Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend – to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.
For a recap of last week’s box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Chappie‘ opening weekend – and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.
Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of March 13 – 15, 2015.
This weekend, fairy tell retelling Cinderella opens in more than 3,650 theaters and action flick Run All Night debuts in more than 3,150 theaters. In limited release, It Follows plays on an unspecified number of screens.
#1 – Cinderella
Our pick for first this weekend is the latest Disney fairy tale reimagining, Cinderella. The studio had tremendous success in this genre last year, when the Angeline Jolie-led Maleficent grossed a whopping $241.4 million, illustrating that there was a strong audience interest in these kinds of films. While Cinderella isn’t headlined by someone on Jolie’s level, the source material is still very popular, and the supporting cast features famous faces such as Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter, which could help draw in curious moviegoers.
Early tracking has Cinderella projected for a $64 million opening weekend, which would be one of the stronger debuts of the year so far and in line with how Malificent debuted last summer. It’s hard to envision a scenario where this film fails to come close to that mark. In addition to the Disney branding and weak crop of competitors, the film has also received strong early reviews. In theory, that will sway casual moviegoers interested in seeing something new and Cinderella is primed to revitalize the box office.
#2 – Run All Night
Coming in a very distant second should be Run All Night, the latest installment of the “Liam Neeson with a gun” franchise. While the novelty of this concept made films like the first Taken massive hits ($145 million), the results have been decidedly mixed ever since. Titles such as Non-Stop proved to be somewhat commercially successful ($92.1 million), but others failed to leave much of an impact with audiences, including this year’s Taken 3 ($88.3 million).
As such, it’s being expected that Run All Night will fall into the latter category of these films. Tracking currently has it for only a $12 million debut, which, in this box office climate is good enough for one of the top spots, but is hardly what studio executives want to see. With early reviews painting a mixed picture, and the film arriving with very little buzz, Run All Night will most likely do well for itself in the early going, but could pass through relatively quickly.
#3 – Chappie
Look for last week’s champ, Chappie (read our review), to slide to third this weekend. Neill Blomkamp’s latest had one of the softest opening weekend wins in recent memory by making just $13.3 million in its first three days. Most critics have had nothing but negative things to say about it, and the horrible word-of-mouth will be a large factor in it struggling to develop strong legs. Like so many other projects this year, Chappie is preparing to have a hard crash to the bottom of the charts shortly after opening.
#4 – Focus
Our pick for fourth is Focus (read our review). The Will Smith vehicle hasn’t been the return to form the actor might have been hoping for, but it did make an additional $10 million last week and has made $34.5 million as of this writing. We’re in the middle of the ‘quiet before the summer movie storm’ right now, so with very little competition, Focus should continue to post modest numbers.
#5 – The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Rounding out the top five should be The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The dramedy sequel grossed $8.5 million in its first three days, which isn’t much, but for this film a welcome surprise. So far, it has posted a strong per theater average, indicating that audience word-of-mouth is strong. Right now, many of the films playing are geared toward a younger crowd (sci-fi, action, fantasy, etc.), so this film – even with its PG rating – should continue to develop as a suitable bit of counter-programming for older moviegoers looking for a pleasant story. It’s time in the top five may be brief, but Hotel has found its niche and shouldn’t have any problems holding on to it.
Last Week’s Recap
Our predictions played out fairly well, but we were way off on Unfinished Business. We thought the star power of Vince Vaughn would help guide it to respectable numbers, but the awful critical reception was a death sentence for it. We had thought it would come in second, but it barely managed to make tenth. Also, contrary to what we believed, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, performed very well and came in third, when we felt it wouldn’t make the top five.
Next Week: Insurgent, The Gunman, and more!