Weekend Predictions: Will the New Releases Win the New Year?

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the only wide release opening on the first weekend of the year. The long running franchise will have to battle a weaker release date, franchise fatigue, and several holdovers that are still going strong. It still has a good shot at first place, as does Frozen. Frozen could win the weekend, with the help of families going out to the movies one last time before school starts again. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug probably won't extend its winning streak, but it should still be pull in quite a bit of money over the weekend. Last year the year started with Texas Chainsaw 3D earning more than $20 million. Django Unchained also topped $20 million over the weekend, albeit by the tiniest margin. We might have two $20 million films this weekend as well, with as many as five additional films earning more than $10 million. If 2014 doesn't win in the year-over-year comparison, it should at least be close.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the fifth film in the Paranormal Activity franchise. There are not many franchises that last five films, fewer still where the fifth film is a major hit compared to the others. Franchise fatigue usually sets in by them. Additionally, this is the first Paranormal Activity to not get a boost from Halloween. On the other hand, early January has become a good time of year to release a horror film with Texas Chainsaw 3D earning $21.74 million last year and The Devil Inside making $33.73 million the weekend before that. There are not a lot of reviews online to boost this film's chances, but the ones on Rotten Tomatoes are mostly positive. Add it all together and I think it will pull in $24 million over the weekend, which should be enough for first place.

Frozen should remain in second place for the fourth weekend in a row and the fifth time during its run. Look for just over $20 million this weekend giving it a total of just shy of $300 million.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug should slip to third place with $16 million. It will get to nearly $230 million by the end of the weekend and keep $250 million in sight. It isn't as big of a hit as An Unexpected Journey was, but it will make more domestically than it cost to produce, so the studio should be very happy.

American Hustle is pulling in major Awards Season recognition and this should help it at the box office. It should add between $12 million and $13 million over the weekend, which will put it about one weekend away from $100 million.

Anchorman: The Legend Continues should be right behind with $12 million over the weekend. That said, it will cross $100 million on Friday and it should top $125 million in total. It won't make that much internationally, but it will make a profit just on the film's domestic theatrical and home market numbers.

Both The Wolf of Wall Street and Saving Mr. Banks have a shot at cracking $10 million over the weekend. I think Wolf will get there, barely, while Mr. Banks will not.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-02