Two new releases hit cineplexes this weekend and both films have the potential to be the #1 and #2 films at the box office this weekend. We have the Zach Snyder sci-fi epic Sucker Punch and we have the children’s film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Both films will be going after different audiences, so it will be interesting to see what film comes out on top. In limited release, there are a fair amount of new releases, but none are generating a ton of buzz. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
Zach Snyder brings us the sci-fi adventure Sucker Punch. The film stars Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm and Vanessa Hudgens and is about a girl who is locked away in an asylum. Her only way to stay sane is to imagine an alternate world which will help her and some of her fellow inmates go free. The advertising for this film is slick and I think that Sucker Punch will be the first major blockbuster of 2011. It can get by with an unknown cast because of how different the film looks in the promotional campaign. The only negative is that the advertising campaign makes the film “too weird”, and that might turn off mainstream audiences. When I was coming up with my prediction for Sucker Punch, I took a look at recent Zach Snyder live-action films (didn’t include Dawn of the Dead as it was a horror film) and other action films that have ladies in the leading role. Here’s what I came up with:
2002 – Resident Evil – $17.7 million opening weekend
2003 – Underworld – $21.7 million opening weekend
2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse – $23 million opening weekend
2005 – Elektra – $12.8 million opening weekend
2005 – Aeon Flux – $12.6 million opening weekend
2006 – Underworld: Evolution – $26.8 million opening weekend
2006 – Ultraviolet – $9 million opening weekend
2007 – 300 – $70.8 million opening weekend
2007 – Resident Evil: Extinction – $23.6 million opening weekend
2009 – Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – $20.8 million opening weekend
2009 – Watchmen – $55.2 million opening weekend
2010 – Resident Evil: Afterlife – $26.6 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $26.7 million
Average Opening Weekend without Zack Snyder films in the list – $19.46 million
I think that Sucker Punch should surpass both averages as my prediction would give it the best opening weekend of any film in 2011. Critics have the film listed at 29% at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, so it will be interesting to see if that has much of an impact on audiences. Sucker Punch is being released in 3,033 theatres and with the strong marketing campaign the film has received, I’m predicting that Sucker Punch will finish in 1st place with a gross of $43 million.
The other new release of the weekend is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. This film continues to follow the adventures of teenager Greg Heffley, who is now dealing with the pressures of starting the 7th grade. On top of that, his older brother Rodrick keeps picking on him. The parents try to have the brothers be friends, but that only leads to disastrous results. I don’t know much about the books, except that they are quite popular. I underestimated the opening of Diary of a Wimpy Kid last year (For the record, Diary of a Wimpy Kid grossed $22.1 million on its opening weekend back in 2010), so I will not be making a low ball guess this time around. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 41% positive as of this writing, but I think this film is critic proof and will bring in families regardless of what the critics think. Sequels tend to have better opening weekends, so I’ll be taking that into account. Opening in 3,167 theatres, I’m predicting that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules will debut in 2nd place with a gross of $24 million.
With Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules entering the top five, I’m predicting that Paul and Battle: Los Angeles will be leaving the top five. Here is how I see the rest of the films breaking down:
Limitless was a little bit of a surprise #1 film last weekend, but the Bradley Cooper//Robert De Niro film looks to suffer a sizeable drop this weekend with Sucker Punch opening in theatres. I’m predicting that Limitless will drop 46% giving the film a gross of $10.2 million and a 3rd place finish.
Ranog continues to post strong holds and despite some competition from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, I think Rango should be able to hold its own this weekend. I’m predicting that Rango will fall 35% from last weekend, giving the film a gross of $9.75 million and a 4th place finish.
The Lincoln Lawyer had a decent debut last weekend and I think that the Matthew McConaughey film will post the best hold in the top ten this weekend because lawyer films tend to hold up well and The Lincoln Lawyer is the one film that I don’t see the two new releases affecting much in terms of stealing audience. I’m predicting that The Lincoln Lawyer will drop 31% giving the film a gross of $9.1 million and a 5th place finish.
Battle: Los Angeles suffered a massive decline last weekend, and I think that this weekend will be a repeat of that trend, especially with another science-fiction film in the marketplace. I’m predicting that Battle: Los Angeles will drop 57% giving Battle: Los Angeles a gross of $6.2 million and a 6th place finish.
Paul had a decent debut last weekend, but it is yet another sci-fi film that is in the marketplace (even though it has the unique angle of being a sci-fi comedy). Sci-fi films will take a hit this weekend because of Sucker Punch, and because of that I see a big decline for Paul. I’m predicting that Paul will drop 58%, giving the film a gross of $5.5 million
Red Riding Hood will continue to fade at the box office as I’m predicting that the update on the classic tale will drop 54% giving the film a gross of $3.3 million and an 8th place finish.
The Adjustment Bureau is not holding up as well as people had hoped, and because of that I’m predicting that The Adjustment Bureau will drop 51% giving the film a gross of $2.8 million and a 9th place finish.
Mars Needs Moms will round out the top ten as it will be hurt by the release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. I’m predicting that Mars Needs Moms will fall 48% from last weekend, giving the film a gross of $2.75 million and a 10th place finish.
In limited release:
The 5th Quarter – This drama stars Aidan Quinn and Andie MacDowell and is about the true story of Jon Abbate, who overcame his younger brother’s tragic death to lead the Wake Forest Demon football team. The 5th Quarter is being released in 123 theatres and does not have a rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
Potiche – This comedy stars Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu and is about a trophy housewife who is given the opportunity to run an umbrella factory after her husband loses the respect of his workers. To everyone’s surprise, she is a good boss, which doesn’t sit well with her husband. Potiche is being released in 7 theatres and has a 79% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
White Irish Drinkers – This drama is about a young boy who is put in charge of promoting the fact that the Rolling Stones are doing a special show in a small rundown movie theatre in Brooklyn. White Irish Drinkers is being released in 5 theatres and has a 40% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
Miral – This film is from acclaimed director Julian Schnabel and is about the lives of four women who fight for human rights despite the savagery of war that surrounds them. Miral is being released in 4 theatres and has a 13% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
Peep World – This comedy is about a rich family dealing with the fallout when one of the members writes a tell-all book that exposes the family’s secrets. The film stars Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman and Rainn Wilson. Peep World is being released in 3 theatres and has a 25% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
Illegal – This drama is about a Russian woman who lives in Belgium illegally with her young son. When she gets arrested, her life with her son in Belgium is threatened and she does everything she can to avoid being deported back to Russia. Illegal is being released in 1 theatre and does not have a rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
Mia and the Migoo – This animated film is about a girl named Mia and a group of forest spirits who team up to save the Earth, the Tree of Life and Mia’s father from an evil group of developers. Mia and the Migoo is being released in 1 theatre and does not have a rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Sucker Punch – $43 million
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – $24 million
Limitless – $10.2 million
Rango – $9.75 million
The Lincoln Lawyer – $9.1 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!