Weekend Predictions: RoboCop Starts First, but Last Night should get Last Laugh

About Last Night poster

RoboCop opened on Wednesday, but failed to meet expectations, which leaves an opening for About Last Night to become the best of the new releases. Endless Love will also be competitive this weekend, meaning all three 1980s remakes could finish back-to-back-to-back. On the other hand, Winter's Tale could miss the top five. As for the holdovers, The LEGO Movie will crush all of the new releases and easily repeat as box office champion. By the end of business on Monday, it will have made enough money to cover its entire production budget. This time last year there were also four new releases, led by A Good Day to Die Hard. I think this year's new releases are a little weaker on average than last year's were' however, The LEGO Movie could make $50 million over the next four days, so it will carry 2014 to victory.

The LEGO Movie is not only the best movie release this year, it is looking to become the biggest box office hit of 2014 as well. The film will have pulled in $80 million before Friday begins, while the four new releases don't share much in the way of target demographic. This bodes very well for its chances this weekend. There are many who are predicting a $50 million to $60 million four-day total this weekend. A $60 million four-day weekend seems insane. However, $51 million isn't. That would lift the film's running tally to $130 million after eleven days of release, which is more than enough to cover its entire production budget and likely a decent fraction of its P&A budget. It will clear $200 million with ease, meaning it will break even on its domestic numbers alone.

About Last Night is the only new release earning overall positive reviews with a Tomatometer Score that is currently 76% positive. It also stars Kevin Hart, who is on the verge of being an A-lister. There are very few stand-up comics who can release a movie and have it become a mainstream hit. Let Me Explain did just that. If this film can match Ride Along, then he will have his pick of movie roles. This might be too bullish, but it could get off to a fast start with $27 million over the next four days.

RoboCop failed to meet expectations on Wednesday with just $2.81 million. Its reviews have also dipped below the 50% positive level. I mentioned that the film's debut in U.K. and Australia suggest a three-day opening of just over $20 million, but I thought that was too low. I appear to have been wrong. At this point, there's even a chance it won't make $20 million over four-days. I'm going with $25 million over four days, which is not a good start, especially for a movie that cost $130 million to make. On a side note, when was the last time Sony had a monster hit? Skyfall in 2012. Last year, their biggest worldwide hit was The Smurfs 2.

Endless Love is the third remake of a 1980s film to come out this week. Its a romance opening on Valentine's Day, so that should help it at the box office. On the other hand, it has been earning awful reviews and the direct competition is really high with two other romances coming out this week. There is a chance it will fight for second place, but I think fourth place and $17 million is more likely.

The Monuments Men should round out the top five with $15 million over the next four days. Its reviews are weak, but not as bad as half of the new releases, while there's no direct competition opening wide. Even so, this won't be enough to help the film match its production budget.

Winter's Tale has earned the worst reviews of the week and it is the third romantic movie coming out this week. There is a slim chance the film will open with less than $10 million over four days and even the best cast scenario has it barely making the top five over the weekend. I'm going with $9 million over the three-day weekend and $12 million including Monday.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-02-14