Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

February 1, 2014

It's okay. They're watching the Super Bowl, too.

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It's Super Bowl weekend, and whether that means that the box office is deflated because no one cares or simply that studios don't even bother trying, it's one of the least exciting weekends of the year with regards to movie receipts. 2014 will be no exception, as although two new films opened in theaters, barely anyone noticed.

The first of these is That Awkward Moment, a sort of a strange specimen of a movie in that it feels like it ought to be a raunchy dude flick, but instead seems to be female targeted and story focused. Featuring up-and-comers Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan along with Zac Efron, it was a movie that seemed to have at least a little bit of potential, but clearly the studio figured there just wasn't much demand there if they sacrificed it to the Super Bowl. Sure, you could say that it might have played as counter-programming to a female audience, but since that split has moved to be about 54% male to 46% female, even that doesn't make much sense. And yes, it's true that the game is just on Sunday, but for whatever reason we consistently see the entire weekend affected.

With the feel of a throwaway, audiences responded accordingly, meaning that That Awkward Moment finished in second place on Friday with just $3.9 million. With no buzz and mostly negative reviews, it's going to be a film that passes quickly from theaters and lands on DVD just as May flowers are beginning to bloom. The good news is that the budget was slight at $8 million. Look for That Awkward Moment to finish the weekend with $10.1 million.


Our other opener was far more blatant in its attempt to capture the female audience, but Labor Day didn't win anyone over. With its pedigree, including stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin along with director Jason Reitman, the film seems like something that ought to have been contending for awards. The fact that it's not and is instead seeing a token release during one of the worst box office weekends of the year should tell you all you need to know. Beyond that, its creepy premise was probably too big a hurdle for most people to get past. The romantic drama earned $1.9 million on Friday and is pretty much DOA. It should bring in about $5 million this weekend, and since its budget was more than twice the amount of That Awkward Moment's, it's not in good shape at all.

With both new openers floundering, that leaves the door open for Ride Along to once again repeat at #1. With $4 million yesterday, it's looking at a weekend total of around $11.2 million. Last weekend's lone opener, I, Frankenstein, fell 62% Friday-to-Friday, and thanks to the Super Bowl it won't even recover much. The studio will probably estimate it at just over $3 million even if that's a bit of a fudge. Needless to say, the horror?/action? film is one of 2014's earliest big bombs.

There is one funny little anomaly in the bunch, and that's Frozen, which saw an *increase* over last Friday thanks to the fact that the studio made this weekend a "sing-a-long" weekend. It's a nice little treat for fans of the movie and from what I've heard from people who attended yesterday, was a real pleasure, especially hearing the children singing with glee. It's still probably going to be down just slightly, but it may be the one film that doesn't see a huge, deleterious effect from the big football game. Look for it to earn right at $8.7 million.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Ride Along 11.2
2 That Awkward Moment 10.1
3 Frozen 8.7
4 Lone Survivor 6.4
5 The Nut Job 5.1
6 Labor Day 5.0
7 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 4.9
8 American Hustle 3.7
9 The Wolf of Wall Street 3.1
10 I, Frankenstein 3.0



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