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Weekend Predictions: Will the New Releases have a Friendly Reception?

August 27th, 2015

We Are Your Friends

It's the last weekend of August and there are three films being dumped into theaters this week. None are expected to earn even $10 million, but there might be a bit of a race to see which of these movies will be the best of the bad group. No Escape already opened on Wednesday, but it didn't have a great start, despite playing in just over 3,000 theaters. We Are Your Friends opens on Friday in about 2,300 theaters, but it has a shot at second place. The final wide release is War Room, which is debuting in just over 1,000 theaters. However, it is a faith-based film, so it could be a surprise hit earning close to $10 million, or it might miss the Mendoza Line. Unless one or more of these films completely blows away analysts, Straight Outta Compton will remain in first place for the third weekend in a row. This weekend last year, there were two wide releases and a limited release that nearly made the top ten. That's very similar to what it is this weekend. I think it will be relatively close, but 2015 will likely fall just shy of 2014 in the year-over-year comparison.

Straight Outta Compton should remain in first place for the third weekend in a row with between $14 million and $15 million. This will push its running tally to $135 million and put it about a week away from the $150 million milestone.

We Are Your Friends is earning the best reviews of the week, but its Tomatometer Score is still just 46%. Granted, this is better than most films released this time of year earn, but not high enough to really sell to audiences. Also, none of the stars have a huge amount of drawing power, so it is unlikely to become a real hit. On the other hand, it still feels like the strongest of the three new releases. I'm going with second place and just over $8 million.

No Escape earned second place on Wednesday with just $1.18 million in over 3,000 theaters for a per theater average of just under $400. There is a chance the film did this poorly because not enough people knew it was opening on Wednesday; however, that's betting on a long-shot. It is more likely not enough people cared it was in theaters to see it. The buzz is weak, as are its reviews, so I don't think it is going to bounce back much over the weekend. Look for third place with just under $8 million, but there is a chance it will bomb, missing the Mendoza Line with just under $6 million.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation will be pushed into fourth place with just over $7 million over the weekend, giving it close to $170 million after a month of release. The lack of strong direct competition has lead to impressive legs, but with the holidays coming to a close soon, it will likely fade before it reaches $200 million. It likely won't even come close enough that the studio will give it a push to get over the top.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. will round out the top five mostly by default. Look for $4 million to $5 million over the weekend for a three-week total of $34 million. That's not bad for this time of year, but also it is not worth celebrating.

The final new release with a shot at the top five is War Room. This is a faith-based film from the same writer / director team that made Courageous, which earned more than $30 million at the box office. There are still not enough reviews to judge the film's quality, which is just one more wild-card to deal with. Furthermore, as I've stated in the past, faith-based films tend to be very unpredictable. There are some who think this film will earn second place with $9 million. There are other who think it will miss the Mendoza Line with just $2 million. I think the lower end is more likely, so I'm going with just under $4 million.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., No Escape, Straight Outta Compton, We Are Your Friends, War Room