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Friday Box Office Analysis

By David Mumpower

April 26, 2014

Ladies night!

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There was a changing of the guard yesterday as The Other Woman became the number one film in North America by counterprogramming against the male-centric reigning champion, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Fox advertised Friday evening as “Girls’ Night Out!” and women across the country happily took them up on the offer. The resulting box office will be more than enough to break Cappy’s three-week stranglehold on first place.

The Other Woman grossed $9.3 million yesterday, more than twice as much as its more storied counterpart. The explanation for this surprising performance is the premise, which is that women scorned by Jamie Lannister always pay their debts. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau portrays a three-timing womanizer whose grudging victims determine to get revenge a la 2006’s John Tucker Must Die.

The premise is a strong selling point on its own. Even better, the Fox title features an exceptional cast of Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and supermodel Kate Upton. In this regard, The Other Woman follows the playbook of Sex and the City and Bridesmaids by providing a deep roster of likable characters to entertain female movie-goers. The communal nature of such films combined with the popularity of the actresses involved imbues The Other Woman with one of the most potent box office one-two punches in recent memory.




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The only real surprise here is that Hollywood still has annual gaps in female wish fulfillment projects. There is no more relatable concept for anyone than a cheating partner. Virtually everyone experiences it at some point in their life, making it the most universal as well as fertile of premises for a comedy targeting women in a long time. Because of this enticing combination, I am going to project a 2.7 multiplier, which would indicate a $25.1 million weekend. In doing so, I am anticipating that The Other Woman is not a one-day wonder at the box office. If Saturday’s box office flatlines, I’m wrong. Given the woeful reviews and mediocre B+ Cinemascore, there is a lot of reason to be skeptical. I am banking on the under-served nature of the target audience in keeping The Other Woman afloat beyond yesterday.

People who follow daily box office have known all week that Captain America: The Winter Soldier has fallen out of favor. After finishing in first place 13 out of its first 16 days in theaters, it slid to second place five out of the last six days. Heaven Is for Real and Rio 2 both usurped it at various points this week, so the fact that it held on to second place yesterday is something of a feat. The latest Marvel release earned $4.5 million, a 53% decline from last Friday’s $9.5 million. So its run of dominance is winding down, at least in North America.

Last weekend’s surprise blockbuster, Heaven Is for Real, held fairly well yesterday. It fell 49% to $4.1 million and could feasibly sneak ahead of The Winter Soldier if it has a spectacular Sunday. I am not expecting that, though. I project $14.7 million for Captain America 2 as opposed to $12.4 million for Heaven Is for Real.

There were two other new releases and the first of them, Brick Mansions, is a relative disappointment. Paul Walker’s final non-driving movie struggled to find a marketing foothold, as is oftentimes the case when the star passes away prior to release. Its $3.6 million yesterday is probably even a frontloaded amount, meaning that $10 million is about the most that can be realistically expected this weekend.

The Quiet Ones, too accurately named, earned only $1.5 million yesterday. Featuring Mad Men's Jared Harris, the horror film was unable to capture the typical audience that so often shows up to support PG-13 rated scares. It might be able to finish the weekend with $4 million, though it's likely to come in just under that amount.

As for last weekend's openers, they are barely worth even mentioning. Johnny Depp's Transcendence, already a monumental failure, declined 74% from last Friday. Things aren't going to get any better over the weekend, as it's likely to wind up below $4 million based on its pitiful Friday box office of $1.2 million.

DisneyNature's Bears was hanging right in there with Transcendence, but the news is much more positive here. Although it was down 48% from its Good Friday inflated number, it's a family-friendly film, and may be able to get just past Transcendence in weekend two. A total of $3.9 million is realistic (though I wouldn't be surprised to see Warner Bros. lie up. And it's sad that they need to do that, isn't it?

Finally, A Haunted House 2 fell a whopping 76% - even worse than Transcendence's dismal drop-off. It's going to be looking up at $3 million for the weekend unless Open Road estimates high.


Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Projected
Rank
Film
Estimated Gross
1 The Other Woman 25.1
2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier 14.7
3 Heaven Is for Real 12.4
4 Rio 11.5
5 Brick Mansions 10.0
6 The Quiet One 4.0
7 Bears 3.9
8 Transcendence 3.7
9 A Haunted House 2 2.9
10 Oculus 2.1

     


 
 

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