaters irrelevant. Five-Year Engagement is the only new film that is expected to compete for top spot, but even its box office chances have taken a hit from the beginning of the month. The other three films, The Raven and The Pirates! Band of Misfits could be in a close battle for a spot in the top five, while Safe looks like it is going to sink. This weekend last year was an abnormally strong weekend for April. In fact, Fast Five's opening of $86.20 million was strong for for a summer release. There's no chance anything coming out this weekend will match that figure.

Five-Year Engagement stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as a couple whose engagement keeps getting extended after they have to push back their wedding date over and over again. This film is written and directed by Nicholas Stoller, who has an impressive track record with films that include Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, as well as a co-writing credit on The Muppets. Because of the talent on both sides of the camera, I was expecting big things from the movie. However, its reviews have slipped below the overall positive level. It should still win the box office race this weekend, but with a more subdued opening of $22 million, while at the beginning of the month I was going with an opening of close to $30 million.

I'm torn on Think Like a Man's chances this weekend. Its opening was surprisingly strong and its reviews were better than expected. However, there is a chance the film will tumble this weekend due a Fanboy-like Effect. On the other hand, the better than expected start could encourage others who were on the fence to see the movie, as there will be louder word-of-mouth. Strangely, the film won't get a boost from an expanding theater count. Even if its per theater average gets cut in half, there's a chance it will still be the best in the top ten, so you would think theater owners would want to book it. I think it will avoid a 50% drop-off and earn just over $17 million over the weekend for a running tally of $60 million after two.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits is nearly at $60 million internationally, which is how much it cost to make. Assuming it continues to do well in the places it is currently playing and it does well in the few major markets it has yet to open in, it could break even without its domestic totals. This is great news, as its domestic prospects are not very strong. The film is earning excellent reviews and it's opening in the most theaters of the four new releases, but, most analysts are not very bullish about the film's chances. Expectations range from missing the top five with less than $10 million, to competing for first place with $20 million. I would to say the higher end is more likely, but it's not. The buzz just isn't there. Look for third place with just over $13 million, and even that might be asking too much.

The Raven should right behind; in fact, it will likely earn third place on Friday before The Pirates! Band of Misfits overtakes it on Saturday, thanks to the latter's more family friendly target demographic. When I first heard of this film, I was excited. It has an interesting premise (Edgar Allan Poe trying to stop a serial killer who is inspired by the writer's work) and it stars John Cusack, who is one of my favorite actors. However, clearly something went horribly, horribly wrong. The film's box office chances are not as bad as its reviews, but it is likely going to struggle to reach fourth place with just under $13 million.

Look for The Lucky One to grab fifth place with just over $12 million. Or it might grab fourth place if one of the above two new releases struggle. Or it might even grab third place if they both struggle. If that's the case, then The Hunger Games might remain in the top five one more week with just under $10 million.

Lastly, we get to Safe, which is the latest Jason Statham. Despite earning reviews that are above 50% positive, very few analysts expect the film to live up to Jason Statham's career average. Look for between $7 million and $8 million and a short exit from theaters. Maybe the reviews will translate into strong home market sales.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-04-26

Movies 
 Think Like a Man
 The Five-Year Engagement
 The Lucky One
 The Hunger Games
 Safe