Weekend Predictions: Can any of the New Releases Overtake Guardians?

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Yep. It's August alright. There are four wide releases coming out this week, the largest of which is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is currently earning 17% positive reviews. It's not even the worst reviewed film of the weekend so far, as Into the Storm is a little worse. There are a couple of films that might earn overall positive reviews: The Hundred Foot Journey and Step Up All In. None of the new releases are on track to match Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, all four combined won't make as much as Guardians of the Galaxy opened with last weekend. This weekend last year, there were also four wide releases, three of which earned more than $20 million. I don't think that will be true this year, but I think based on the strength of Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2014 will win in the year-over-year comparison.

Guardians of the Galaxy opened last weekend with $94.32 million. Given its reviews and the lack of A-list competition, one would think it would have a good hold this weekend. However, it is a Fanboy film and these films tend to drop-off a cliff the second weekend. The average decline is more than 60% for these films this summer. Fortunately the lack of stiff competition and the stellar reviews should prevent that from happening. It will be close and on the low end Guardians of the Galaxy will add $39 million over the weekend. This would still put it ahead of The Incredible Hulk on the list of The Avengers films. On the high end, it could earn $43 million, which would put it within striking distance of Captain America: The First Avenger's total after just ten days of release.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the latest in a very long line of TMNT movies and cartoons all based on the original comics from the 1980s. There has been a lot of bad buzz surrounding this film for a very long time. Unfortunately, it turns out the naysayers have been right, as the critics have been equally brutal. Having a Tomatometer score of under 20% positive is terrible, regardless of the situation. Additionally, with direct competition that is earning much better word-of-mouth, it might struggle just to get to $30 million. I think it will get there, but $35 million is probably the highest it will go. I'm predicting $34 million.

Into the Storm is expected to open in third place, despite several critics calling is no better than the average TV movie. With two visually intensive action films ahead of it, Into the Storm could bomb completely missing the top five with just under $8 million. In fact, this is what my gut is telling me will happen. However, I am in the minority here. Most analysts think it will earn between $14 million and $17 million. I don't see this film earning half to a third of what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will open with. However, maybe I'm missing something, so I'm going with an opening of $12 million.

Step Up All In is earning some of the best reviews of the weekend, although with an early Tomatometer Score of 57% positive, this isn't a great selling point. It is the fifth installment in the Step Up franchise, which is a bigger selling point, at least to its target demographic. Dance movies, especially movies about competitive dancing, is a niche genre, one that is not growing. This explains why the movie is opening in barely more than 2,000 theaters this weekend. Look for an opening weekend of just over $10 million, while it will break even thanks to its international numbers.

Lastly, we have The Hundred-Foot Journey, which despite earning the best reviews will likely have the weakest opening. This is true for a number of reasons, mainly its genre and target demographic. There is no Fanboy effect built into this movie. The only star power in the movie comes from Helen Mirren. Finally, it is only opening in just over 2,000 theaters. There is still a chance the film will open with more than $10 million, but I think $9 million is most likely. Good word-of-mouth could still help it become a sleeper hit.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-07