After last weekend's record breaking performance, that's surely a sign that the box office is set to take a turn, with blockbuster after blockbuster right through to the start of summer. Right? Right??? Oh. Turns out you actually have to release films people want to see. A couple of thoroughly yawn-inspiring dramas just aren't going to cut it.
Weekend Forecast for April 10-12, 2015
By Reagen Sulewski
April 10, 2015
The biggest new release of the weekend is Yet Another Nicholas Sparks Adaptation: The Longest Ride, a glurgy and overwrought story about a young couple who reflect on their relationship after encountering a old man in a car accident. He's currently on a bit of a ritualistic journey to commemorate a lost love, since no one in a Sparks novel can ever avoid tragedy and or loneliness. You'd think his readers would pick up on the subtle theme, but...
This version of the story stars Scott Eastwood (yes, son of that Eastwood), Britt Robertson (late of Under the Dome, and soon to be really famous from Tomorrowland), with Alan Alda as Old Man Delivering Life Lesson. The cast also includes Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, and Lolita Davidovitch, but this isn't a cast that's particularly high powered. That's potentially a bit of a problem, as the first big crack appeared in the Sparks- empire last year with The Best of Me, which opened to just $10 million and finished with under $30 million. Admittedly that may be in part due to people realizing that they really had no interest in James Marsden in any shape or form.
While Eastwood has a recognizable name, it's not really his own, and his resume doesn't include much of anything you'd remember him for. That's a bit of a concern when you're opening a film with mediocre reviews and whose audience has started to drift away. We're a long ways from the highs of The Notebook and Dear John, when this kind of treacle seemed unstoppable. Look for this to stay in the doldrums of The Best of Me, with about $9 million for its opening weekend.
Woman in Gold expands from its successful limited debut this weekend, jumping to around 1,500 venues from its 258, where it earned about $2 million, for a respectable $8,000 per venue average. The based-on-a-true-story stars Helen Mirren as a Jewish refugee fighting the Austrian government to reclaim a famous painting that was confiscated from her family by the Nazis. The cast also includes Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl and Katie Holmes, but it's basically riding on Mirren's acting chops and Reynolds charmingly winking into camera. Essentially a legal procedure set to celluloid, it's a perfectly reasonable, yet entirely uninspiring piece of cinema, which will nonetheless attract older audiences looking for an unoffensive night out. With the expansion, look for around $4 million this weekend.
This brings us to our two-ton, 200 mph behemoth, Furious 7, which started with an astonishing $147 million, ninth all-time and more than double the opening weekend of the last film in this franchise that opened in this month, 2009's Fast & Furious, the re-kick-in-the-pants revitalizing film. It's a bit of a testament to what can happen to a franchise when it really captures a moment, and it also brings to mind the opening of The Dark Knight following the death of Heath Ledger.
Second weekend drops for this franchise have been, not to sugarcoat it, pretty dismal, with each of the last three films losing at least 60 percent of their opening weekend. In a way that hardly matters when you open to such huge figures, but it also does put a bit of a cap on the film's total, and it's not exactly going to challenge Batman or Spider-Man films for all-time box office glory. That does mean it should still earn about $52 million this weekend, and be a healthy winner of its second frame.
DreamWorks' Home crossed the $100 million plateau mid-week, and has taken advantage of a weak family film environment to overcome mediocre reviews. The long-awaited collaboration between Jim Parsons and Rihanna should earn about $19 million this weekend for second place.
In behind that is the comedy Get Hard, which collapsed to $13 million from its $33 million opening weekend, and which may not get to $80 million in its final total. It's difficult to view that in a positive light regardless of the strong start, but I suppose one can say that at least both stars of the film can call themselves draws – they just need to get better at making the actual film part.
Following that, we have Cinderella, which is making a beeline for $200 million, and should earn about $6 million this weekend. Wanna-be franchise film Insurgent meanwhile aims for $125 million, with about $5 million this frame.