Weekend Forecast for January 17-19, 2014

By Reagen Sulewski

January 17, 2014

Excuse me, Mr. Cube? Is that you or a wax statue?

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There's nothing entirely wrong with this approach to the film, but it isn't a recipe for taking a franchise to a great new height. The phrase “perfectly adequate” springs to mind, and isn't that a pull quote for the ages! Pine hasn't exactly been amazing outside of Star Trek either, which doesn't spell awesomeness for the financials of the film. Opening in 3,387 venues, it should manage about $20 million this weekend.

Animation gets a new entry with The Nut Job, though discerning parents are likely to convince their kids to skip this one. An independently produced film, it features the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Katherine Heigl and Liam Neeson, among others, in a story of a nut heist by a bunch of Central Park squirrels. While the animation doesn't look *terrible*, it does look like a rather thin story and more puns on the word “nut” than feel appropriate for a children's film. Reviews have savaged this, but most animated films seem to have some kind of floor, and a weekend of around $10 million seems plausible.

Fresh on the heels of the unimpressive figure of the latest Paranormal Activity, we have yet another found footage horror film, Devil's Due. Starring Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights fame and Allison Miller of Terra Nova (which is to say of no fame at all) as a young married couple who find themselves with a missing night during their honeymoon. This ends up with them being pregnant, and while documenting the pregnancy, they start to notice strange and off-putting things, but leading to erratic behavior from the wife. Can you guess what it is from the title? No spoiling it for anyone who doesn't understand puns!

Horror films typically need some kind of push to get box office, particularly if they don't star anyone really familiar to audiences. Devil's Due doesn't seem to have the juice behind it for one of these, so I'd expect a rather modest opening weekend of about $7 million.


Lone Survivor was a surprisingly strong entrant into the box office last weekend, with $37.8 million, easily winning the top spot. The Mark Wahlberg-starring, Peter Berg-helmed story of a covert operation gone wrong in Afghanistan, Lone Survivor appeared to push all the right buttons for war movie aficionados, and ranks among Wahlberg's highest opening movies. While it scored two Oscar nominations in technical categories, it was otherwise overlooked, and should see a regular drop to around $20 million this weekend.

The remaining relevant films this weekend all have Oscar connections: Frozen is nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Song, but really, it's hard to imagine anyone that was waiting for that news to see it, as those were foregone conclusions. It should earn about $10 million this weekend.

Oscar nominations typically provide a little push for films, but the real prizes are typically in wins, and for films that are not currently in a lot of theaters. As such, we should see some minor blips for The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle, with bigger jumps for August: Osage County, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, all of which get big bumps in screen counts, some from an initial expansion, and some coming back into theaters. Look for the best of these to top out at around $9 million, with some of the older films with smaller venue counts coming in with just a couple of million.

Forecast: Weekend of January 17-19, 2014
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Ride Along 2,662 New 26.3
2 Lone Survivor 2,989 +114 20.5
3 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 3,387 New 20.3
4 The Nut Job 3,427 New 10.3
5 Frozen 2,979 -260 9.8
6 Wolf of Wall Street 1,930 -591 9.0
7 American Hustle 2,204 -425 8.8
8 August: Osage County 2,051 +1,146 8.6
9 Devil's Due 2,543 New 7.0
10 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 1,815 -1,260 4.8

Continued:       1       2



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