Weekend Predictions: Will Summer End this Weekend?

The Expendables 3 poster

The strong opening by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles allowed summer to be extended one more weekend. This week three films look to avoid flopping, thus signaling the end of summer, but in order to do so, they must defy critics. The Expendables 3 is the biggest of the three films opening this weekend, but the franchise appears to be on a downward trajectory. Let's Be Cops opened on Wednesday, but with simply awful reviews, the word-of-mouth could kill it by the time the weekend starts. Finally, The Giver is the latest Young Adult adaptation, but this genre has produced more flops than even midlevel hits. Frankly, the most interesting aspect of the weekend box office will likely be milestones reached by Guardians of the Galaxy and other movies, rather than the new releases. This weekend last year was also arguably the the end of summer. The Butler was the only movie to make more than $20 million, while three of the four wide releases opened in fifth place or weaker. It looks like 2014 will continue its winning streak.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was pushed into second place on Wednesday thanks to the opening of Let's Be Cops. However, it should bounce back on Thursday and may repeat in first place over the weekend. A drop-off of more than 60% seems likely, given the track record we've see so far this year which would put it down to $25 million over the weekend, which would push it past $115 million after ten days of release. It is closing in on its production budget, so it should have little trouble breaking even sooner rather than later, while I assume someone is already working on the second and likely third installments of this incarnation of the long-running franchise.

The Expendables 3, as the name suggests, is the third installment in the Expendables franchise. The first film was a surprise $100 million hit, but it is unlikely this film will reach the same level at the box office. The reviews are the weakest in the franchise, while the filmmakers made the decision to go PG-13 instead of R, which could alienate fans further. Finally, the film was leaked online in its entirety and this will likely hurt the film at the box office at least somewhat. (I don't think a lot of people who were excited to see the movie in theaters will download it instead, but those on the fence might think, "I'll just download it instead." They might not even bother to download it, but it is an excuse not to see it.) Look for a second place with just over $24 million over the weekend.

Guardians of the Galaxy should be right behind with just under $24 million putting it over $200 million early in the weekend. At this pace, it will get past $250 million domestically and is on pace to catch up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier for first place for the year.

Let's Be Cops opened in first place on Wednesday with $5.21 million, but it will likely drop-off quite quickly because of the competition and because of the reviews, which have fallen below the 10% positive level. Look for just over $22 million over the weekend for a total of $30 million over five days.

The Giver is the latest adaptation of the Young Adult novel, and if these films continue to earn bad reviews, that's going to stop being a selling point very soon. Most Young Adult novels that are turned into movies are either supernatural romances or dystopian futures, this is the latter. Sadly, critics are complaining there is very little here that is a unique and there not enough details to make it stand out. It is also the smallest of the three wide releases coming out. It should still reach the top five with roughly $13 million. That's not enough to be a success, but it is also not enough to be considered a complete failure either.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-14