Weekend Forecast for July 26-28, 2013

By Reagen Sulewski

July 26, 2013

Snow ninjas are the worst.

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The To Do List is arguably most famous for Plaza's stunt at the MTV Movie Awards where she meekly tried to rip Will Ferrell's Lifetime Achievement Award out of his hands before giving up and getting kicked out of the ceremony. As non-traditional advertising goes, it was a fairly poor attempt. The hope, then, is that the deep cast of comedy stars, including Bill Hader, Rachel Bilson, Alia Shawkat, Andy Samberg, Chris Mintz-Plasse, Donald Glover, Adam Pally – I could go on – will bring in people by sheer volume. Unfortunately, it's a lead people are looking for and as funny (and Emmy-worthy) as Plaza is, she's not yet at that status. The film this most resembles, Adventureland, opened to just $5 million on triple the screens this is getting. A solid result here might be $3 million.

Two films, Fruitvale Station and The Way, Way Back expand into wide release after headline-grabbing and respectable limited runs respectively. The first stars Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant, the victim of a shooting during an arrest in which he was shot while already handcuffed by a Bay Area transit officer. The video of that arrest and shooting made national news, and the film is unfortunately kind of timely following the Zimmerman trial. With ecstatic reviews at Sundance and a trip to Cannes where it won its director the Best First Feature award, it's a bit of an anomaly, in that it's a potential Oscar nominee appearing in the middle of summer. With some rather gaudy per screen numbers, upwards of $20,000 on 34 screens, it's a good candidate for the 1,000 screen treatment, though one wonders how regional it's going to play. This weekend's expansion should bring it up to around $5 million this weekend.

The Way, Way Back is yet another coming of age story, and is the follow-up to The Descendants for Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, two of the three screenwriters of that film. Relative newcomer Liam James stars as a teenager suffering through a summer vacation with his mother, her boyfriend and the boyfriend's daughter, played by Toni Collette, Steve Carell and AnnaSophia Robb respectively. Taking a job at a local water park, he finds an unlikely friend in the uncouth manager played by Sam Rockwell, and your Adventureland alarm bells should be going off for the second time today. It has already earned a little under $5 million in three weekends and now expands to around 900 venues. The jump in amount earned should not be that dramatic, and I'd be looking for something a little closer to $3 million.

The Conjuring surprised people who weren't paying attention with a first place finish and over $40 million last weekend, as suspense horror made a re-entry to the big time. Of course, it's unlikely to hold that well even with solid word of mouth – it's the inherent weakness of non-paradigm-shattering horror. A second weekend of $19 million will be nothing to be ashamed of, however.

Despicable Me 2 will cross the $300 million mark this weekend, and will still have a decent amount of room to run. While I think most expected a bit of an improvement in returns on the first film, that it seems very possible for it to earn over $375 million can easily be called a surprise. In a summer filled with high profile bombs, this is one bright spot. It should add around $15 million this weekend.


Less “bright spot” talk can be had when we talk about the rest of last week's new films, with Turbo coming out the best with a mere $21 million. I'm tempted to blame animation exhaustion, but the ridiculous premise without the Pixar name may have doomed the “racing snail” film. Give it about $12 million here.

RED 2, meanwhile, should fall to about $9 million, as there are few more depressing things than a sequel no one wanted to a film that wasn't that popular in the first place. Throw this in Bruce Willis' bin with The Whole Ten Yards.

Grown Ups 2 should have a similar earning amount this weekend, but at least started out higher up on the food chain. And yet, $125 million as a final total doesn't seem all that great for a Sandler sequel anymore (This cost $80 million? How?).

Finally, following that we have Pacific Rim with around $7 million, and I'm really disappointed in you people, is all I have to say.

Forecast: Weekend of July 26-28, 2013
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 The Wolverine 3,924 New 66.4
2 The Conjuring 3,022 +119 19.7
3 Despicable Me 2 3,465 -355 14.8
4 Turbo 3,809 +3 12.4
5 Red 2 3,016 0 9.3
6 Grown Ups 2 3,258 -233 9.0
7 Pacific Rim 2,602 -683 7.4
8 Fruitvale Station 1,064 +1,060 5.2
9 R.I.P.D. 2,850 -2 4.6
10 The Heat 2,834 -305 4.5

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