Weekend Forecast for November 28-30, 2013

By Reagen Sulewski

November 27, 2013

He (?) will not make the national figure skating team with those moves.

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In what seems like a MadLib of actors, Homefront stars Jason Statham, James Franco, Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder in a script by Sylvester Stallone, in the genre best described as “Justice Porn.” Statham plays an undercover DEA agent somewhere in the south, whose family is dragged into a series of feuds when his daughter fights back against a school bully. The bully's dad (oh, and local meth producer), Franco, discovers Statham's undercover status and starts a mini-war. Cue time for butt-kicking.

There's little here to separate this from a lot of Statham's other films other than a slightly higher quality of co-star – and I suppose the setting is a bit novel, like Deliverance without the canoeing. If you can really tell the difference in quality between this, and Safe, and War, and Parker and any number of other Staham films, then you are probably the world's greatest Jason Statham and/or James Franco fan. This should earn about $8 million over three days, or $11 million over five.

Expanding into wide and wideish release are three other films: The Book Thief, Philomena and Oldboy. The first is a drama about a young girl, adopted by protective foster parents during World War II, who rescues books from Nazi book burning parties and uses them to bond with the Jewish refugee they're hiding in their basement. It's happy fun times all around. Might as well make this a triple feature with 12 Years a Slave and a snuff film. A interesting film for Oscar purposes, since it also stars Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, this will probably earn about $3 million this weekend.

Philomena is a strange candidate for expansion, seeing how its main appeal is an Oscar hunting Judi Dench, and its second biggest appeal is an actor few in America have any opinion on, let alone in a serious role. Dench plays a woman who had her child forcefully taken away from her and given up for adoption many years ago, with Steve Coogan playing a journalist who publicizes her case. It's a story that seems designed to bring out the hankies, and probably earns Dench another Oscar nomination (and who knows, maybe Coogan slips in there somehow too). I'd expect about $2 million here on an expansion to 750 screens.


Not quite wide yet, but with possibly the biggest box office potential of all, is Spike Lee's English language remake of Oldboy. A Korean film about a man imprisoned for decades, it was noted for its extreme violence and disturbing plot twists, which presumably have been kept intact here, making this kind of pointless unless you like seeing Josh Brolin kick ass and be all grizzled. Which maybe you do! Opening on about 500 screens, this should pull in about $2 million this weekend.

This brings us to last weekend's champion, Catching Fire, the second film in the Hunger Games series. Slightly improving on the first film's take with $158 million, it was somehow seen as a bit of a letdown to some. What more do you monsters want?! With its second weekend being Thanksgiving, this presents an interesting possibility for the film, as often this can stave off a degree of the front-loading factor that mega-blockbusters like this suffer. Of course, we can just look to the Twilight series, which still suffered a characteristic drop despite the holiday. Optimistically, I think we can look for a $70 million weekend.

The rest of the holdovers aren't likely to have that much of an impact, though again there's always that hope that more time equals more viewers. Thor: The Dark World should surpass the total of the first Thor film in a week or two, which is certainly no disappointment for what is surely the weirdest of the Marvel sub-franchises (until Ant-Man gets made). This will include about $8 million this weekend.

Following it is The Best Man Holiday, which should pull in about $7 million in the same period, bringing its total to around $60 million, which is essentially found money on a budget of $17 million.

Forecast: Weekend of November 28-30, 2013
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire N/A N/A 69.8
2 Frozen 3,742 +3,741 54.7
3 Black Nativity 1,516 New 15.3
4 Homefront 2,572 New 8.8
5 Thor: The Dark World N/A N/A 8.0
6 The Best Man Holiday N/A N/A 7.2
7 Delivery Man N/A N/A 4.7
8 Free Birds N/A N/A 4.5
9 Last Vegas N/A N/A 4.0
10 The Book Thief 1,234 +1,164 3.2

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