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Weekend Forecast for February 7-9, 2014

By Reagen Sulewski

February 7, 2014

Batman's frown is contagious.

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Perhaps featuring more overall star power, but with much more troubling signs in production and in marketing, is The Monuments Men, the latest directorial effort from George Clooney. He tells here the true story of a special military mission during World War II, when a team of experts in art, architecture and antiquities were tasked with finding, protecting and recovering the great works of art looted by the Nazis, and threatened with destruction by their impending defeat. In this ragtag group of commandos are Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban and Cate Blanchett. Insert your own derisive Dirty Dozen joke here.

The film was originally scheduled for a late 2013 release into awards contention, but was withdrawn relatively close to release for some tweaking, which is never a great sign. It appears not to have helped all that much as reviews are not kind to it, indicating that the heist film element never quite meshes with the somber tone of the war film it aspires to be. As a director, Clooney has a fairly underwhelming record, with only one of his films cracking the $40 million mark, and just barely at that. This looks to be another in that vein, and should open to around $13 million based on star power, but not much else.

Lastly, we have the eyebrow raising title of Vampire Academy, which brings to mind the idea that there might be similar such institutions for other legendary creatures. I understand that Wolfman University is a legendary party school. Based on a series of Young Adult novels, the latest land rush by Hollywood studios, it centers around some sort of mythos that I can't really be bothered to figure out, but suffice to say, there's good vampires, there's bad ones, and they fight at some point. Also, high school politics suck even when you're undead.




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Directed by Mark Waters, who helmed Mean Girls, and written by his brother Daniel, who also wrote Heathers, it at least has some pedigree of talent (lest it be all positive, these two also have Hudson Hawk, Just Like Heaven and Mr. Popper's Penguins on their collective resume). The lead role goes to Zoey Deutch in what amounts to her first big break, though she had a minor role in last year's similarly themed Beautiful Creatures, though one hopes this film can aim above that in quality. At the very least, this film seems to be deliberately attempting to be funny, and not in a campy way (OK, a little campy. You can't do anything with vampires without being at least a little campy). On the whole, this appears to be something of a female focused (the other two highlighted roles go to Lucy Fry and Modern Family's Sarah Hyland) Harry Potter, but bridges the gap between it and Twilight. Unscreened for critics, and without a fervor anything like other young adult novel adaptations, one should probably not get all that hopeful, and I'd be looking for about $9 million this weekend for it.

Returning films are led yet again by Ride Along, which will hit the $100 million mark, the first official 2014 film to do so, this weekend. Give it $8 million for the strong buddy-cop (sort of) performer.

What else can be written about the performance of Frozen at this point? The singalong added a couple of million over and above what it should have earned last weekend, which isn't a lot in the bottom line, but certainly paid a dividend for Disney as a proof of concept, and couldn't possibly have cost that much to produce. There'll be a relatively high drop off this weekend in compensation, but that should still leave it with about $5 million.


Forecast: Weekend of February 7-9, 2014
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 The Lego Movie 3,775 New 52.1
2 The Monuments Men 3,083 New 13.5
3 Vampire Academy 2,676 New 9.6
4 Ride Along 2,793 -94 8.0
5 Frozen 2,460 -294 5.5
6 That Awkward Moment 2,809 0 4.8
7 Lone Survivor 2,862 -463 4.3
8 The Nut Job 3,004 -468 3.8
9 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 2,139 -768 3.5
10 American Hustle 1,640 -576 2.6

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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