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Weekend Predictions: Will New Releases be Hits or will Moviegoers Run Away?

August 23rd, 2012

Last weekend there were seven films to earning more than $10 million. This weekend, it looks like none of the new releases will reach that mark, while there's a slim chance none of the holdovers will stay above that level either. Granted, it would take an epic collapse by The Expendables 2 to fail to top $10 million, but it is possible. Of the new releases, Premium Rush is the only one with a shot at $10 million. It has good reviews, but they probably won't be enough. I thought Hit and Run would be a disaster with critics, but its reviews are actually above 50% positive. On the other hand, its Wednesday opening was a disaster. Finally there's The Apparition. It is opening in less than 1000 theaters and was not screened for critics. Enough said. Last year was also terrible, so there a chance 2012 will squeak out a win.

The Expendables 2 missed expectations during its opening weekend, but some think better reviews will help it have better legs than the original. That's not likely. A drop-off of just over 50% to just over $14 million is the best it can hope for, while a 60% drop-off to $11 million is possible. The lower end seems more likely to me, so I'm going with $12 million over the next three days for a total of $51 million after ten.

On average, analysts think that Premium Rush will earn fourth place with $8 million. I'm a little more bullish than most, in part because of its reviews. Its Tomatometer Score is currently 72%, which is excellent for this time of year. Granted, it is also quite a bit lower than it was earlier in the week, which is a troubling sign. Also, I might be biased by my opinion of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon, who are two of my favorite actors. I'm going with a prediction of second place and just over $9 million. Hopefully I'm underestimating its appeal, because we could use a surprise late summer hit.

If the The Bourne Legacy can avoid dropping below $8 million, it will remain on pace for $100 million. I think $9 million is likely, which would push its running tally to just over $85 million.

ParaNorman should settle into fourth place with just under $9 million. Its reviews were amazing, but stop-motion animation remains a niche market.

The Campaign should round out the top five with close to $8 million. It is a solid midlevel hit and should reach profitability early in its home market run.

I thought Hit and Run looked horrible. How unfunny does a film have to be before a studio has to use an extended prison rape joke in the trailer? However, its reviews were a pleasant surprise. Granted, they are not good, but they are not bad either and are currently one positive review away from exactly 50% positive. On the other hand, the film opened on Wednesday and its first day was nothing short of a disaster. It only managed eighth place with an estimated $625,000 in 2,698 theaters. That's lower than Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D's opening day last week, and that film was only playing in 800 theaters. If this film follows that film's run, it will make less than $2 million over the weekend. Even on the high end, it might be hard for the film to avoid missing the Mendoza Line. Reaching $5 million after five days might be asking too much.

The final wide release of the week is The Apparition; however, it is only opening in 800 theaters and has no reviews. Clearly the studio doesn't care what happens to the film. It too might miss the Mendoza Line, but between $2 million and $3 million over the weekend is more likely.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Apparition, Premium Rush, The Bourne Legacy, The Expendables 2, ParaNorman, The Campaign, Hit & Run, Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D