Box Office Forecast: Despicable Me 2 will end weekend with biggest laughs, Lone Ranger will ride

This post might come earlier than the other box office forecasts, but that primarily is due to the Independence Day weekend coming up ahead, the films will have a head start by jumping straight into theatres on Wednesday. Two films enter theatres this week, with a big animated blockbuster which snatched audience back in the original film released 3 years ago, a another western wild card, starring a famous actor along with another up and coming star. These numbers will hopefully help bring this weekend to yet another weekend, after the good will provided over the past few weekends. This summer has been a record one as of now, and it will really be a shame if this month cannot keep the momentum (1% lower than the same point last year in total gross, an improvement from the number in April). Here we go:

Despicable Me 2:
Despicable Me 2
One would think that Universal Pictures struck gold back in 2010, and they aren’t wrong…
This year, the popular minions come back once again in the sequel to the 2010 blockbuster. This would be the second major animated film releasing this summer, after Monsters University, which also happens to be a sequel/spin off to the original film. This time round, the minions are back, and they were the main factor which brought moviegoers to theatres. Universal is being really positive on this film’s prospects right now, even promising a spin-off, with the title of “Minions” releasing next year. The first film earned $251,513,985 back then, and the facebook fans and twitter follower fan bases have expanded drastically since then. This film is definitely a blockbuster, and one of the biggest films of the month. Here are the statistics on social media websites to prove this fact even further, along with a few comparisons:

Despicable Me 2 facebook fans: 9,254,367 likes
Despicable Me 2 twitter fans: 34,527 followers

Monsters University facebook fans: 1,062,076 likes
Monsters University Twitter Fans: 31,072 followers

One of the biggest obstacles which might be affecting this film right now is quite similar to those which resulted in White House Down having a underwhelming start. The fact that this film is just released 2 weeks after Monsters University is a bad sign, due to moviegoers being choosy, though this is a priority for most. The big amount of blockbusters and surprise hits this year is currently extremely high, and with The Heat, Man of Steel and World War Z, alongside Monsters University still doing strong, this film’s gross might be pushed down. Currently, this film really is starting off strong, and with strong grosses reported so far internationally, this film is all but a guarantee to breeze past $300 million domestically. This film will definitely start off much stronger than the original, but will tail off faster along the way. A strong $122 million 5 day start would be a good amount for now, considering the large amount of buzz right now…’

The Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger
Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski reunite once again for yet another film… this time a western set epic back in the good old days… Let’s look at the fans on facebook and twitter, alongside some comparisons:

Lone Ranger facebook: 588,412 likes
Lone Ranger twitter: 11,089 followers

White House Down facebook: 305,485 likes (current)
White House Down twitter: 8692 followers
World War Z facebook: 563,479 likes
World War Z twitter: 31,941 followers
Cowboys and Aliens facebook: 74,605 likes
Cowboys and Aliens twitter: 6084 followers

As you can see, The Lone Ranger is currently in good shape from there, though it trails World War Z by about 3 times. This film is really about attracting those people who have watched Pirates of the Caribbean, with the director, producer and screenwriter being the same. However, this film’s budget is too high ($250 million), and westerns don’t usually do well at the box office. This film would be in serious trouble if it does not do well domestically, and have to bet on international prospects. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp has lost his charm slightly domestically, with the diminishing returns in the Pirates franchise domestically, and the recent disappointment of Dark Shadows. Also, releasing alongside Despicable Me 2 is really a big scheduling mistake, due to the latter winning easily. This film will hopefully hold on well throughout the week, but with bad reviews (19% from 36 reviews), this film will most likely drop fast. This film will earn more than last week’s White House Down, but hitting more than $50 million domestically over the weekend proper sounds impossible. I am currently expecting this film to earn a $34 million over the weekend, and $25 million over the first two days of release. Expect this film to not earn more than $150 million domestically.

Here is my current estimates for the weekend proper (numbers in bracket represent 5 day opening gross)
1) Despicable Me 2- $76 million ($122 million 5-days)
2) The Lone Ranger- $34 million ($61 million 5-days)
3) Monsters University- $24.1 million
4) The Heat- $23.4 million
5) World War Z- $14.8 million
6) White House Down- $14 million
7) Man of Steel- $10.5 million
8) This is the End- $6 million
9) Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain- $5.2 million ($8.6 million 5-days)
10) Now You See Me- $3.6 million

Check back later this week for more news about the box office results, and check back next week for more of this!

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