Weekend Wrap-Up

Transcendence Bombs; Marvel Is For Real

By John Hamann

April 20, 2014

They just saw the box office numbers come across, I think.

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Internationally, it is always tough to tell where these things are going to finish. The Winter Soldier has already amassed $385 million, compared to Thor 2, which had an overseas take of $438 million, so an extrapolation to $600 million is possible, which would mean a worldwide gross of possibly $850 million.

Finishing second for the second straight weekend is Rio 2. After a strange opening frame where it had a strong opening day but faded as the weekend went on, Rio 2 doesn’t have an Easter weekend like the original film did. The original Rio also opened the weekend before Easter. Over the holiday frame – its second weekend – Rio actually had a higher second Friday than its opening day, due to the Good Friday holiday with kids out of school. Over the rest of the original’s Easter weekend, it faded hard following that Friday, finishing with a gross of $26.3 million and a drop of 33%.

The sequel wasn’t as strong on Good Friday as the original ($12 million first Friday, $9.2 million second,-23%), and faded as the weekend went on. The result for Rio 2 is a second weekend take of $22.5 million, and a drop compared to the $39.3 million open of 43%. It has a running domestic total of $75 million after 10 days. For a kid’s film, the decline is a concern, but as I stated last weekend, Rio 2 isn’t concentrating on domestic audiences. Overseas is where it’s at for Rio 2, as it had already amassed $124.3 million overseas prior to the start of Easter weekend. This one cost $100 million to make, and will earn $125+ million domestically, plus another $350+ million overseas.


That puts our first opener into third this weekend, and it’s not the $100 million Johnny Depp starrer. The faith-based film Heaven Is for Real is our top opener of the weekend, despite costing $88 million less than the supposed Depp blockbuster. Heaven got started on Wednesday, where it earned an okay $3.7 million, finishing a couple of hundred thousand better than Captain America. On Thursday, it dropped (as is typical for Wednesday openers) down to $3.3 million. The unexpected then happened on Friday, where it earned $7.9 million, better than the combined Wednesday/Thursday, but keep in mind that it was Good Friday. The Saturday number came in at an even better $8.2 million, and the Sunday is estimated at $5.4 million. That gives Heaven is for Real a three-day gross of $21.5 million, a five-day gross of $28.5 million, and likely leaves it with a good earning day on Easter Monday. All of a sudden, this $12 million film is profitable after less than a week of release.

Reviews for the Christian film were mixed, but much better than God’s Not Dead and Son of God. At the time of this writing, Heaven Is for Real had collected 59 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, with 31 positive and 28 negative for a rating of 53% fresh. Cinemascores were expectedly good with an overall A and an A+ coming from audiences under 35. Cinemascores for films like these aren’t overly helpful, as the audience is comprised of the already-converted. I would imagine if the Cinemascore people had polled only atheists, the score would have been different. It's tough to determine how things will go for Heaven Is for Real in the future. Son of God has a current opening-to-total multiplier of less than 2.5, but God’s Not Dead is over 4.0. A film like this could become a grandma movie, where it finds legs due to an older audience that didn’t come out on opening weekend.

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