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Weekend Predictions: Will Taken Take Top Spot?

January 8th, 2015

Taken 3 poster

It is a strange weekend at the box office with the number of wide releases being outnumbered by the number of wide expansions. Taken 3 is the only wide release and it is widely expected to top the chart by a significant margin. Selma is the best film on this week's list and should do well during its first wide weekend. On the other hand, it appears Inherent Vice is not opening truly wide and that it likely won't reach the top ten. This weekend last year was led by Lone Survivor, which earned $37.85 million during its first week of wide release, while the only new wide release was The Legend of Hercules with $8.87 million. There was also another not-so wide expansion, August: Osage County, which earned seventh place with $7.16 million. Overall, it looks like 2015's batch of new releases are not quite as strong as last year's were, but 2015 did win last weekend, so perhaps the holdovers can help 2015 come out on top of the year-over-year comparison.

Taken 3 is the third film in the Taken franchise. The first film earned okay reviews, but was a surprise early year hit when it came out. The second film was eviscerated by critics, it was an even bigger hit worldwide. Taken 3's reviews are slightly better than its predecessor's were, but its box office potential is lower. Look for an opening weekend box office of just over $30 million, but it won't have the legs to get to $100 million before it is done.

Selma is still earning 100% positive reviews and it will be interesting to see if it can translate those reviews into box office success. The buzz is relatively strong, although it hasn't done quite as well with Awards Season voters as I would like. I think a $20 million opening is possible, but being a little more conservative is probably for the best. Look for an opening of $18 million and long enough legs that it will become a midlevel hit.

Without any direct competition, Into the Woods should hold on better than most of the rest of the top ten and this will help it earn third place, barely. Also, it will cross $100 million over the weekend, which is a good milestone for a film that cost $50 million to make. Over the weekend, the film should add just over $10 million to its running tally.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be right behind with roughly $10 million. The film remains on pace to reach $250 million, possibly as early as this time next week. However, it will probably have to wait a few more days to get there. The film cost $250 million to make, so getting to this milestone is important. Add in its international numbers and it has more than broken even.

Unbroken should round out the top five with just under $10 million. It too will hit the $100 million mark this weekend, while it is on pace for about $125 million. This is enough to cover its entire production budget, so if the movie can even just get to $200 million worldwide, it will break even early in its home market run.

While Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb will fall out of the top five this weekend with about $8 million, it will become the third film to reach $100 million over the weekend.

Inherent Vice has already earned more than $1.5 million during its limited release. Now this weekend it had a planned wide release; however, "wide" appears to be only 400 to 500 theaters. The film needs to make about $5 million to enter the top ten, which is possible, but highly unlikely. A weekend run of between $2 million and $3 million is much more likely. This isn't bad for a limited release, but I think it is below expectations.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Selma, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Into the Woods, Unbroken, Inherent Vice, Taken 3, Taken