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Weekend Predictions: Are the New Releases All Wind and Fury?

October 16th, 2014

Fury poster

Three wide releases are trying to fight for box office dollars, including Fury, which could be the biggest hit of the month. Its reviews are excellent and the buzz is strong enough that is should have no trouble earning first place. The Book of Life is a family friendly animated horror film opening near Halloween. That should be a combination that spells box office success, but while the reviews are strong, the buzz is not as loud as I would like. Finally, there's The Best of Me, the latest from Nicholas Sparks, but I think the shine has come off his career. Its early reviews are terrible, which isn't surprising. The buzz is rather quiet, which is a little more surprising. This weekend last year, Gravity completed the hat-trick earning just over $30 million. I think Fury will top that. The best new release last year was Carrie, which earned just over $16 million earning third place in the process. It looks like there are a couple of films that will earn a similar amount this year. Additionally, the depth again appears to be better than last year, so 2014 should find itself on top of the chart, again. This is a surprise, as at the beginning of the month, it looked like 2014 would be in an extended slump by this point.

The cast of Fury is led by Brad Pitt, who is one of the biggest movie stars around. With 75% positive reviews, this film shouldn't have trouble earning first place this weekend. Then real question is, will it beat Gone Girl for biggest opening of the month? At the beginning of the month, I thought it would, or at least come very close, but Gone Girl beat expectations, so Fury would have to also have a bigger than expected opening to match it. Perhaps it will surprise and earn close to $40 million. However, it is more likely it will earn just over $30 million instead. That's still a good result and the more mature target audience should lead to longer than average legs and $100 million isn't out of the question.

While Gone Girl will be pushed out of top spot, it should still do very well at the box office over the weekend. It might even land north of $20 million, but even an $18 million weekend will push its running tally past $100 million.

The Book of Life is an animated family film, but it is one with a horror angle to it, as it deals with the world of the dead. Family films that do this rarely break $100 million, but it can happen. This film's Tomatometer Score is currently 70% positive, which should help it at the box office. On the other hand, neither The Boxtrolls nor Alexander and the... were breakout hits, but they did well enough that there isn't pent-up demand for family films. Perhaps it will surprise and earn second place with close to $20 million, but third place with just over $16 million is more likely.

Dracula Untold and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day should be in a close battle for fourth place, each earning between $11 million and $12 million. I think Dracula will start out better, but Alexander will have the stronger Saturday and that will help it earn fourth place.

The Best of Me should just miss the top five with just over $10 million. Granted, Nicholas Sparks films tend to do rather well at the box office, despite earning terrible reviews. However, as the reviews continue to come in, this film's Tomatometer Score has fallen to just 6% positive. Even his hardcore fans will look at that number and think twice about spending money to see the film. That said, it wouldn't take much to grab third place and I wouldn't be surprised if it popped into the top five.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Dracula Untold, The Boxtrolls, The Book of Life, Fury, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Gone Girl, The Best of Me, Brad Pitt, Nicholas Sparks