This weekend, there are two wide releases coming out, one of which is the obvious potential monster hit and the other being the obvious counter-programing. On paper, Edge of Tomorrow is the obvious potential monster hit. It is a Sci-fi action film with a production budget that is nearly $200 million. The Fault in Our Stars is the obvious counter-programing. It is about two teen cancer patients who fall in love, which couldn't be farther away from a popcorn flick. However, the buzz really suggests The Fault in Our Stars could win. In fact, it could break the record for biggest opening for a romantic drama. This weekend last year, The Purge won with $34.06 million, while no other film earned more than $20 million. This year, three films might top $30 million and the winner could pull in more than $40 million. I think 2014 will win this weekend in the year-over-year competition.
The Fault in Our Stars is the first book of John Green to be adapted into a movie and given his popularity among the internet community, its buzz is no surprise. Then again, strong internet buzz rarely translates into strong ticket sales. There are some reports of really high pre-sales, especially for a romantic drama. Its reviews are really strong and it has been flirting with the 80% market on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests great word-of-mouth. On the high end, the film will top $40 million. Even on the low end, it is tracking for a $30 million debut. I really want this film to be a hit, so I think my judgment is a little clouded. I'm going with $35 million, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
All of the big-budget films that opened in first place this year have lost more than 60% during its sophomore stint. Maleficent should be the first to avoid that fate, despite its mixed reviews. It's not the traditional Fanboy film and it is not based on a long-existing franchise, so that should help its legs. The film will still fall more than 50%, but $31 million should be enough for second place and lifting its running tally past $100 million.
Edge of Tomorrow is the film starring Tom Cruise. It is a Sci-fi action film with a $178 million production budget. Its reviews are nearly 90% positive. So why isn't this film being hyped as a huge hit? Partially it is because of Tom Cruise. While the actor was once the biggest box office draw, his star power has faded considerably. It debuted internationally and in most major markets it only managed third or lower. On paper, this should be opening with $50 million, but it is tracking for an opening between $25 million and $30 million. I'm going with the very high end, $30 million, which will put it within striking distance of second place.
X-Men: Days of Future Past will slip to fourth place with just over $15 million over the weekend for a running tally of $190 million. At this pace, the film will hit $200 million next weekend, but it will fall out of the top five at the same time.
A Million Ways to Die in the West will round out the top five with between $7 million and $8 million. It will disappear rather quickly from domestic theaters and it likely won't do significantly better internationally.
Date posted: 2014-06-05