Weekend Forecast for May 20-22, 2016

By Reagen Sulewski

May 19, 2016

So then I says to the rabbi, I says: No, I said the cardinal had really bushy *eyebrows*!  Ha! Get i

New at BOP:
Share & Save
Digg Button  
Print this column
While summer weekends have tended towards the “world-bestriding, all-smothering behemoth” model, the classic strategy for these weekends is the “mutually counter-programmed medium busters” grouping, a kind of which we get coming up. Three widely targeted films, two of which with solid box office potential, try to build back up the roster after a couple of mega films cleared out the bench in the last few weeks.

A surprise hit in early summer 2014, Neighbors was the latest in the vanguard of R-rated comedies, earning just over $150 million on the strength of a feud between Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, as well as the stealth comedic genius of Rose Byrne. In that film, Rogen and Efron engaged in an epic war of pranks and passive-agressive hostility when Efron's fraternity moved next door to Rogen and Byrne and their new baby. What could have been a shallow comedy actually had some surprising depth, as it tackled notions of maturity and male-bonding and the slow realization that you're not as cool as you used to be... and it had weed jokes. Tons and tons of weed jokes.

Neighbors 2 sees Efron and Byrne wanting to sell their home and on their way ... until the hosue next door becomes a sorority, led by stoner party girl Chloe Grace Moretz, and who is if anything more determined to be disruptive than Efron in the first film. It's a great concept to tackle, as we've seen an increased cultural acceptance of “bad girl” behavior that goes hand in hand in with even less respect for boundaries.

Facing an onslaught of non-stop, uncontrollable party girls, Rogen calls back in Efron for help in an ultimate prank war to secure the most yuppie of victories, the protection of property values, while Moretz just fights to have a little fun after a miserable experience in high school. While not as fresh an idea as when it appeared in Neighbors, it's a solid take for a sequel and will help the movie fight the notion that it's entirely unnecessary. While it's an outside chance to match the $49 million of the first film's opening weekend, solid ads and “it's better than you'd think” reviews give it a good chance to hit around $45 million.

Speaking of “unnecessary”, we have The Angry Birds Movie, based on the hottest mobile gaming app of 2009 and which you got bored of some time in early 2010. While the game always did have a modicum of story to it (birds vs egg-stealing pigs), it takes that threadbare idea and expands it to feature format by investing the birds with caricatures and filling out the roster with a rogue's gallery of new birds that we're supposed to pretend have a back story we can care about.


While brightly colored and well animated, the film is the very dictionary definition of cash in, and barely hides its lack of real plot, filling its trailer and commercials with hammer-to-the-head obvious jokes and wall to wall potty humor. Sony is pitching waaaaay down in age on this one, to the pre-teen and younger set, along with the gullible and people whose decision making is based upon recognizing things. Sadly, that latter name recognition factor is likely to push this to a successful weekend despite all the world's reviews attempting to keep people out for their own safety. A cast that includes decent names like Jason Sudekis (who sounds like he regrets ever being involved in this in every interview), Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Tony Hale, Kate McKinnon and for some unknown reason, Sean Penn – won't be quite enough to entice huge audiences into what's one of the most cynically made films in some time. That still means about $40 million this weekend.

The Shane Black helmed and scripted The Nice Guys rounds out our new films, starring Ryan Gosling as a fairly incompetent PI in 1970's Hollywood, mis-matched with actual tough guy Russell Crowe in an action buddy comedy. Belonging to the noble tradition of films like 48 HRs, Midnight Run and Black's own Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it's a film that plays off its stars' excessive amounts of chemistry and charisma, with Gosling playing heavily against type as a bumbler, and Crowe going gruffer than usual.

Mixing its crime story with comedy bordering on farce, it's a spectacularly fun looking caper film. Unfortunately, it's just not the kind of thing audiences have the reference point for anymore, and it's difficult to even find comparables. Shane Black is one of our greatest action movie writers, and this appears to be his reward for delivering the script for Iron Man 3, so let's just enjoy it for what it is. It might be a film that has to rely on legs since neither of its leads have had huge luck of late with opening film, but should open to about $12 million thanks to solid reviews.

Captain America 3 should cede the top spot this weekend after two weeks at the top and over $310 million, and will blaze past that other hero vs hero film of 2016, Batman v Superman, which exited the top 10 ignominiously last weekend. Look for about $35 million here as it aims towards $450 million this weekend and puts it top spot for 2016 box office, passing studio mates The Jungle Book, which will earn about $11 million this frame, and Zootopia, basically done its run but working with found money at this point. The Clooney/Roberts financial scandal drama Money Monster rounds out our notable films with about $8 million this weekend

Forecast: Weekend of May 20-22, 2016
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising 3,384 New 44.6
2 The Angry Birds Movie 3,932 New 40.1
3 Captain America 3: Civil War N/A N/A 34.7
4 The Nice Guys 2,865 New 12.4
5 The Jungle Book N/A N/A 11.3
6 Money Monster N/A N/A 8.4
7 Zootopia N/A N/A 2.0
8 Mother's Day N/A N/A 2.0
9 The Huntsman: Winter's War N/A N/A 1.5
10 Keanu N/A N/A 0.9



Need to contact us? E-mail a Box Office Prophet.
Monday, October 18, 2021
© 2021 Box Office Prophets, a division of One Of Us, Inc.