There is only one new film going into wide release this weekend, and it will easily be declared champion of the box office. Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth film in the franchise and the first one to be released in 3-D. The combination of having no competition and being a film in 3-D should help Resident Evil: Afterlife dominate the box office this weekend. The more interesting story for moviegoers will be to see how the rest of the top five pan out. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
Milla Jovovich returns in the action-horror Resident Evil: Afterlife and it follows her character Alice as she goes to Los Angeles to battle the Umbrella Corporation. It’s easy to dismiss this franchise, but it actually is a steady performer for Screen Gems. Here’s how each film has done on its opening weekend
2002 – Resident Evil – $17.7 million opening weekend
2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse – $23 million opening weekend
2007 – Resident Evil: Extinction – $23.6 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $21.4 million
Resident Evil: Afterlife should set a new personal best for the franchise as it has so many things going for it. Its part of fairly successful franchise which means there is a built in fan base, there is absolutely no competition for the film this weekend, and it is being shown in 3-D, which will boost its box office because of the higher ticket prices. Critics have not been kind to the franchise so Screen Gems decided not to screen Resident Evil: Afterlife for them. That won’t matter much because the film will have a large opening weekend, and drop off substantially in the coming weeks. Like a lot of franchises, fans rush out to see it right away giving it a large up front gross, but then audience quickly fade away. Opening in 3,203 theatres, I’m predicting that Resident Evil: Afterlife will debut with $29 million and that it will be the #1 film at the box office this weekend.
With Resident Evil: Afterlife making the top five, I’m predicting that Going the Distance and The Last Exorcism will be knocked out of the top five. Yes, that means another film is going to re-enter the top five this weekend. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
Takers continues to be a surprise hit, and held up well last weekend. I believe that it will continue to hold up well as I’m predicting a drop of 39% giving Takers a gross of $6.5 million and a 2nd place finish.
The Expendables will re-enter the top five and drop 25% from last weekend, giving it a gross of $4.9 million and a 3rd place finish.
George Clooney’s latest film The American surprised a lot of people with its #1 debut last weekend. No one should be surprised by how large the fall will be for the film this weekend. Audiences felt that they were duped into seeing The American as the marketing for the film made it feel like it would be a slick, action-thriller in the tradition of James Bond or Jason Bourne. What audiences got was a very quiet, slow-moving film about an assassin, and what audiences expected and what audiences saw were two different things. A lot has been made about how the marketing “tricked” people into seeing the film, but good marketing campaigns should get people to see the film, and I think The American’s marketing campaign can be considered a success because of it. Audiences will have their revenge this weekend, as I’m predicting a 64% drop giving The American a gross of $4.7 million and a 4th place finish.
Machete didn’t turn out to be the B movie hit that people were hoping it would be and had an opening weekend gross that was almost identical to Grindhouse (which was the film that had Machete’s first trailer, albeit a fake one). Grindhouse suffered a 62.6% drop in its second weekend, and I think Machete will suffer a similar drop. I’m predicting that Machete will drop 61% giving it a gross of $4.4 million and a 5th place finish.
Inception will drop 5% giving it a gross of $4.27 million and a 6th place finish.
The Drew Barrymore//Justin Long romantic comedy Going the Distance crashed and burned on its opening weekend. The only good thing it has going for it is that there are no films that are really giving it competition right now (I think Eat Pray Love has peaked, and is not a film that people are rushing out to see). I’m predicting that Going the Distance will drop 38% giving it a gross of $4.21 million and a 7th place finish.
The Other Guys will drop 29% giving it a gross of $3.6 million and an 8th place finish.
Eat Pray Love will drop 33% giving it a gross of $3.2 million and a 9th place finish.
The Last Exorcism suffered the typical large second weekend drop for a horror film, as it dropped 64% from its first weekend. I think The Last Exorcism will suffer another big drop this weekend as I’m predicting that The Last Exorcism will fall 59% this weekend, giving it a gross of $2.9 million and a 10th place finish.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? – This documentary is about the friend of John Lennon. The film does not have an official theatre count and has a 100% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Lovely, Still – This film stars Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn and is about two elderly people falling in love. The film does not have an official theatre count and has an 80% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Hideaway – This film is about a woman who goes to beach to escape from her problems. The film does not have an official theatre count and has an 82% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Heartbreaker – This film is about a man who is hired to break up an impending marriage. This film will be released in 3 theatres and has a 78% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Bran Nue Dae – This is an Australian musical comedy about a native couple falling in love. This film will be released in 16 theatres and has a 64% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
I’m Still Here – This documentary (or is it a mockumentary) is about Joaquin Phoenix’s career after he quit acting. This film will be released in 19 theatres and has a 54% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Romantics – This film stars Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel and follows a group of friends who get together again for a wedding and deal with their past relationships with each other. This film will be released in 2 theatres and has a 25% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Legendary – This film stars Patricia Clarkson and WWE star John Cena and is about a young boy who gets involved in amateur wrestling. This film does not have an official theatre count and has an 18% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Resident Evil: Afterlife – $29 million
Takers – $6.5 million
The Expendables- $4.9 million
The American – $4.7 million
Machete – $4.4 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!