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Friday, August 22, 2014



Weekend Predictions: Dinobots look to Chomp Down on New Releases

Tammy poster

There are three wide releases and a wide expansion this week all hoping to take advantage if the Independence Day long weekend. (There was to be one more wide expansion, but Begin Again is expanding to less than 200 theaters.) Tammy is the biggest of these wide releases and it is the latest Melissa McCarthy vehicle and might be a surprise $100 million hit. Deliver Us From Evil and Earth to Echo were in a close battle for third place on Wednesday, but I think their futures will be quite different. Finally, America: Imagine a World Without Her is expanding to over 1,000 theaters. This isn't enough to compete with the new releases, but it could compete for a spot in the top ten. While there are a lot of new releases, Transformers: Age of Extinction will win the race for top spot in the box office chart, unless something surprising happens. The only thing more surprising than Age of Extinction getting knocked out of top spot would be if the overall box office was stronger that the same weekend last year when Despicable Me 2 opened with more than $80 million during the three-day weekend.

Despite three wide debuts and another semi-wide expansion, Transformers: Age of Extinction remained on top spot on the box office chart on Wednesday. This bodes well for its chances during the weekend and it should have no trouble repeating on the top of the chart. On the other hand, its reviews are the worst in the franchise and even the audience reaction on Rotten Tomatoes has fallen below the 60% positive level. That will likely hurt the film's legs. Even on the high end, it will fall more than 50%. On the low end, it could fall more than 60%, maybe even 65%. I think a 60% drop-off is likely, leaving the film with $40 million over the weekend.

Tammy is the latest film for Melissa McCarthy, who has starred in four $100 million movies in the past three years, including three films last year. The film pulled in $6.21 during its opening day, which is a good start for a non-Tentpole Wednesday opening. The reviews, on the other hand, are not good. It will likely see its daily number drop significantly on Thursday and while it will recover over the weekend, it still won't be a massive hit. Look for $23 million over the weekend and $34 million over five days. This is much more than it cost to make, so it will break even, but it won't be another $100 million hit.

I'm a little more bullish about Earth to Echo's chances than most and I think it will grab third place. Granted, it only placed fourth on Wednesday, but I think it will perform better over the holidays than the third place film, Deliver Us From Evil, will perform. This is for two reasons. Firstly, this is a family friendly film while Deliver Us From Evil is a horror film, and family films tend to have much better legs. Additionally, it has the better reviews, even if they are not truly great. After a $2.65 million opening day, it should pull in about $13 million over the weekend and about $18 million over five days.

Deliver Us From Evil opened in third place with $2.85 million on Wednesday, but I don't think it will last there long. Firstly, it is a horror movies and this genre tends to be really front-loaded. Secondly, its reviews are bad. They are not the worst for the week, but they are weak enough that they will probably hurt the film's legs. I think it will fall to fourth place on Thursday and stay there over the weekend with $12 million for a five-day total of $17 million.

22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 should be in a close battle for fifth place with $9 million each, more or less. 22 Jump Street has the advantage this weekend and that film will cross $150 million during that time.

America: Imagine a World Without Her is the follow-up to 2016: Obama's America. That film earned terrible reviews, but was a surprise hit at the box office. This film is earning even worse reviews and won't do as well at the box office. America, this America, opened in just over 1,000 theaters on Wednesday. The previous America movie expanded into just over 1,000 theaters during its seventh weekend of release earning $6.51 million. It seems very unlikely that the current America will match the previous America's first semi-wide weekend. It only managed $650,000 during its opening day and that's not enough to suggest a big weekend. It might still get into the top ten with close to $4 million over the three days. However, just over $3 million over the weekend and just over $4 million over five days is more likely.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-07-03

Movies 
 Transformers: Age of Extinction
 Tammy
 Earth to Echo
 Deliver Us from Evil
 22 Jump Street
 How to Train Your Dragon 2