Weekend Predictions: Will Labor Day Be an Above Weekend?

As Above, So Below poster

It's Labor Day Weekend, which is historically the worst long weekend of the year. This year As Above, So Below and The November Man are trying to avoid bombing this weekend. It looks like As Above, So Below will be a middling hit thanks in part to its low production budget. On the other hand, The November Man only managed fifth place during its opening day and it will likely get worse over the weekend. This leaves Guardians of the Galaxy with an easy path to first place for the weekend, and coincidentally, an easy path for first place for the year so far. Labor Day last year was led by One Direction: This is Us and there's really no chance the new releases this year will do the same. 2014 does have better depth, but I don't think that will be enough to continue the winning streak in the year-over-year comparison.

This weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy might be the only film in the top ten to earn overall positive reviews, so it is a bit of justice that it will end the summer on top of the box office chart for the third time during its run. (It will be the sole good movie in the top ten, if The Hundred-Foot-Journey falls out of the top ten, but while it will be close, I don't think that will happen.) On the high end, the film could earn more than $20 million over the four-day weekend, which would not only give it top spot for the year, but also put it on pace to reach $300 million before it falls out of the top five. That's a little bullish for my tastes, but an $18 million four-day weekend should be a good call.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is currently in second place on the daily chart and will likely finish in second place during the weekend. I think it will pull in $15 million over the four-day weekend giving it a $165 million running tally.

Let's Be Cops should be one of three films in a logjam for the final three spots in the top five. It has been holding on a lot better than its reviews would have indicated and this could help it earn third place with just over $11 million.

As Above, So Below is the bigger of the two wide releases coming out this weekend, but that's not saying much. It is a horror film, which is a genre that has traditionally done well on Labor Day long weekend. However, this film's early reviews are terrible and there's very little buzz. On the high end, it could earn third place with just over $11 million. On the low end, it might miss the top five with $8 million. I think the higher end is more likely and I'm going with fourth place with $11 million.

If I Stay should round out the top five with just under $11 million for a running tally of $32 million. This is very close to the film's combined budget, so it will break even sometime on the home market.

The November Man opened on Wednesday and before the numbers came in, I was expecting at least third place with $1 million, perhaps a little more. It opened in fifth place with $861,000. This isn't a good sign. Additionally, its reviews are bad. They are not as bad as they were a week ago when the first reviews trickled onto Rotten Tomatoes, but they are still bad enough that I don't think its legs will be good. The only positive I can think of is perhaps not enough people realized it was opening on a Wednesday and that's why it only managed fifth place. I don't think that's enough to assume the film will bounce back this weekend. Look for just over $6 million during the four-day weekend and $8 million in total. There are some reports that the studio is already looking to make a sequel, but I can't see that going forward if this is the case.

There is one last film of note, as Ghostbusters is getting a 30th anniversary release. This film is one of the all-time classics and it could earn the $4 million to $5 million needed to reach the top ten. That's probably asking too much, but a four-day total of between $3 million and $4 million is more likely.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-28