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Weekend Predictions: Box Office set to Bounce Back

September 11th, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2 poster

Last weekend was the worst weekend in more than a decade. This weekend the box office will bounce back, because it has to. It can't possibly get worse. There are two wide releases debuting this weekend: Dolphin Tale 2 and No Good Time. Neither film is expected to become a big hit; in fact, if either film earns more than $20 million over the weekend, I will be impressed. That said, they will still be a step up from what happened last weekend. The biggest news of the weekend will come from Guardians of the Galaxy, which will become the first film released in 2014 to top $300 million. This weekend last year, Insidious Chapter 2 opened with more than $40 million and the combined openings of the two new releases this weekend will likely be below that. Worse case scenario has neither film opening above last year's number two film, The Family. There's almost no chance 2014 will win in the year-over-year comparison.

Dolphin Tale 2 is a sequel to Dolphin Tale, which opened with close to $20 million and finished with just over $70 million. It seems unlikely this film will match those figures. Its reviews are significantly weaker than its predecessor's reviews were. Perhaps it will start faster earning just over $20 million during the weekend, but I think $18 million is more likely. It should still have the legs to become a midlevel hit, so the studio should be happy with its box office numbers.

No Good Deed is a home invasion thriller with an African-American cast. Home invasion is not a unique premise for a thriller, neither is the escaped convict angle. I don't think having an African-American cast will help or hurt its chances at the box office. Because of that, it will need good buzz to find an audience in theaters. Sadly, there are still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is hard to judge its quality, but this is a bad sign for its buzz. It still has a reasonable shot at first place, but it will likely have to settle for second with $17 million.

Guardians of the Galaxy will be pushed into third place with just over $6 million over the weekend, which will lift its running tally to $303 million. It will become the first film released in 2014 to reach that milestone, as well as the fifth film in the Avengers franchise to get there.

There should be a three-way race for the final two spots in the top five with each film earning between $3 million and $4 million. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will likely earn fourth place with just under $4 million. Despite the bad pre-release buzz, the film has become a major hit, especially compared to the number of box office misses this summer.

Like last weekend, Let's Be Cops and If I Stay should be in a virtual tie at the box office, each earning about $3.5 million. Both films have done very well at the box office when compared to their respective production budgets and both will break even sooner rather than later.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, If I Stay, Guardians of the Galaxy, No Good Deed, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dolphin Tale 2, Let’s Be Cops