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Weekend Forecast for March 28-30, 2014

By Reagen Sulewski

March 28, 2014

Hey! I think that's more than two zebras.

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Opening in limited release is Cesar Chavez, the biopic of the California migrant labor leader who rose to notoriety in the 1960s. Micheal Pena stars as the title character, with the film chronicling his life, rising from poverty to national attention. Also starring in the film are America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich, which doesn't make this the most star-studded film ever. However, with a targeted release, this could find an audience, particularly among Hispanic communities. On 664 screens, this should find about $4 million on opening weekend.

Multiple expansions also make this weekend interesting, with the aforementioned God's Not Dead, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Bad Words all making big jumps in venue counts. For the first, it's not likely to make much difference, as similar to last month's Son of God, it's due for a big drop as first-weekend rush factor looms large, in addition to direct competition from the big-budget religious film. Despite the increase of 300 or so screens, it should drop to about $5 million.

Wes Anderson's film, however, almost triples its screen count, and seems to be building as it expands. The whimsical caper film might be the most commercial of Anderson's career as audiences start to twig to his unique viewpoint on filmmaking. It's worth noting that Moonrise Kingdom, as odd a mass market film as there was before this one, managed $45 million two years ago. I'd look for $7 million this weekend.

Bad Words, Jason Bateman's theatrical directorial debut, hits wide release after a couple weekends of not so remarkable limited release. He's directing himself in a story about an overgrown manchild who discovers a loophole to enter a national spelling bee and beat up on a bunch of fourth graders while swearing at them. Either you're on board with this or you're calling Child Services; there's little in between here. I'm not seeing the commercial breakout in the limited release numbers, and this should sit at around $2 million for the weekend.




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Now, on to the returning films proper – Divergent won the weekend handily with $54 million and became Hunger Games Jr., with the sequel getting a greenlight after just one day of release. While this film is likely headed for a big second week drop, proving that there's an audience willing to shell out for the first weekend is an enormous part of the battle for profitability. I'd give this $25 million for the second frame.

Muppets Most Wanted was a significant step backwards from the last Muppets movie, opening only to $17 million. The joy of having Muppets back on the big screen clearly wore off in the couple of years between that film and this one, though one could imagine that these could continue on well at this level for another few outings. Of course, there's the inevitable drop off in quality, so we're likely to need another reboot in a decade or so, unless someone comes up with a brilliant idea for a new film. Give this $10 million this weekend.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the other family film out there right now, suffered a bit of a dip in its third weekend, but should hit the $100 million mark in a couple of weeks or so. For this weekend, it should hit about $7 million.


Forecast: Weekend of March 28-30, 2014
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Noah 3,567 New 35.4
2 Divergent 3,936 0 25.8
3 Muppets Most Wanted N/A N/A 11.4
4 Sabotage 2,486 New 8.1
5 The Grand Budapest Hotel 977 +683 7.4
6 Mr. Peabody and Sherman 3,299 -308 7.0
7 God's Not Dead 1,164 +384 5.1
8 300: Rise of an Empire 2,601 -484 4.4
9 Need For Speed 2,705 -410 4.0
10 Non-Stop 2,512 -433 3.8

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