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Weekend Predictions: Hail, Holdovers!

February 4th, 2016

Hail, Caesar!

It's a new month and there are three wide releases trying to score and get February off to a fast start. That's probably not going to happen. Not only do the wide releases have to deal with Kung Fu Panda 3, but it is also Super Bowl Weekend with the Carolina Idontknows Playing the Dever Somethingabouthorses. ... Once the Seattle Seahawks were eliminated, I completely stopped caring about the NFL. The best new release of the week is Hail, Caesar!, which is the only film with a real shot at becoming a midlevel hit. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies started out with mixed reviews, but that might not be a dealbreaker for its target audience. Finally there's The Choice. There are still not enough reviews for a Tomatometer Score and the buzz appears to be getting worse. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water led the way this weekend last year, with more than all three new releases will earn this year.

Kung Fu Panda 3 should have little trouble remaining in top spot at the box office. It earned just over $40 million last weekend and it will likely add close to $25 million this weekend. This will push its running tally to $75 million, more or less, putting it about a week away from the century mark. This is lower than the other films in the franchise, but still excellent for a January release.

Hail, Caesar! is the latest from the Coen brothers. This film has a certain stylished feel to it that emphasizes its unreal nature. In that regard, it feels a lot like The Ladykillers. This film is earning much better reviews that the earlier film earned. The buzz isn't great and it might struggle to match The Ladykillers' opening of $12.63 million. A second place opening of just over $11 million seems more likely.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a black comedy, or maybe a horror comedy. It's hard to categorize, as it is a costume drama with zombies. That's unusual. The reviews started out mixed and have bounced around. As I write this, its Tomatometer Score is 40% positive. That is neither a selling point, nor is it a really serious liability. It has no direct competition in the top five, so that should help it earn third place with just over $10 million. This is great for a black comedy.

The Revenant will likely earn fourth place with just under $8 million. It is coming close to breaking even worldwide, so every dollar helps it get just a little bit closer to that goal.

The final wide release of the week is The Choice. The latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks' novel. There are still only four reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and all of them are negative. If the buzz is right, it could be his worst box office performer ever. It certainly looks like it will open with less than $10 million. Perhaps it will earn fourth place with $8 million, but it could also open outside the top five with $6 million. I'm going with fifth place and $7 million, but if it stumbles, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be there to grab fifth place.

- Hail, Caesar! Comparisons
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Comparisons
- The Choice Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Kung Fu Panda 3, Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, The Revenant, The Choice, Hail, Caesar!, Kung Fu Panda, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Nicholas Sparks