Magic and mystery vs. dusty gun slinging! Action and evil vs. low-brow humour! Genre vs. genre!
A beauty vs. the guy that brought us Ted!
This weekend looks to be an interesting one at the box office as cinemagoers look to choose between two very different – and some might say very difficult – sells. Follow me after the jump and I’ll tell you all about it!
There are two elements that make a movie difficult for people to spend money on. Well, there are probably more than that, but it’s not like prognosticating box-office revenue is a science. It’s more of a game of darts. Writing this column, standing in for its regular columnist, Biff Bam Pop’s Editor-in-Chief Andy Burns (who, incidentally, is currently researching this practice in La-La Land), I just try to take a few steps closer to the board before throwing.
Anyway, two things that make it difficult for people to spend money on at the theatre: have a movie star a villain, and have a movie take place in the old west.
That’s what we’ve got before us this weekend.
Maleficent, the untold story behind Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, stars Angelina Jolie, surely the only real box office draw here. From the various trailers, I’m not sure what to make of this flick. Jolie looks great – as does the entire movie. But I don’t know if it’s a dark sword and sorcery or a whimsical take on fairies, et al. Can kids go to this thing? I’m sure I’m not the only one mildly confused over what I’ve seen thus far. You can be sure that Biff Bam Pop’s own Glenn Walker, alongside Disney aficionado, Jenn Walker, will be talking about it on their Make Mine Magic Podcast – a site and podcast dedicated to the Mouse! (Make sure you visit them for magical illumination!)
That said, I think Maleficent, with its embedded Disney fan base, will see a large opening. It won’t be Oz territory and it won’t be anywhere near the summer’s heavyweight films, but it should still rack in a tidy sum. I’m thinking that sum will be in the range of $58 million.
The other film opening this weekend is, as the advertisements tell us, brought to us by the guy that made Ted. Now, Ted was a fun romp. It was fairly disgusting and ridiculous, but it had a good heart. But A Million Ways to Die in the West, written, directed, produced and starring Seth MacFarlane, certainly isn’t Ted.
Generally speaking, westerns tend to be box-office poison. Mix that with comedy, with a helping spoonful of potential vanity and you’re going to get low box office revenue. That’s science.
Hey, I love westerns. And I love comedy. But I also remember Shanghai Knights and Wild Wild West. I will not part with this $15! Besides, A Million Ways to Die in the West still needs to contend with a brilliant X-Men: Days of Future Past – a film for which word of mouth is still very, very strong. I think it’ll slip to third place with a disappointing $24 million.
So then, here are my predictions for this weekend:
1) Maleficent – $58 million
2) X-Men: Days of Future Past – $38 million
3) A Million Ways to Die in the West – $24 million
4) Godzilla – $11 million
5) Neighbors – $3.5 million
Be sure to check back on Sunday where we’ll discover how magnificent (or how maleficent) my predictive darts have been!