Two films look to dethrone The Expendables from the top this weekend in a very weak frame at the box office. Takers is an ensemble heist flick that hopes to surprise people at the box office, while horror fans get The Last Exorcism. Also getting re-released is Avatar: Special Edition. From what I have read, this film will have some extra footage, and will only be shown in 3-D. Who knows, it may surprise people and lead a lackluster box office. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
The Last Exorcism looks to continue a trend of horror films doing well in the month of August. The plot revolves around a preacher who brings a camera crew to film an exorcism, but they all realize that they are in over their heads on this case. I mentioned right off the top that horror films have generally done well in the month of August. Here are some recent examples:
2009 – The Final Destination – $27.4 million opening weekend
2009 – Halloween II – $16.3 million opening weekend
2007 – Halloween – $26.3 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $23.3 million
The Last Exorcism has a scary trailer but I don’t think the marketing campaign has been all that strong, and I don’t know how high awareness is for the film. The films listed above were franchises, so I don’t think The Last Exorcism is going to reach the heights of Halloween or The Final Destination but I do think it could get an opening weekend around Halloween II’s. The film has a 64% positive rating from Rotten Tomatoes (which is quite amazing for a horror film), and it has the biggest theatre count of the new releases this weekend. It is also hoping to attract horror fans by attaching Eli Roth’s name as a producer of the film. We’ll see if that helps. Debuting in 2,874 theatres, I’m predicting that The Last Exorcism will be the #1 film with a gross of $15 million.
The other new release is Takers which stars Idris Elba, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Zoe Saldana and T.I. The plot follows the gangsters as they come up with a plan to try and rob a bank and score a heist worth $20 million. Unfortunately the police try to interfere, and there is some back-stabbing among the members causing the perfect plan to go not so perfectly. Two films pop to mind when coming up with a comparison for the film, and they are as follows:
2010 – The Losers – $9.4 million opening weekend
2009 – Armored – $6.5 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $7.95 million
The film is definitely being marketed toward a younger audience, but I don’t think they have much interest in it. August is a dumping ground for movies, because with the end of summer, a lot of people are getting ready to go back to school or are planning one last weekend away with their friends. Although the actors are all recognizable, I wouldn’t say any of them can draw in crowds. The studio doesn’t seem to have a lot of faith in Takers either as the theatre count is pretty low at 2,206. Reviews at Rotten Tomatoes list the film as being 35% positive, but that shouldn’t make too much of a difference with the audience. I’m predicting a 3rd place finish and a gross of $7 million for Takers.
Avatar: Special Edition gets re-released in 811 theatres, which will only be in 3-D. I don’t expect the film to do all that well on the re-release, as the film has been out on DVD for awhile now, and most re-releases don’t do all that well (The Passion of the Christ, The Nightmare Before Christmas come to mind). I’m predicting that Avatar: Special Edition will gross $4.8 million and finish in 8th place.
With The Last Exorcism and Takers making the top five, I’m predicting that Vampires Suck and Lottery Ticket will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
The Expendables looks to hold onto its title as king of the box office for a third weekend in a row, but its reign will come to an end. I’m predicting a drop of 49%, giving The Expendables a gross of $8.6 million and a 2nd place finish.
Julia Roberts latest film Eat Pray Love should hold up this weekend, as it is the only major film geared towards females that is in release. I’m predicting a drop of 45% and a gross of $6.7 million, making it the #4 film at the box office.
The Other Guys held up well last weekend, and has been doing all right during the week, so I’m predicting a drop of 38%, giving The Other Guys a gross of $6.3 million and a 5th place finish.
Lottery Ticket was a surprise last weekend considering the low theatre count and pretty decent box office it had. This weekend, I’m expecting Lottery Ticket to hold up because there is no other comedy that poses a serious threat in release. I’m predicting a drop of 42%, giving it a gross of $5.9 million and a 6th place finish.
Inception continues to post amazing holds each weekend. This weekend, I’m predicting a drop of 32%, giving Inception a gross of $5.3 million and a 7th place finish at the box office this weekend.
The Switch had a debut right around where Jennifer Aniston’s film Love Happens had on its opening weekend, and I’m predicting that the second weekend drop for The Switch will be similar to Love Happens as well. The Switch should fall 45% this weekend, giving it a gross of $4.6 million and a 9th place finish.
Vampires Suck should suffer a pretty steep decline this weekend, but you would be surprised how similar films have held up on their second weekend:
Disaster Movie – 48.1% second weekend drop
Meet The Spartans – 60.4% second weekend drop
Epic Movie – 54.8% second weekend drop
Date Movie – 52.2% second weekend drop
Average Second Weekend Drop – 53.9%
Vampires Suck might have the worst second weekend drop because I think the Twilight parody is more for the ladies and I think they will abandon the film this weekend. Dropping 63%, I’m predicting that Vampires Suck will gross $4.5 million and finish in 10th place.
These next two films have to be disappointed about falling out of the top ten in only their second weekend.
Nanny McPhee Returns had a very disappointing debut last weekend, as its gross was lower than the original’s. This weekend does not look to be any better, as there is no way that it will have as low a second weekend drop as the original did back in 2006 (the original Nanny McPhee was down only 32.5% on its second weekend). I’m predicting a drop of 48%, giving Nanny McPhee Returns a gross of $4.4 million and an 11th place finish.
Piranha 3-D had some great reviews but failed to translate that into any momentum at the box office. I think this film will find a larger audience on DVD, but this weekend Piranha 3-D will suffer a drop of 58% giving it a gross of $4.2 million and a 12th place finish.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Centurion – This film is about the Roman army’s siege on Britain. The film does not have an official theatre count and has a 55% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Mesrine: Killer Instinct – This film is part one of a two-part biopic that stars Vincent Cassel and is about a legendary French gangster. The film does not have an official theatre count and has an 81% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Milk of Sorrow – This is an Oscar nominated film about a woman dealing with a rare disease. The film does not have an official theatre count and has an 80% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Change of Plans – This film is about some couples who reveal a little too much information at a dinner party. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 20% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Aashayein (Wishes) – This film is about a man who is given 90 days to live and what he does with his life in his remaining time left on the planet. This film is being released in 15 theatres and has yet to be reviewed at Rotten Tomatoes.
Chakjawana – This film is about a former captain of the Indian naval force reviving his struggling village, and inspiring the youth of the community. This film is being released in 15 theatres and has yet to be reviewed at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
- The Last Exorcism – $15 million
- The Expendables – $8.6 million
- Takers – $7 million
- Eat Pray Love – $6.7 million
- The Other Guys – $6.3 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!