Weekend Preview: The Box Office Gets Crowded

by The Commish on Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holy crap this is a crowded weekend.

With two wide releases hitting the theatres on Wednesday we’ve got to get our weekend preview out early this week.  The Guilt Trip and Monsters Inc. 3D will be joined by Oscar front-runner Zero Dark Thirty as they get an early start at the weekend.  Jack Reacher, This is 40, and Cirque Du Soleil get released on Friday and all movies will be trying to knock The Hobbit off the box office perch.  Despite the crowd of new releases, I still like Bilbo’s chances.

Before we get into this week’s box office, let’s look back at The Hobbit.  While $84 million is a December record, didn’t we expect more?  Bunzi and I spent the a great deal of Sunday discussing what to do with the two unreleased Hobbit movies and it certainly looks like they need to be downgraded at this point.  If An Unexpected Journey doesn’t make $300 million, the other two will have a difficult time hitting that mark. 

As a result, heading into 2013, both Hunger Games 2, Iron Man 3, and dare I say Man of Steel and Star Trek 2 are now safer bets than the second Hobbit when drafting your teams.

Of course The Hobbit could have great legs and bring in $350 million, which would make that last paragraph moot. 

On to this week at the box office:

The Winner:
The Hobbit will no question win the weekend again.  Look for a 50% drop, but still $41 million should secure the weekend.

The Road Trip:
The Guilt Trip brings together Seth Rogan and Barbara as a son and mom on a cross-country book tour.  I turned down passes to see this last night, because it just looks, um... what’s a classier word for crappy...  Anyway, it’s tracking at 29 right now on RT, so you have been warned.  Still Barbara has a decent following.  Look for a $13 million opening on its way to $60 million.

The Monsters:
Monsters Inc. gets the 3D treatment as Disney continues to squeeze box office dollars out of Pixar’s classic movies.  I expect this one to perform similarly to Beauty and the Beast 3D.  Expect Mike and Sully to bring in $19 million and finish their run with approximately $50 million.

The Oscar Winner:
Kathryn Bigelow is at it again as she releases Zero Dark Thirty to fantastic reviews.  Her Osama Bin Laden pic is tracking at 98 on RT and 95 on Meta.  It’s winning acting awards and best picture awards.  It certainly looks like the front-runner for this year’s Oscar.  Opening in 5 theatres and expanding on January 11, expect this to have a huge per screen average.  I don’t expect it to best The Master’s record, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did bring in $700K on its way to $75 million. 

The Reacher:
Jack Reacher just sounds dirty.  With a weekend of movie titles that could pass play on Skinemax, Jack Reacher is definitely the dirtiest sounding.  The crazy thing is that JR is receiving favourable reviews (80 RT / 63 Meta).  I haven’t seen this yet, so I’ll have to reserve comment until tomorrow, but let’s just say, I’m skeptical on the whole Cruise as a tough guy routine.  But I should lighten up, it’s Christmas.  Look for Jack to reach $21 on its opening weekend and climax just over $80 million.

The 40-Something:
Judd Apatow has produced some of the funniest movies over the last 10 years.  Now he’s bringing back two secondary characters from Knocked Up and built a heart-warming story around becoming middle-aged but still having fun.  Who is going to see this movie again?  It’s going to be too boring for the kids.  It’s going to be too real for the 30-50 year olds.  If it succeeds, it will have to be a slow burn.  Look for This is 40 to have a $14 million opening and a final around $75 million.

The Circus:
In case you didn’t know, I’m a regular guy.  I like my beer cold.  I like my football loud.  And I’m not going to talk about Cirque du Soleil and its $4 million opening weekend on its way to $14 million.

Related Articles