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Box Office Projections: Can ‘Elysium’ Remain #1?

Posted on the 13 August 2013 by Sirmac2 @macthemovieguy

This weekend bring four new releases, but they’re not nearly as strong contenders as past films. And, as the box office begins to wind down from the summer, can any of the new releases cross 20M this weekend?

1) Kick Ass 2- 19M Weekend, 19M Total

Kick Ass 2 has had a very interesting journey. The original made only 48M domestically, suggesting that the audience demand for this is really low. It did well on home video, developing a cult-like following. The addition of Jim Carrey should help attract attention, and a currently positive 67% on Rotten Tomatoes will help quell the naysayers. Carrey has come out against the movie due to the violence, and has refused to promote it, which in turn, is actually promoting it. The target demo for this film is looking for a violent effort, and Carrey has basically confirmed what they wanted to hear. The original dropped to 19M, and its likely that the sequel will find a similar opening. It could come down to a photo finish between Butler and Kick-Ass 2.

2) The Butler- 18M Weekend, 18M Total

Forest Whitaker is not exactly a matinee idol. However, Oprah Winfrey makes up for his deficit. As well as the rather large supporting cast, which should have people intrigued to see them all playing their different historic roles. With a solid 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, this looks like a sure-fire hit with the adult audience as well. The Help managed 26M in August, but was based on a wildly popular novel. The Butler is likely to be a top attraction of the week, but it is unlikely it can reach the heights of the Emma Stone pic. Adult audiences have also helped carry Eat Pray Love (23M), Julie and Julia (20M), and The Time Travellers Wife (18M) in past years. All were based on successful books, but the buzz around The Butler should compensate a bit for that.

3) We’re The Millers- 14M Weekend, 57M Total

With an A- cinemascore, We’re The Millers is likely to have much better buzz of last weeks four new releases headed into their second weekend. It should hold a little better than 50%, and eek past Elysium this week. Kick Ass 2 might be pulling a bit from the target demo, but the other three releases are unlikely to affect it.

4) Elysium- 13M Weekend, 48M Total

Elysium received only a B cinemascore from audiences, suggesting that word-of-mouth isn’t going to help propel this film very far. A dip of around 55-60% could be in store. 2 Guns debuted at #1 and dipped all the way to #5 in week two. Elysium will also lose some of its target male demographic to Kick Ass 2.

5) Planes- 13M Weekend, 39M Total

If The Smurfs 2 can debut poorly, and still only dip 47% in week 2, then Planes should have a similar fate. I’m guessing Planes and Elysium both around 13M, so a really close finish between the two. I’m currently giving Elysium the edge, simply because it placed higher the previous week.

6) Jobs- 12M Weekend, 12M Total

Ashton Kutcher isn’t a bonafide A-Lister. Yes, they have promoted the ever loving crap out of this film. Ashton just won a Teen Choice Award. He typically opens movies in the “that was pretty good” territory, with No Strings Attached bowing to 19.6M, Killers starting with 15.8M, and What Happens In Vegas at 20.1M. All three of those films, however, also had a strong female lead (Natalie Portman, Katherine Heigl, Cameron Diaz) to help boost him. This one is all Kutcher. He also loses some footing considering this is different territory for him. A Kutcher drama. He’s been here before with The Guardian (18M) and The Butterfly Effect (17M). Butterfly is really the only one where he flew solo though. Jobs is targeting a much older demographic than Kutcher usually goes for, which might result in typically lower grosses. A 38% on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t going to help reel in the adult audience. It also has the lowest screen count of the four new releases.

7) Paranoia- 11M Weekend, 11M Total

It’s unlikely that Paranoia is your #1 choice this weekend. This is Liam Hemsworth’s first real shot at being a male lead, and the title and plot seem relatively generic. If he didn’t have Harrison Ford in a supporting role, I’d probably write this film off altogether. Ford’s presence will bring in some adult viewers who aren’t interested in seeing either Jobs or The Butler this weekend. Tracking is soft for Paranoia, and the film hasn’t been screened for critics. Of the four new entries, Paranoia is the weakest. Paranoia also has a smaller screen count than both Kick Ass 2 and The Butler.

8)  Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters- 7M Weekend, 33M Total

With not a lot of attention, and four new releases entering, Percy will have a hard time not dipping 50% in week two, even with a good cinemascore. The difference here is that the cinemascore is unlikely to attract new fans, which is the same problem The Wolverine is having. The only thing it helps, is convincing fans of the original that this new version doesn’t suck.

9) 2 Guns- 5M Weekend, 56M Total

Another large drop will be in store for 2 Guns. I don’t think it can stop the freefall that its in, and four new releases won’t help at all. Kick Ass 2 is gunning for the action audience and the male audience, and The Butler also could be a factor this weekend for 2 Guns.

10) The Smurfs 2- 5M Weekend, 54M Total

Barring a surprise performance from Blue Jasmine (if it expanded into enough theatres), The Smurfs 2 will round out the Top 10. It might even pass 2 Guns this week for 9th place. It didn’t drop 50% last week, and with no new kids films entering the marketplace, I doubt it will drop over 50% this weekend either.

In limited release, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is looking to make some serious per-screen average damage. The Oscar contender currently has an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, and lots of buzz for stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Expect to see some solid limited numbers from it. Also, Austenland could do well in its debut. Blue Jasmine is looking to break into the Top 10 soon, but will need to double its screen count in order for that to happen. In A World had a really good debut too, and will probably use that to expand a bit this weekend and make some more dough.


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