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Weekend Predictions: Laborious Task

August 29th, 2013

It's the Labor Day long weekend, which is widely regarded as the weakest long weekend of the year. This year there are two wide releases, One Direction: This is Us and Getaway, looking to grab the final box office dollars before Summer officially ends. (One could argue it unofficially ended weeks ago.) One Direction should have no trouble finding an audience among young girls, but there's a chance the more mature audience Lee Daniels' The Butler has been attracting will be large enough to withstand that push. Getaway, on the other hand, is just hoping to get one positive review before the weekend starts. There was a third film that was supposed to open wide this week, Closed Circuit, but it is now opening in 800 or so theaters, so it won't be a factor. Last year, there were two wide releases, both of which topped $10 million during the three-day weekend. The new releases this year won't match that, but there's better depth this time around.

Lee Daniels' The Butler is a film that has earned good reviews and shown strong legs at the box office. In that regard, it is similar to The Help. Using The Help as a guide, The Butler could see its three-day figure remain flat over this weekend earning $16.5 million from Friday through Sunday, while its four-day total would be just over $22 million. That's a little too bold of a prediction, but I'm going with $20 million. This will be enough to push its running tally to $80 million and ensure it will reach $100 million sooner rather than later.

One Direction: This is Us will likely start out in first place on Friday, but thanks to the Fangirl effect, it will fall to second place on Saturday and end the weekend as runner-up. Its reviews are good, on par with the reviews The Best of Both Worlds earned in 2008. It's also a little better than Never Say Never's reviews were. However, most analysts don't think this film will live up to those two films at the box office. I'm going with $15 million over the weekend and $18 million including Monday.

It will be a milestone weekend for We're the Millers, as the film should top $100 million on Friday. It should add about $12 million over the four-day weekend giving the film about $110 million in total. Unless it cost more to advertise than it did to make, this should be enough to break even. It likely won't do as well internationally (comedies rarely translate well into other markets) but the studio should be very happy no matter what happens from now on.

Since kids are going to school on Tuesday, a lot of families might use this weekend to see one more movie together. The only kids film left in wide release is Disney's Planes, so it will get a boost at the box office, despite its reviews. It could hit $10 million over four days, but just under $9 million is safer.

The World's End has amazing reviews, which could help its legs, The previous two films in the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy both had good legs, so that helps. Expectations range from $6 million to $8 million over four days. I'm going with $7 million which might be enough for fifth place.

Getaway likely won't reach the top five, especially given its reviews, which currently sit at zero positive for forty reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics all agree it is a mindless action film, but it doesn't have enough action to be fun. The characters are poorly developed and the plot is a mishmash of previous action films. It has a chance at fifth place with $8 million, but sixth place with just over $6 million is more likely.

Closed Circuit likely won't reach the top ten, but it has a chance. Its reviews are not terrible, but certainly not good at just 42% positive. It is also opening opening in 862 theaters. Finally, it opened on Wednesday, so its weekend numbers will be diluted. Perhaps it will score just over $4 million from Friday through Monday earning a spot in the top ten. However, it might also fail to reach $4 million from Wednesday through Sunday. I'm going with just over $3 million during the weekend and $5 million in total.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, We're the Millers, Lee Daniels' The Butler, The World's End, One Direction: This is Us, Closed Circuit, Getaway, Disney Planes, Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy