It looks like The LEGO Movie will finally relinquish top spot. Non-Stop should lead the way atop the box office charts, but there are some who think Son of God will be a surprise hit. There certainly is precedent for that prediction. While it is the last weekend in February this year, the same weekend last year was the first weekend of March. Fortunately for 2014, the first weekend of March of 2013 was a bit of a disaster as Jack the Giant Killer opened with just $27 million compared to a nearly $200 million production budget. Worse still, no other movie topped $10 million over the weekend. I don't know if Non-Stop will top Jack the Giant Killer, but overall 2014 should come out ahead of 2013.
Non-Stop is the latest film in Liam Neeson's action career. The film's reviews are mixed, but that's not a fatal result for an action film. Most critics agree that there is plenty of fun action throughout the movie, but most also agree that the big reveal is a mess. What they are divided on is whether or not the action is enough to compensate for the bad reveal, or if the bad reveal ruins the whole movie. The film's box office potential is strong, with most analysts predicting it will earn first place, perhaps hitting $30 million in the process. I think it is wise to be a little more cautious and I'm going with $27 million.
The LEGO Movie will slip to second place with $21 million, but that's more than enough to get it to the $200 million milestone before end of business on Sunday. It will become the first film released in 2014 to get there. It won't be the last, but it will be more than a month till Captain America: The Winter Soldier gets to $200 million in April.
Son of God is a re-cut of the The Bible mini-series. This is great news for the studio, as it means it will only need to cover the P&A budget, plus a little bit more for the re-edit, in order to break even. There is some bad news. The film's reviews are terrible. It turns out cutting a 440-minute long mini-series and turning it into a 138-minute long movie results in an incomplete product. The film appears to be on track to earn $15 million or so, but it is also a bit of a wildcard and could compete for first place with $25 million, if the studio can really tap into the churchgoers market.
The rest of the top five is mostly irrelevant. 3 Days to Kill should earn fourth place, but with just under $6 million. There will be a big gap between third and fourth place.
On the other hand, there will likely be a logjam for fifth place. RoboCop has the best bet to round out the top five, but The Monuments Men, Pompeii, and About Last Night will all finish in the $4 million to $5 million range.
The Wind Rises could rise to the top ten as it is expanding to nearly 500 theaters. It will need close to $3 million to hit the top ten, which is not guaranteed, but it is a possibility.
Likewise, Anchorman: The Legend Continues could return to the top ten. This weekend an R-rated cut of the movie is being released in 1,300 theaters, which could be enough to get a spot in the top ten. It did earn $125 million during its original run, so the possibility of getting $3 million over the weekend can't be completely dismissed. On the other hand, the Blu-ray Combo Pack comes out in just over a month and I think fans will wait.
Date posted: 2014-02-27