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Weekend Predictions: Nothing Super about the New Releases

January 29th, 2015

Project Almanac poster

There are three wide releases coming out this weekend, sort of. Project Almanac is the only film opening truly wide this weekend and it is easily the biggest of the three releases. The other two new releases, Black or White and The Loft, are both opening in below 2,000 theaters and neither has a real shot to open in the top five. This leaves American Sniper with an easy path to first place, but perhaps the Super Bowl will be bigger competition this weekend than any of the new releases were the last two weeks. This weekend last year, both new releases struggled and Ride Along was easily able to win, but with just $12 million. 2015 is going to crush 2014 in the year-over-year comparison.

American Sniper will complete the threepeat. The only real competition it has is the Super Bowl, which does share quite a bit of its target demographic. That said, earning $36 million over the weekend seems like a solid goal. This would push its running tally past $250 million, which is amazing for this time of year.

Project Almanac is the only new release with a shot at $10 million, but not everyone thinks it is going to get there. Its reviews are weak, as is the buzz. I'm not surprised the buzz is weak, as the found footage genre is overplayed and has been overplayed for years. Fandango reports have it in second place in pre-sales for the weekend, but not by a large margin. It could open below $10 million, but I think $13 million is a safe bet.

I think Paddington will remain in third place for a third weekend in a row with just under $8 million. It won't be affected by the Super Bowl as much as other films this weekend, plus its reviews will likely be among the best for 2015. Look for $8 million over the weekend for a running tally of $50 million. This is enough to be considered a midlevel hit and with its international numbers, it will break even sooner rather than later.

The Boy Next Door should be close behind with between $7 million and $8 million. It won't be the worst release of the month, but it is a typical January box office miss.

The Wedding Ringer should round out the top five with between $6 million and $7 million. It is on pace to reach $50 million, but it won't get there this weekend. Once it does get there, it will be seen as a midlevel hit, which is good for a January release.

Black or White will miss the top five, but will come closer than the other semi-wide release. Its reviews are weak and the buzz is really quiet. Additionally, Kevin Costner is on a losing streak at the box office. Maybe it will surprise and grab a spot in the top five, but I wouldn't bet on it. Look for an opening weekend of between $5 million and $6 million.

The final "wide" release is The Loft. This film is opening in less than 2,000 theaters and there is still only one review on Rotten Tomatoes. (It's negative.) The buzz is so bad that it could open below the Mendoza Line. It might even miss the top ten. I think it will avoid both of those fates, but it will still bomb with just $4 million over the next three days.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Loft, Project Almanac, Paddington, The Boy Next Door, The Wedding Ringer, Black or White, American Sniper, Kevin Costner