Four new films come out this weekend, but the question to be asked at the box office this weekend is if anyone of them can dethrone Resident Evil: Afterlife from the top of the box office? The challengers are The Town, Easy A, Devil and Alpha and Omega. All of the new releases should (that’s the key word – should) make the top five considering how anemic the box office has been of late, but that doesn’t mean that the new films will perform well. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
Ben Affleck stars and directs the Boston crime-saga The Town. The film has a very strong cast that includes Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite, Rebecca Hall and Blake Lively. The film follows a group of bank robbers being hunted by the FBI. When coming up with my prediction, I thought of a couple of Boston set films. They are:
2003 – Mystic River – $10.4 million gross in its first weekend of wide release
2007 – Gone Baby Gone – $5.5 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $7.95 million
The Town should easily gross more than those two films. The film has received very strong reviews as Rotten Tomatoes has it had 90% positive as of this writing. It also has the widest theatre count of any of the new releases, which will definitely help it. Audiences are in the mood for an adult crime film, as we have not had a major one in quite some time. I’m predicting that The Town will open at #1 with $19 million.
Emma Stone stars in Easy A which is basically a modernized version of The Scarlet Letter. A girl fakes having sex with ugly guys in high school to help make them cool, but she gets ostracized by her classmates in the process. Yes, I know that this is not really the plot of The Scarlet Letter but Easy A does borrow from that story. This was not an easy film to make a prediction for as Emma Stone is not a name, although according to early reviews, this is a star making performance by her. Here are the films I used to come up with my prediction:
1995 – Clueless – $10.6 million opening weekend
1999 – 10 Things I Hate About You – $8.3 million opening weekend
2004 – The Girl Next Door – $6 million opening weekend
2006 – She’s The Man – $10.7 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $8.9 million
I think the average is a good gauge of what the film will gross, because as strong as the reviews are (Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 83% as of this writing), the fact that the star power is low and teens are back in school are going to hurt Easy A. Having said that, the trailer for the film did make people laugh when I saw it in theatres. Opening in 2,856 theatres, I’m predicting that Easy A will gross $9.2 million and finish in 4th place.
M. Night Shyamalan presents the first part of “The Night Chronicles” with Devil, where strangers are trapped in an elevator with the someone who is the devil. The question is who? This film will be closely watched at the box office because the ad campaign has been pretty good for the film. I think the public is aware of it’s release, which is important. What is hindering Devil is M. Night Shyamalan’s name. When I saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in theatres this summer, Devil had a trailer running in front of the film. People liked the trailer until Shyamalan’s name appeared, and then a very loud groan erupted from the audience. I have not seen a reaction like that since Joel Schumacher’s name appeared as the director for The Phantom of the Opera when I went to see Before Sunset (it was also a negative reaction). The funny thing is that Shyamalan is not even the director for Devil. I picked some recent horror films to come up with my prediction, so here is how these films did on their opening weekend:
2006 – The Omen – $16 million opening weekend
2009 – The Unborn – $19.8 million opening weekend
2009 – The Orphan – $12.8 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $16.2 million
Devil also has the problem of it having a cast of unknowns, so the premise is what is going to sell the film. Devil was not shown to critics, which is not a good sign. Even though the actors and the producer seem to be a liability for the film, the premise for Devil should give it a decent, but not spectacular debut. Opening in 2,810 theatres, I’m predicting that Devil will gross $13 million and finish in 2nd place.
The final new release is the animated adventure Alpha and Omega, which follows the adventures of two wolves trying to find their way home. This film has not been strongly promoted, does not have any major stars in its cast, and could very well be a big flop. Here are some films I used to come up with my prediction:
2006 – The Wild – $9.6 million opening weekend
2007 – Happily N’Ever After – $6.6 million opening weekend
2009 – Astro Boy – $6.7 million opening weekend
2010 – MacGruber – $4 million opening weekend
2010 – Piranha 3-D – $10.1 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $7.4 million
I included MacGruber because it was a massive bomb at the box office this summer and I included Piranha 3-D because I wanted to show that not all 3-D movies are hits, which does not bode well for Alpha and Omega as it does have theatres showing it in 3-D. Alpha and Omega is a film that is not backed by Disney, Dreamworks or Universal, and that means you are not getting a high quality product. Reviews have pointed this out, and it has led to a very low 13% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. Opening in 2,625 theatres, I’m predicting that Alpha and Omega will gross $6.7 million and finish in 5th place.
With The Town, Devil, Easy A and Alpha and Omega all making the top five, I’m predicting that Takers, The American, Machete and Going the Distance will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top ten unfolding:
Milla Jovovich led Resident Evil: Afterlife to the top of the box office this past weekend, giving the franchise its best opening weekend ever. The scary thing now is the second weekend drop as the franchise is extremely front-loaded and usually posts rapid declines. She the proof below:
2002 – Resident Evil – 62.1% second weekend drop
2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse – 62.4% second weekend drop
2007 – Resident Evil: Extinction – 66.1% second weekend drop
Average Second Weekend Drop – 63.5%
Resident Evil: Afterlife might continue the trend of having a higher second weekend drop than the previous installment of the franchise, but because the competition is so weak, I think it might actually post the lowest second weekend drop in the franchise (the 3-D screenings will also help its cause). I’m predicting that Resident Evil: Afterlife will drop 57% for a gross of $11.4 million and a 3rd place finish.
I believe Takers will drop of 40%, giving it a gross of $3.4 million and a 6th place finish.
The American will drop 55%, giving it a gross of $2.5 million and a 7th place finish.
Seven films will be battling for the final three spots in the top ten. Here’s how I think they will finish:
The Other Guys will drop 31%, giving it a gross of $2.3 million and an 8th place finish.
Going the Distance will drop 46%, giving it a gross of $1.9 million and a 9th place finish.
Inception will drop 34%, giving it a gross of $1.8 million and a 10th place finish.
Machete will drop 59%, giving it a gross of $1.7 million and an 11th place finish.
Eat Pray Love will drop 45%, giving it a gross of $1.6 million and a 12th place finish.
The Expendables will drop 51%, giving it a gross of $1.5 and a 13th place finish.
The Last Exorcism will drop 55%, giving it a gross of $1.4 million and a 14th place finish.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Kings of Pastry – This documentary is about a pastry competition. The film is being released in one theatre and has an 88% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Catfish – This documentary (or is it) is about a man who met a women through Facebook, and goes on a quest to find out more about her. The film is being released in 12 theatres and has a 75% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Freebie – This film stars Dax Shepard and is about a couple who allow themselves to be with someone else for one night, with no strings attached. The film does not have an official theatre count and has a 64% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Jack Goes Boating – This film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and is about a man who is starting a new relationship. This film will be released in 4 theatres and has a 60% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Never Let Me Go – This film stars Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley and is a sci-fi romance set in a boarding school in Britain. This film will be released in 4 theatres and has a 54% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
The Town – $19 million
Devil – $13 million
Resident Evil: Afterlife – $11.4 million
Easy A – $9.2 million
Alpha and Omega – $6.7 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!