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Weekend Predictions: Will New Releases Purge Fast and Furious from the Top

June 6th, 2013

The first weekend in June is also the slowest weekend in June as far as wide releases go. Neither The Internship nor The Purge are likely to become more than midlevel hits. Even so, one of them should finish in first place, ending Fast and Furious 6's two-week run on top. Last year there were two major releases, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus earned more than $50 million during their opening weekend. Neither new release will match that figure. They won't make that much combined over the weekend.

The Purge's box office chances are not great compared to the average summer blockbuster, but it was only meant to be counter-programming and should have done well in that regard. However, due to a number of scheduling changes, it looks like it is going to open in first place this weekend. The reviews are not good with the critics complaining about two things. Firstly, the premise is silly. Secondly, the execution is a little weak. The idea that a Purge, a 12-hour window where all crimes are legal, would be implemented is ludicrous. It also wouldn't work in the same way, "letting out your anger" doesn't work. Being able to commit any crime you want one day a year would make it more likely you would kill during the rest of the year as well. As for the execution, the film mostly takes place in one house, but a lot critics are complaining that the movie makes the house seem impossibly large. Even so, there's enough thrills and tension, and social commentary, that its reviews are only mixed and not truly bad. It could open with $20 million, but I think $19 million is a safer bet.

The Internship is a film that seems like a winner on paper with two big stars and a successful director. However, the buzz is terrible. Part of the reason for this is recent performances by these three men. They have all had some commercial and critical flops. (For Shawn Levy, this has mostly been as a producer. He's never really won over critics as a director. His best-reviewed film is Date Night at 67% positive.) The overall reviews are not as bad as I thought they would be, but at just 33% positive, they are far from good. There is a chance it will come out on top with $20 million, but it might only earn fourth place with $14 million. I'm going with second place and $18 million.

Fast and Furious 6 is racing towards $200 million and might make it there this weekend. It will need close to $17.5 million over the next three days to get to that milestone, but I think it will fall just short.

Now You See Me should finish in fourth place this weekend. It opened better than expected, but its reviews are weak, so I don't expect its legs to be strong. Perhaps it will fall more than 50%, but I think it will avoid that fate with just over $15 million.

After Earth failed to live up to lowered expectations and with some of the worst reviews of the year, it will likely fall pretty fast. It might fall to below $10 million over the weekend, but that seems a little harsh. I'm going with just under $11 million. This is a really bad run for a film that cost more than $100 million to make.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Fast and Furious 6, After Earth, Now You See Me, The Internship, The Purge, Shawn Levy, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson