Weekend Predictions: RoboCop Gets the First Shot at the Weekend Box Office

Robocop poster

Tonight RoboCop opens early / late, depending on your point of view. On the one hand, it is opening on Wednesday, while the rest of the wide releases are opening on Friday, Valentine's Day. It makes sense not to try to compete with three romantic movies on Valentine's Day, so this could help its box office numbers. On the other hand, the film was originally scheduled for a Summer 2013 release, but was pushed back till February, which suggests the studio doesn't have a lot of faith in the movie. So how does the film's prospects look this weekend?

There is some bad news. Almost no one thinks RoboCop will top The LEGO Movie over the weekend. In fact, it will likely make less over six days from Wednesday through Monday than The LEGO Movie will make over the three-day weekend. The reviews are just mixed and are currently just over 50% positive. This is actually better than a lot of people feared it would be, but not strong enough to suggest people predisposed to hating it will change their minds in significant numbers. I think it will be a lot like Carrie in that regard, Whichever version you see first is the one you will like the most. This version loses the humor and satire of the original, but is arguably more timely dealing with a surveillance society and killer drones. Then again, a lot of the world of the future in the first RoboCop has pretty much come true. I haven't seen this one yet, but I already miss the fake commercials, so this one will have difficulty winning me over.

We have a bit more to work with, as RoboCop has been playing internationally for a couple of weeks. The film earned just over $20 million internationally last weekend, including number two debuts in both the U.K. and Australia. This could translate into a third place finish here with just over $20 million over three days, given the relative size of the two markets. On the other hand, it is a long weekend here, while it wasn't in the U.K. and Australia, so that should boost the film's numbers.

Look for just over $4 million tonight, just under $3 million Thursday, and $32 million over the four-day portion of the weekend. That's not a bad start for this time of year, but sadly, it reportedly cost ten times the original for a production budget of $130 million. It will need help internationally to earn that back.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-02-12