Weekend Forecast for February 15-17, 2013

By Reagen Sulewski

February 14, 2013

Two guys with guns? I knew I should have taken the stairs.

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Anyhow, it's just like every other Sparks adaptation, albeit with much less famous people. If only they could have worked Channing Tatum and/or Rachel McAdams in there somehow. Their not-Sparks film The Vow opened to $40 million last Valentine's Day Weekend, but at this point we have to concede that a good portion of that was due to star power and timing, seeing how The Lucky One and The Last Song performed. Duhamel is definitely no Tatum, and his only other lead role that didn't see him competing for screen time against robots was Life As We Know It, which opened to an unimpressive $14 million. Even then, that was probably Katherine Heigl. This is Hough's first film that doesn't prominently feature singing and/or dancing, but even those weren't spectacular performers. So it's Valentine's or bust for Safe Haven, and it should probably work to a degree. I'd look for $15 million over three days and $24 million over four.

It'll be competing for romantic dollars with Beautiful Creatures, a film I'm still not entirely convinced isn't an elaborate prank. And while Warm Bodies was knocked as a supposed attempt to “rip off Twilight”, this is in fact the real deal in that department. Based on a young adult book series about a family of “casters”, magic-users who are locked in a battle for good and evil, with the tipping point apparently resting on one young girl who will be claimed on his 16th birthday because that's not creepy at all. There's some tragic romance stuff mixed in there too between said girl and a “norm” boyfriend who is caught up in the midst of all this fate of the world stuff. Don't worry, you've probably never heard of either of them.

There are, however, three Oscar nominees in this cast, which means the pay must have been good. Jeremy Irons (visibly sighing in every scene), Emma Thompson and Viola Davis lend some gravitas to this silliness, while Emmy Rossum does her best femme fatale with the help of some gold contacts. As terrible and fake-gothic as this looks, it's hitting its target audience right where it wants, although it's relatively much smaller than some other books-turned-films in the hype department. Maybe the PR department should have cooked up a fake intra-cast romance or two. I expect a fairly Thursday-heavy bow for this, with about $14 million on the weekend, but $24 million over four days.


Avoiding the holiday is Escape From Planet Earth, an animated feature from the Weinstein Company. Brendan Fraser plays an alien stranded on Earth after a rescue mission goes awry. Guess what? Humans are dangerous to aliens! This is essentially the opposite plot of 2009's Planet 51, which is to say not much of a twist at all. Other voices in the cast include William Shatner, Jessica Biel, Sofia Vergara, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais and Sarah Jessica Parker, although kids really won't care about that part. For animated films, it often comes down to exposure and the juice of the studio, for lack of a better term. The Weinstein Company has decidedly lacked that in general, and its only other animated releases, the Hoodwinked films, have been something of a disaster. This looks to be a pretty low level performer with around $10 million over the weekend.

Identity Thief was a bit of a shocker with $34 million last weekend, this despite some pretty terrible reviews and not particularly brilliant advertising. Perhaps we can officially anoint Melissa McCarthy as a box office draw now, at least in comedy? Hit comedies can usually catch a break on the legs front, so I'd look for about $22 million here this weekend.

Warm Bodies likely takes a hit from the similarly targeted Beautiful Creatures this weekend, though that just means it makes a little over $5 million instead of $6 million in its third frame. Also returning to significant numbers are Side Effects, Steven Soderbergh's last theatrical film, which should add another $5 million, and Silver Linings Playbook, cruising along in post-Oscar nomination afterglow, also due for about $5 million this weekend.

Forecast: Weekend of February 15-17, 2013
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 A Good Day to Die Hard 3,552 New 35.5
2 Identity Thief N/A N/A 22.1
3 Safe Haven 3,223 New 15.3
4 Beautiful Creatures 2,950 New 14.4
5 Escape From Planet Earth N/A New 10.4
6 Warm Bodies N/A N/A 5.8
7 Side Effects N/A N/A 5.4
8 Silver Linings Playbook N/A N/A 5.2
9 Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters N/A N/A 3.8
10 Zero Dark Thirty N/A N/A 2.7

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