Thursday, June 19, 2014

Box Office Predictions: The Men Shall Beat The Boys

In Box Office Predictions, I take a look at the forthcoming weekend and see how new releases and holdovers will fare.
Well, as the $134 million gross of Ride Along indicates, Kevin Hart has become a comedic force to be reckoned with. Now, if he can conquer the box office in the very comedy friend summer moviegoing season, the man will join the ranks of Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy and the like as comedy titans.

That fate seems all but assured considering the movie he's headlining this weekend is the sequel Think Like A Man Too. The first one made $33 million in April 2012, knocking The Hunger Games off the top of the box office, and wound up with $91 million. That was a very impressive sum, especially considering the tiny budget of only $12 million. A sequel was the obvious outcome under normal circumstances, but Harts increasing star power in two years increases the already rosy prospects of this one. I think an increase of about 33% happens here, to about $43 million on opening weekend. I'd go even higher, but 22 Jump Street is still looming large over the box office.

The other newcomer this weekend is Jersey Boys, a Clint Eastwood directed adaptation of the broadway musical. This ones puzzling me, since it's obviously supposed to be counter-programming for adults, but that's not simply not enough, especially in this competitive summer movie season. Simply existing won't get older audiences to come out to the cinema, you need a compelling premise as well. The trailers and other promotional materials do show that it's based on the true story of the very famous Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, but that's about it. They don't show them engaging in noticeable escapades, and easily the weirdest aspect of the marketing thus far, the musical aspect of the movie is being played down in the ads. This means the commercials are showing more of people talking about the great music than actually showing it. Fans of the musical will get this over $10 million, but I doubt it goes higher than that.

Last weeks two big releases have been doing splendidly over the week, and this should lead into a nice second weekend for both projects. 22 Jump Street had big midnight numbers that should lead to a large drop from last Friday to this forthcoming Friday, but it should hold steady beyond that. How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a crapshoot; normally the excellent word-of-mouth its received would indicate a tiny weekend drop. But family movies in the summer usually make a lot of money during the week, meaning there won't be that much urgency to see it during a weekend period that isn't its opening weekend. Still, I can't see if dipping more than 40% as this one marches forward.

Finally, keep an eye on The Fault In Our Stars. It's overall weekend drop was hurt by the previous Friday's midnight grosses, as well as Fathers Day meaning many chose male-oriented projects over the $12 million drama. It's been playing excellently through the week though, leading me to think it'll have a tinier than usual drop this weekend which should lead it to hitting the $100 million mark.

Below are not only my Predictions for the Top 5, but also the opening weekend and final gross predictions for this weeks newcomers.

Think Like A Man Too
Opening Weekend: $43 million
Total Gross: $130 million

Jersey Boys
Opening Weekend: $14 million
Total Gross: $33 million

1) Think Like A Man Too: $43 million
2) How To Train Your Dragon 2: $30 million
3) 22 Jump Street: $28 million
4) Jersey Boys: $12 million
5) The Fault In Our Stars: $11 million

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