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Weekend Predictions: New Releases are Not In Focus

February 26th, 2015

Focus poster

The month ends with two wide releases: Focus and The Lazarus Effect. Neither film is expected to be a big hit, but at least Focus is expected to earn first place overtaking Fifty Shades of Grey. Overall, I think the box office will drop when compared to last week. Worse still, the box office looks weak when compared to last year. Last year, the box office was led by Non-Stop, while three films earned more than $20 million over the weekend. This year, there's a chance no film will earn $20 million. 2015 is very likely going to lose in the year-over-year comparison ending 2015's winning streak.

Focus is the first leading role for Will Smith since After Earth. After Earth was arguably the worst domestic box office performance in Will Smith's career. This film's reviews are better than After Earth's reviews were, but still not quite good enough for an overall positive score. As for its box office chances, it should be the only film to top $20 million over the weekend. It might barely get there, or it could earn close to $30 million. I think $24 million is the most likely result.

The next four films will earn about $10 million, more or less. I think Kingsman: The Secret Service will grab second place, as it is earning better legs than expected. It has already matched its estimated production budget, while it is on pace to reach $100 million, which would justify a sequel. Look for just under $11 million over the weekend, which would lift its running tally to $84 million.

The Lazarus Effect is a PG-13 rated horror film, which is both a positive and a negative. Its rating will allow teenagers to see the film in theaters. However, its rating will turn off hardcore fans of the genre. The tie-breaker is its reviews, which are only 18% positive. That's not going to help its box office chances. This film could open anywhere from second to fifth. I'm going with third place with just over $10 million. This is fine for a low-budget horror film, but nothing noteworthy.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water should earn fourth place with $10 million over the weekend for a total of $139 million. It will reach $150 million in just over a week, which is excellent for this time of year.

Fifty Shades of Grey plummeted much faster than expected down 74% during its sophomore stint. It will not fall as fast this weekend, but I still expect it to fall from first to fifth with just under $10 million. It too will reach $150 million very soon.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Lazarus Effect, Focus, Will Smith