Follow us on

Weekend Predictions: Will New Releases Finally Get Lucky?

April 19th, 2012

It has been nearly a month since we've had a new release top the box office chart, but it looks like The Hunger Games is finally going to be pushed from top spot. It looks like The Lucky One will be the film that breaks The Hunger Games winning streak, as it is the only saturation level release. On the other hand, Think Like a Man and Chimpanzee are barely opening wide. Fortunately, the three wide releases this year appear about as strong as the three wide releases from last year. Unfortunately, last year was led by Rio during its second weekend of release, so 2012 has about a $25 million hole it will need to plug if it is to avoid the first three-week slump of the year.

The Lucky One is the latest novel by Nicholas Sparks to be adapted for the big screen. His track record with moviegoers has been impressive; however, his track record with critics has been anything but. Outside of The Notebook, all of his films have earned terrible reviews. (And The Notebook only managed 52% positive reviews.) So far, The Lucky One is earning just 29% positive reviews, which is inline with expectations, sadly. The film is opening in more theaters than I thought it would, which should help its box office numbers. Right now, expectations vary from about $15 million to $25 million, which is a pretty big range to deal with. I'm going to go a little on the high end and predict first place with $21 million, but it could be a close race this weekend.

Think Like a Man is the only other new release with a shot at top spot. There are some positive signs for the film's box office chances, but also some negative ones. On the positive side, its reviews are actually better than expected and are just below the overall positive level. On the negative side, its theater count is just a hair over 2,000 and this suggests neither the studio nor theater owners have a lot of faith in the movie. Additionally, it is aimed at a target audience that is generally under-served, which should be a good thing, but the market has been saturated by Tyler Perry and anything outside of his films have struggled. In fact, his non-Madea films have begun to struggled. This explains the low theater count. There are still some who think it will earn first place with $25 million, but $16 million is more likely. In fact, there are some who think it might not reach $13 million, which would leave it in third place.

The Hunger Games will finally get knocked out of top spot, but it should add just over $13 million over the weekend for a total of $355 million after a month of release. $400 million remains a very remote possibility, while there's a chance no other film opening this year will overtake it.

The Three Stooges should grab fourth place with between $9 million and $10 million lifting its total to just over $30 million, which is about as much as it cost to make. It should break even sooner rather than later, but don't expect a sequel.

Titanic and The Cabin in the Woods should be in a race for fifth place, each earning between $7 million and $8 million. I'm given the edge to Titanic, because while they both have amazing reviews and The Cabin in the Woods has the lead on the daily chart, it also has to deal with The Fanboy Effect.

The final new release of the week is Chimpanzee, which is the latest Disney nature documentary. So far these films have not become major hits, but they have a large enough target audience that they are opening much wider than most documentaries manage. Additionally, the film's reviews are the best of the new releases this week. The film does have a shot at a spot in the top five, but seventh place with $7 million is more likely. This is on par with the past two installments, so if the studio is happy with those films, it should be happy with this one as well. But on a pure profit basis, it's not enough.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Titanic, The Cabin in the Woods, The Three Stooges, The Hunger Games, The Lucky One, Chimpanzee, Think Like a Man