The box office is gradually coming out of hibernation after last weekend saw six films earn over $10 million. This week, we get two new entries which, while not world-beaters, should continue what the last couple of weekends have started.
Weekend Forecast for April 12-14, 2013
by Tim Briody
April 12, 2013
With spring finally here and baseball season underway, it seems like a good time for the release of 42, which is not a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe sequel, but a Jackie Robinson biopic.
The man who broke Major League Baseball's color barrier when he made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, the story of Robinson's journey is the one most revered by baseball, and is the reason nobody else can ever wear the number 42 again. Starring as Robinson is virtual unknown Chadwick Boseman, which is a bit of a step down from the last time there was a Jackie Robinson biopic in theaters, when Robinson was played by…himself (in 1950's The Jackie Robinson Story). Star power is provided by [bp:24_]Harrison Ford[/bp] in the role of Brooklyn general manager and Hall of Famer Branch Rickey, the man who signed Robinson to the Dodgers.
Directed by Oscar winner (for the screenplay to L.A. Confidential) Brian Helgeland, 42 will not send everyone running from the stadium to the theater, but inspirational sports stories, especially one as well known as Robinson's, are rarely hard to sell. Look for a winning weekend of about $22 million.
Believe it or not, it's been seven years since the last Scary Movie. Long out of the hands of the Wayans Brothers (who went off to make January's A Haunted House, which opened to $18 million then promptly vanished), the franchise now belongs to David Zucker, once of the Airplane! and Naked Gun movies, but most recently of conservative "comedy" An American Carol. Scary Movie 4 did earn $90 million, so you had to figure they'd try again once there was enough of a reserve of material built up.
While the initial Scary Movies focused on the scream queen/slasher films, the franchise has become less about horror movies (though 4 did poke fun at the Saw franchise) and more about everything in popular culture at the time. Scary Movie V primarily goes after the found footage craze such as Paranormal Activity (though A Haunted House kind of beat it to the punch) but also throws in some Inception, Black Swan and worst of all, Charlie Sheen.
[bp:209_]Anna Faris[/bp] has finally realized she's better than this, so the heavy lifting goes to High School Musical refugee Ashley Tisdale, but these are never about the cast. It's about how funny the movie looks and the Scary Movie V trailer is shockingly devoid of laughs. Seriously, as someone who can find something redeeming to say about virtually anything, the Scary Movie V trailer is boring, unfunny and an affront to joy and happiness. Unsurpisingly, it's not being screened for critics. None of the other "Movie" parody films in the last decade ever took off the way the Scary Movie franchise did, but I think the audience that gave Scary Movie 4 a $40 million(!) opening on this very weekend in 2006 has long since moved on. Still, on name recognition alone, it's in for a weekend of about $19 million.
Last weekend's Evil Dead remake was tops with $26 million and despite positive reviews, is set to free fall this weekend. Perhaps it won't be as bad as January's Texas Chainsaw 3D (76%), but it won't be pretty. Look for a second weekend of around $8 million.
The Croods has quietly become a solid performer for Dreamworks, falling just 23% in its third weekend and already having earned $125 million. There is not a direct competitor in sight until May, so while it won't approach How To Train Your Dragon numbers, $175 million is a very realistic target. This weekend, look for another $15 million.