There are just two wide releases coming out this week, Snitch and Dark Skies. Most analysts think Snitch is the stronger of the two films, but most also think Identity Thief will return to top spot. Looking at all of the evidence, it certainly seems that way. Unless one of the new releases is a truly big surprise, it looks like we won't keep pace with last year again this weekend. 2013 needed to get off to a really fast start, because there's no film that's going to match The Hunger Games, and once we are dealing with that film in the year-over-year comparison, 2013 might be sunk for good.
Identity Thief had a faster than expected start, a stronger than expected hold, and now it looks like it will return to top spot at the box office. Look for a $13 million weekend haul for a running tally of $92 million after three weeks of release.
There have been a lot of action films to come out so far this year, but none of them have really wowed box office analysts. This could mean there's pent-up demand and that Snitch will benefit from that situation. Or it could mean moviegoers are just not interested in action. The latter seems more likely at this point. Early reviews are good, but not great. I will be happy if it can avoid falling below the 50% positive mark. On the other hand, the film's box office prospects are not that strong. Most think it will open stronger than Faster did, but it will likely be Dwayne Johnson's worst wide opening of his career. Look for second place with $12 million, and even that might be too generous.
A Good Day to Die Hard did not have a good opening, and due to terrible reviews and Sequelitis, it will likely have a fast decline. Falling 50% is probably as good as it will get, and that will give it a shot at repeating on top, if the competition is weaker than expected. However, it could also fall 60%, leaving on the outside of the top five. I'm going with third place with just over $11 million for the weekend and close to $55 million after eleven days of release. This is not good compared to the franchise average, but fortunately it will make a profit thanks to its international numbers.
Safe Haven should be right behind with just under $11 million. This is further proof that Nicholas Sparks' films are critic-proof.
Escape From Planet Earth should round out the top five with just over $10 million. It is turning into a solid midlevel hit and should break even, assuming it does as well on the home market.
The final new release of the week is Dark Skies. So far there are no reviews and the buzz is almost non-existent. There is a chance it will bomb utterly, opening below the Mendoza Line, but it could also surprise and earn more than $12 million, putting it in competition for top spot. I'm going with just under $10 million and sixth place.
Date posted: 2013-02-21