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Weekend Predictions: Will Fast Be Fast Enough?

May 24th, 2013

It's the Memorial Day long weekend and there are three new films looking to take advantage of the holiday, plus a number of holdovers that will likely still bring in a lot of money. Fast and Furious 6 is leading the way in terms of box office potential and many think it will crack $100 million over four days; some think it will crack $100 million over three days. The Hangover III debuted on Thursday, which will give it a jump on the competition, but soften its weekend numbers. Finally, there's Epic, a family film that seems like a sure hit, except there is a lot of competition this weekend. Star Trek into Darkness, Iron Man 3, and The Great Gatsby are all still doing well and should provide some competition for the three new releases. All combined, those six films should make as much as the entire box office did last year and 2013 will start to close the gap with 2012.

Fast and Furious 6 is the sixth, but not final, installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise. (Part Seven is coming out next year.) These films are the epitome of the Popcorn Flick, but like I said last time, a well done Popcorn Flick is very fun to watch, even if the film isn't an example of high quality storytelling. Going by the reviews, this film isn't quite as good as the previous installment, but still good enough to be worth checking out. I think it will come close to Fast Five's three-day opening of $86 million, but the competition will prevent it from getting there. Meanwhile, over four days it will earn close to $110 million.

The Hangover III is the final film in the franchise, and boy will the critics be happy. The film's Tomatometer Score is just 22%, and falling. The first film's 79% positive reviews are a vague memory after the second film missed expectations in terms of quality. There is a chance The Hangover III won't make as much over the four-day weekend as The Hangover did over its three-day opening weekend. That would still give the film about $75 million over its five-day weekend. $85 million over five days is a little more likely. That will be enough to ensure a profit, but hopefully not enough to warrant a fourth film in the franchise. It has clearly lost whatever charm it had the first time around.

Star Trek into Darkness has to deal with somewhat direct competition, but the holidays should help it keep most of its opening weekend haul. Additionally, its reviews are better than any of the new films, which is another bonus. Look for $42 million over the next four days for a total of $150 million after eleven. It will finish its run with over $200 million, which is enough to ensure a profit, but it is below expectations.

Epic is a 3D animated film opening on Memorial Day, which is one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year. So why isn't it earning more buzz? Part of the reason is the competition. While there are no films that are direct competition, there are just so many other films sucking up box office ticket sales that this one is getting lost in the crowd. Also, the studio isn't pushing it as hard as they should, because it isn't a prime release. The reviews are good and about inline with The Croods' reviews, but they are not essential viewing. Kids will enjoy it, but adults won't be as enchanted. The Croods opened with $43 million during its three-day weekend, but most analysts this Epic will fail to reach that number over its four-day weekend. The competition is just that strong. I tend to agree, but I think $40 million over four days isn't out of the question. I'm a little more bullish than most, so keep that in mind.

Iron Man 3 should add another $20 million over the weekend for a total of $370 million so far. It will have no trouble getting to $400 million at this pace, but it will likely fall out of the top five before then.

One final note: The Great Gatsby will become Baz Luhrmann's first $100 million hit of his career on Thursday, while it should add between $14 million and $15 million over the next four days.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Fast and Furious 6, Epic, The Hangover 3, Fast and the Furious, Hangover, Baz Luhrmann