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Will Super Heroes Kick Ass or will Funeral have a Lively Start?

April 15th, 2010

A pair of new releases come out this week and almost all analysts expect them to finish one-two. There is some debate over which will take the top spot, with Kick-Ass holding a nominal but hardly insurmountable lead over Death at a Funeral. The same can be said when comparing Kick-Ass to 17 Again, which won the box office race last year. There's a chance that neither new release will be able to start faster than last year's champ, but there's also a chance that both will.

As I mentioned at the start of the month, Kick-Ass is a hard movie to predict. A few things have become a little more clear, to the benefit of the film. Primarily, the reviews are good. At 73% positive, they the best reviews for a wide release this month and the second best for a wide release all year. Also, the ad campaign has been aggressive and effective. That said, this is still a Fanboy film, and it is hard to separate the hype from the reality. There's a chance the box office potential has been greatly exaggerated. If it hasn't, it could make more than $35 million over the weekend, which is more than original expectation. On the other hand, it could make less than half of that over the next three days before disappearing very quickly. Consensus appears to be just north of $25 million, which is about what it cost to make.

The only other wide release of the week is Death at a Funeral, a remake that has a lot of people saying, "Huh?" The original came out less than three years ago, which is not a long time to justify a remake. So far its reviews are mixed at just 40% positive. For a wide release, that's about as low as you can go without it having a real negative effect on the box office. Both the theater count and the ad campaign are bigger than expected, which should also help it earn more than expected. A low $20 million range is most likely, but an opening in the high $20 million range is possible, which means it could squeak out a number one debut. I'm going with second place and $23 million, which is an excellent start.

With the best reviews of the year, How to Train Your Dragon has shown tremendous legs at the box office. It could earn as much as $20 million over the weekend, which would lift its running tally to nearly $160 million and put it on pace to reach over $200 million. Even if it misses that mark with $18 million, $200 million in total is within reach, though the studio may have to give it that extra push.

Clash of the Titans and Date Night were in a tight race last weekend and that will likely be the case this weekend as well. However, while Clash came out on top last time, Date Night has the advantage this weekend, partially because it has better reviews and partially because it has less direct competition. Look for Date Night to earn just under $14 million over the weekend and over $45 million after two.

Clash of the Titans will suffer a faster decline thanks to Kick-Ass, but it should still add about $13 million over the weekend for a total of $130 million after three. At this pace, $150 million is practically a lock, while it will top that number overseas. This is good news, because it was an expensive movie to make.


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Filed under: Death at a Funeral, Date Night, How to Train Your Dragon, Kick-Ass, Clash of the Titans