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Weekend Predictions: Will Angry have a Reason to Blow Up?

May 19th, 2016

The Angry Birds Movie

There are three wide releases coming out this week, all of which are aimed at different target audiences. The Angry Birds Movie is aimed at families and will likely be the biggest hit of the weekend. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is an R-rated comedy that is hoping to avoid a Horrible Bosses 2 drop-off. Finally there's The Nice Guys, which is aiming for counter-programming success. If it tops $15 million over the weekend, it will be seen as a success. Captain America: Civil War will still be in the mix and could earn the threepeat, but could also fall to third place. This weekend last year, all five films in the top five earned at least $20 million. That won't happen this year. 2016 will lose, but it won't be a disaster in the year-over-year comparison.

The Angry Birds Movie is the first major animated film to come out since Zootopia and this long gap should help it at the box office. Additionally, its reviews are 52% positive, which is perfectly acceptable for a family film. The reviews will neither hurt nor help its legs. The buzz it good, compared to the average family film. However, it's international debut wasn't as good as I would have liked. It should still come out on top this weekend, but it won't be as big as Zootopia, not even close. Look for an opening of $40 million, or close to it, and reasonable legs. It only cost $80 million to make, which isn't bad for an digitally animated film, so it will only need about $300 million worldwide to be considered a financial success. It will get there.

Captain America: Civil War appears to be following a very similar path as The Avengers: Age of Ultron did this time last year, albeit with a smaller opening. Both films fell 59% during their sophomore stints, while Ultron fell 50% during its third weekend of release. If Civil War were to do the same, it would make $36 million over the weekend. That sounds like a reasonable prediction.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is the sequel to Neighbors. That film earned $150 million domestically on a $20 million budget. A sequel makes total sense, right? Not really. Franchises like Ted and Horrible Bosses show that big comedy hits can often time result in sequels that struggle at the box office. Sorority Rising might earn significantly less than what the original film earned. The film's reviews are good, but not great. Its international numbers are very weak. There's part of me that is worried this film will open with barely more than $20 million and fizzle out before hitting $60 million. Most people are not as pessimistic as that and the average prediction is closer to $40 million than $30 million. Let's go with $34 million.

The Nice Guys is the smallest of the three films opening wide this week. It is earning the best reviews, but the studio is only expecting a little more than $10 million. Granted, studios try and underestimate box office potential, at least publicly, so even if the film doesn't quite live up to their internal expectations, it still looks good. The film is written and directed by Shane Black, who previously wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and a lot of critics are comparing the two movies. That's high praise. There are some who think the movie will earn more than $20 million, while under $10 million is also a sad possibility. The dark comedy elements will limited its audience, but I choose to be cautiously optimistic and I'm going with $15 million.

The Jungle Book should round out the top five with just over $10 million for a running tally of roughly $327 million. This puts it about $2 million shy of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so it won't be long before it overtakes that film on the yearly chart.

- The Angry Birds Movie Comparisons
- Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Comparisons
- The Nice Guys Comparisons
- The Jungle Book vs. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Angry Birds Movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, The Nice Guys, Zootopia, Ted, Horrible Bosses, Shane Black