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. Thanks to some help from mother nature, I managed to nail last week’s picks…even the booby prize! In your face Costner!
The Week That Was: Tropical Depression?
Rio 2 roared out to a big Friday/Saturday lead, threatening to dethrone the Captain. Things were looking grim for my predictions until unseasonably warm weather blew into town. Apparently the allure of running around and squealing like little idiots outside was too much for Rio to overcome, and it dropped off rather unexpectedly over the stretch. That means I correctly picked Captain America for #1 and Rio 2 for #2…and that we may see a delayed push for this animated rainforest romp.
Rounding up the top 3, Oculus made a tidy little sum for an horror movie in April. Draft Day managed to get picked fourth, but with such a low total (sub 10 million) it was like being drafted by the Buffalo Bills…you can pretty much tell its career is over.
Except for the top 2 spots, movies earned quite weakly this weekend, meaning room to maneuver for upcoming releases. What’s on the horizon?
The Week That Will Be: Predictions
#3: Heaven is for Real. I would normally scoff at the prospects for a drama with little star power to crack the top 3, but I see a perfect storm of incidentals carrying this movie higher up the list. First, It’s Easter weekend, which may prime audiences for a dalliance with theological implications. Second, this year in general is really pushing hard to engage religiously minded folks to hit the box office. Son of God was a glorified mini-series, but still managed to open with 25 million. Last, this movie is based on a best-selling book, which may raise its profile above the noise this weekend. I could see a 20-25 million start for this flick.
#2: Captain America 2. The Cap has been losing steam. Being 95 years old will do that to a guy. But I still see it managing to capitalize on the long weekend and glide to a 25-30 million dollar take this weekend. C’mon, Cap, do it for liberty!
#1: Rio 2. After dragging their children to church, parents are going to be looking for 2 blessed hours of silence, so I think Rio 2 is going to get the big week it just barely missed last time out. Historically, animated movies ease very gently, and since this film may not have expended all of its fuel last week, I could see a minor contraction of 25-30%, leaving this bird on top with 30-35 million.
*Booby Prize* This is less of a prediction and more of a heart-felt plea to any rational person who may be reading this: don’t see A Haunted House 2. Don’t let your friends see A Haunted House 2 (and if they insist, you really should reconsider the merits of your relationship.) Don’t let your family see A Haunted House 2 (again, think seriously about your ties here…is it possible you were adopted? If they go see it, it may be the right time to ask.) Hell, don’t let casual strangers see it. The Wayan brothers need to knock this crap off. We’ve managed to send a message to Tyler Perry this year about endlessly releasing the same old garbage, now it’s time to give notice to the Wayans. This stopped being funny about 6 Scary Movies ago. Knock it off.
The big change this weekend is seeing a strong trend of movies targeted at women. Were they all good films aimed at women? Erm…no. I would have to say that The Hunger Games is decent, but nothing can save The Hannah Montana Movie from perishing in the hell of unneeded movies. A couple thriller/horror movies were also aimed at female audiences, 2008’s Prom Night, and 2007’s Disturbia. Four Weddings and Funeral is hardly the empowering romp women may have hoped for, but at least it’s not Porky’s or Bad Boys.
My big take away this week is weekend is Lone Wolf McQuade. Man, the movie ticket for this film must have had a fine pelt of chest hair. Amid all of the 80’s goofy camp, Chuck Norris managed to roundhouse his way to the top. Which is pretty much Chuck’s MO: beat up a bunch of pathetic losers. Since losing to Bruce Lee, has Chuck fought even one tough movie villain? At least Rocky fought Mr T and Ivan Drago. Chuck tends to pistol whip jaywalkers and muggers in lieu of actually threatening bad guys. But look at that poster! All is forgiven.
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.