April 2015 Box Office Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
April 2, 2015
4. The Age of Adaline (April 24th)
The Age of Adaline gets points for daring to declare itself practically the sole contender opening in that last, bittersweet, pre-Avengers weekend. It's hard to forecast for this vaguely Benjamin Button-ish historical fantasy about an ageless title character, although it looks like a film that with just a bit more romance could have been a Nicholas Sparks production (to be even more Sparksesque, it would also need to add unseemly, sudden, violent deaths of major characters). The picture is carried by Blake Lively, who's been spotted in a film or two since her Gossip Girl heyday (Green Lantern and Savages immediately come to mind, though they may not stay). It's tough to say how strong a film they've made here, but Adaline's got an intriguing premise, and ought to play well to adults seeking shelter from the franchise hordes storming the rest of the multiplex. Reviews will decide if it can carve out a decent niche for itself.
Opening weekend: $11 million / Total gross: $35 million
5. Child 44 (April 17th)
This one's a dark serial killer film set on misty foreign shores in Stalin's old Soviet Union (there are shades of Gorky Park, also a Moscow-set murder mystery with an American/British cast). Lead Tom Hardy hasn't headlined too many hit films, but he's a solid actor with a lot of credibility, and the supporting cast (Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman) are uniformly excellent. Whether or not plot similarities exist, there are shades here of Run All Night, another dark thriller, and one that underwhelmed at the box office a few weeks ago. With such a grim premise, only strong reviews could lift the tide here, and the film could plausibly do modestly well in the mid-month period.
Opening weekend: $9 million / Total gross: $25 million
6. Unfriended (April 17th)
That busy mid-April weekend of the 17th brings us another shaky cam, ghost-themed, cyber-based horror film (in other words, another milkshake mix of The Ring (2002) and Paranormal Activity (2009), which remain, along with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), among the most influential horror films of the past 15 years). This genre's done just fine this year, with a general range of total grosses between $20 million and $30 million dollars (see The Woman in Black 2 and The Lazarus Effect). There doesn't seem to be much branding this out from the rest of the pack, other than a catchy social media title that could just as easily have fit a romantic comedy (which I am pretty sure this is not).
Opening weekend: $8 million / Total gross: $18 million
7. Woman in Gold (April 1st)
Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds go on the trail of justice, with Mirren playing a Holocaust refugee seeking the return of her family's stolen property. Woman in Gold is a limited release whose prospects for wider play are unclear, but Helen Mirren seems adept at carrying these European-set prestige films to decent final numbers (see Calendar Girls, The Queen, and The Hundred-Foot Journey, none of which actually have much at all in common with each other or with this film). The addition of Reynolds is intriguing. Reviews aren't particularly good, though, and the film likely won't play for too many weeks even if it does expand further.
Total gross: $11 million
8. Monkey Kingdom (April 17th)
Narrated by Tina Fey, Monkey Kingdom is another in the Disneynature series of films that have been persistently released on or around this weekend every year since 2009 (as consistently as a Saw sequel! And with twice the body count). I never expected these documentaries to continue on such a regular basis as they have, but they still do somewhat well for what they are: the total grosses for the films range from $32 million for Earth to $15 million for African Cats. Monkey Kingdom should continue the cycle with little fanfare or alteration (although just about everybody loves monkeys).
Opening weekend: $5 million / Total gross: $15 million
9. Little Boy (April 24th)
Not to be confused with the film Fat Man and Little Boy (1989), about the Manhattan Project, this one's also a World War II movie. I have to say that I don't know much about this, although it looks like Open Road Films is giving it a wide release. As with every motion picture that bravely enters the marketplace, defying this set of odds or that, I wish Little Boy good luck. I do not, however, endorse its box office prospects, and I would warn against wagering a whole lot money on the chances of its box office success. I apologize for my candor.
Opening weekend: $1 million / Total gross: $1 million