This Week in Box Office History
TWBOH takes a look at the last 30 years of top grossing movies. Sifting through the celluloid, we review audience preferences and spot the trends in movie watching history. Last weekend the Easter Bunny rolled into town…and laid a bunch of eggs at the box office. Yikes. Hollywood could not have been pleased with totals over the long weekend, although Tristar studios must surely have been happy with the help it lent to their film, Heaven is for Real. Get it, lent? Anybody? OK, OK, no more religious holiday puns. Let’s passover the numbers and see what people were watching…
The Week That Was: All Hopped up on Jesus Juice
It was an anemic weekend all around, with top place finisher Captain America 2 just barely clearing the 25 million dollar mark. This makes a third week at the #1 spot for Marvel’s red-white-and-blue darling. Competition came from an unexpected quarter, as Heaven is for Real (can’t say that title without adding “I’m super serious, you guys!” in my head…) nearly ascended to the top spot. This is fantastic news for faith-inspired films, of which there seem to a never-ending supply this year. As good as the news is, it still made only slightly more than I predicted, so the strength of its opening may be due more to the lackluster competition instead of any sudden explosion of appeal outside of the core audiences that have been making films like it and Son of God solid money this year. Rio 2 had its feathers plucked soundly, only managing a third place finish in its second weekend. Apparently last weeks fair weather had little to do with its decline: audiences just don’t seem to be down with animated birds lately.
We had two booby prize winners last week, as Johnny Depp’s Transcendence was effectively declared brain dead and taken off of life support, and A Haunted House 2 was condemned and scheduled for demolition. Depp has managed to land a staggering string of flops as of late. Is it too late to add Edward Scissorhands to the line up of has-beens in Expendables 3?
The Week That Will Be: Predictions
#3: The Quiet Ones: Another feel good film that promises audiences that life after death is for real (and wants to eat your face.) Recent horror flicks have opened modestly, such as Oculus at 13 million. Not much action at the theater this week means a 10-15 opening is going to look rock solid for this fright fest. Given how precipitously Son of God dropped in its second week out the gate, I can see this film jumping over Heaven is For Real (I’m super serious, you guys…) and scaring up a third place finish.
#2: Captain America 2: I can’t see Paul Walker’s ghost managing to draw enough bro’s to the theater to push Marvel Studios off of the medals pedestal. Even dropping into the 15 million dollar range should be good enough to secure a silver this week, as the new release competition is pretty weak and is going to skew heavily female, leaving room for the good Captain to retain some vestige of glory.
#1: The Other Woman: While the attention this year has been on how motivated Christian audiences have been to support their brand at the box office, a trend that has been quietly building steam is how powerful female audiences have been when it comes to determining a winner. Even action films like Cap Am have greatly benefited from appealing to the fairer sex with strong characters like Black Widow. Despite being a fairly routine revenge comedy, three strong female leads in this film is a nice trend. Cameron Diaz may be past her prime as a box office draw, but I think this movie will easily coast to 20-25 million and a first place finish.
*Booby Prize* I don’t see any major stumbles happening this weekend, as last weekend pretty much lit the fuse on all the duds. Paul Walker’s posthumous Brick Mansions will probably perform adequately. I can’t see legions of fans for either Paul or Luc Besson managing to upset the applecart with this remake of French parkour flick District B13. B13 does however sink my battleship, so let’s move on.
This week in history saw a mini-trend of movies hoping to attract attention from women. There are some kick-ass female characters that took charge this weekend, like Uma’s bride in Kill Bill #2, Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter, Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, and Radha Mitchel in Silent Hill. You could count Bridget Jone’s Diary too, if you don’t want to strangle Renee Zellweger every time you see her scrunchy face. Which you do. You know you do. Add in some sassy comedies like Think Like a Man and Bad Girls, and you have a bona fide streak going.
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.