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Weekend Predictions: Will SpongeBob Stop Sniper?

February 5th, 2015

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water poster

We should have a new film to top the chart, finally, as The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water looks to take top spot, although if the more pessimistic analysts are correct, American Sniper could be close behind. Jupiter Ascending is looking for a $20 million opening, so if it can surprise analysts just a little it will compete for second place. Meanwhile, Seventh Son should be happy with a spot in the top five. It will get there, but mainly due to the lack of depth at the box office. This weekend last year was led by The LEGO Movie, which earned nearly $70 million. There's a chance the top three films won't earn that much this year. Even if all three wide releases top expectations, 2015 will still have trouble matching last year's box office.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is the sequel to a film that came out more than a decade ago. Usually these delayed sequels struggle, especially if they are family films, because the fans of the first film have grown up and are no longer in the target audience. However, I think that won't be as big of an issue this time around for two reasons. Firstly, the show is still going. This means while many have grown out of the show, there are more than have been introduced to the show in the past decade. Secondly, at its peak, the show was also enjoyed by a lot of college students who were ... chemically motivated to enjoy the show. I think some of these people will want to see the movie. In fact, some of them might have kids that are now old enough to enjoy the film. Additionally, it is in 3D and the 3D ticket prices should help it at the box office. Finally, it's a good movie. Granted, it is a little too soon to say for sure, but its reviews are 81% positive at the moment and that's the best we've seen for a true 2015 release. (Paddington came out in its native market in 2014, so one could argue it is a 2014 release.) I'm more bullish than most, but I think the film will open with more than $30 million over the weekend. Let's go with $34 million.

Jupiter Ascending is a film that reportedly cost $175 million to make, but was pushed off of a prime summer release date and is now coming out in February. That's a bad sign. Likewise, the film's reviews are not going to help it at the box office. Like so many other recent films from the Wachowski Siblings, visually it looks amazing, but the story is a mess. The visuals should be enough to get enough people into theaters to earn second place with just over $20 million.

American Sniper will be right being with just under $20 million. The film is finally showing some weakness at the theaters and there is stiffer competition in the new releases this weekend. That said, it will likely only fall a little more than 40% to just under $20 million over the weekend, given the film a running tally of close to $280 million.

Seventh Son should land in fourth place, mainly because there's no real competition after the first three films. Its early reviews are terrible and it might end up one of the worst films of the year. The film is already somewhat of a hit internationally and is on pace to top $100 million there. However, domestically expectations range from over $10 million to below the Mendoza Line, neither of which is a good start. I think the lower end is more likely and I'm predicting an opening of $7 million.

It looks like Paddington will round out the top five with $5 million. It is already a midlevel hit and given its reviews, I think many who saw it will want to buy it when it reaches the home market.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Seventh Son, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Jupiter Ascending, Paddington, American Sniper, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski