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Weekend Predictions: Life, The Universe, and Everything

April 12th, 2013

It's a two-way race for top spot at the box office this weekend with both Scary Movie 5 and 42. Just last week it looked like Scary Movie 5 would win, but as 42's box office prospects have risen, its have fallen. It is not a sure thing that 42 will win and it should be a close race, but it does have a slight edge. This weekend last year was led by... The Hunger Games ... for the fourth week in a row. It's the last time I have to say that. There were two other new releases that made an impact at the box office: The Three Stooges and The Cabin in the Woods. I think the new releases this year will be better than last year, but The Hunger Games will be the tie-breaker.

42 is not just the answer to Life, The Universe, And Everything, it is also the name of the movie most likely to finish first on the box office chart this weekend. The Jackie Robinson biopic is earning good reviews and the buzz is growing at the right time. It has a good shot at top spot, but there's some debate on the subject. On the high end, $22 million is a reasonable prediction, but on the low end, it could struggle to get to $16 million. The reviews suggest it will finish in first place over the full weekend, but its target demographic suggests it will start slow on Friday. I'm going with just under $19 million over the weekend, which should be enough for first place.

On a side note, I always thought we got an explanation to why 42 was the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything. In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the book ends with "I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe." The Ultimate Question is, "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" and the answer is "42", because there is something fundamentally wrong with the universe.

The Scary Movie franchise has been around for 13 years and in that time has pulled in $750 million worldwide. Scary Movie 5 looks to add to that number, but its buzz has taken a hit and it is very likely going to have the worst opening in the franchise. It would need to top $20.50 million to avoid opening below Scary Movie 2, which isn't out of the question, but it doesn't seem likely. Weak buzz and no reviews could prove a fatal combination. I still think it will open in first place on Friday, but it will then collapse as the weekend wears on and might be in third place on the Sunday daily chart. Overall, it should earn second place with just over $17 million.

Good reviews, a family friendly nature, and the lack of direct competition will help The Croods earn third place with $14 million. This will push its running tally to $143 million, putting it on pace for $175 million, or more.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Evil Dead should be in a bit of a battle for fourth place. The latter has better reviews and that will help it a bit. However, its genre will hurt its legs, while the sophomore stint usually has the worst week-to-week drop-off, that is until a film starts really shedding theaters. Retaliation has the slight edge and should finish with just under $11 million, while Evil Dead will be right behind with just over $10 million.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Croods, Evil Dead, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Scary Movie V, 42, Scary Movie