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Last weekend, The Wolverine opened big with $55 million, which was still considered a disappointment, due to it’s tremendous dip from previous films in the franchise, including the disliked X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Conjuring, meanwhile, held on well and showed some muscle power after attaining fantastic reviews and word of mouth for the genre, and ended off earning $22 million on it’s second weekend. The weekend was an up over last year, and a great one throughout.
This weekend will try to salvage and perhaps start off August with the right note, as two moderate releases, 2 Guns and Smurfs 2, shoot and crawl their way into theatres. The Smurfs 2 will try to garner good of mouth, and take an advantage over the former, as it releases early on a Wednesday.
The Smurfs 2 is almost a definite draw for family audiences. The first film, though not spectacular in standard, drew up a big crowd internationally, and managed to stay within the hearts of many. It guaranteed two more sequels for this franchise. However, this film is right now in a market which is accommodating much more high profile films, and this caused Turbo to tank out of the gate when it released two weeks ago. The Smurfs 2 is not an original film, having source materials and the first film to depend on, and is also widely anticipated, but it might get lost in a summer which has seen sequels to popular animated hits like Monsters University and Despicable Me 2. Also, reviews for this film have not been good- Despite being much higher than the previous film’s score (22%), this film is still staying within the rotten range (40%). Meanwhile, even if it really performs big this weekend, it will take a drop in two weeks time, when Disney’s spin-off Planes launches into theatres. The marketing has also made it a point to show that everyone from the previous film is back, including Gargamel, and this time, smurf-like creatures, known as The Naughties, are joining in on some villain fun. This show promises as much fun, and was well-received by the audience back then, so benefiting from goodwill, this film will most likely be a draw, and hold up well over the five days, due to 2 Guns eyeing a very different audience, and due to it’s family friendly MPAA rating. With good word of mouth spreading around, expect this film to at least earn on par with the previous film. I expect $39 million over the 5 days, but it should hold on well throughout the rest of the summer (unless Planes perform much better than we perceive we would). Below are the comparisons with similar films:
Monsters University facebook: 1,306,794 likes
Monsters University twitter: 37,109 followers
Epic facebook: 376,129 likes
Epic twitter: 6,110 followers
Despicable Me 2 facebook: 10,716,797 likes
Despicable Me 2 twitter: 65,851 followers
Smurfs 2 facebook: 9,879,634 likes
Smurfs 2 twitter: 31,930 followers
Perhaps the safer comparison would be on twitter. If you were to look at it, Smurfs 2 is far outpacing Epic, but losing to the other big franchise films.
2 Guns is eyeing a really different audience this weekend. With the added combined star power of both Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, this film could really attract the fanbases in droves. Denzel Washington had two hits, Flight and Safe House, last year whereas Mark Wahlberg’s career has taken quite a bit of a hit after Ted, with misses Pain and Gain as well as Broken City. However, the interesting premise itself will bring moviegoers to the theatres, but with Elysium coming out the week after, this film’s appeal might be limited and really front-loaded, like what they did with Safe House a year earlier. However, times have changed, and this film is really facing a dearth of competition. Even though there has been a lack of R-rated violent fare for quite a period of time, the next few weeks will be a different story. Firstly, let’s look at some comparisons:
2 Guns facebook: 198,680 likes
Safe House facebook: 459,706 likes
Contraband facebook: 592,506 likes
Contraband twitter: 2093 followers
As can be seen from above, 2 Guns looks like it is trailing all similar comparisons as of now. With no reviews yet, only time will tell how great it’s word of mouth would be, but right now, we are sticking with a debut in the mid $20s to the high $20s. However, if word of mouth spreads quickly, or if the fan base speeds out to watch it, expect something in the $30s.
This weekend will easily beat last year’s gross once again, signifying yet another weekend at the top of the box office yet again, as The Dark Knight Rises spends another weekend at the top with $35.7 million. Total Recall tries to come close, but only managed $25.6 million. No other films made much of an impact, with all the films earning $125 million.
Meanwhile, here would be my Top 10 predictions:
1)The Smurfs 2- $39 million 5-days weekend ($25 million 3 days)
2)2 Guns- $31 million
3)The Wolverine- $22.0 million
4)The Conjuring- $13.8 million
5)Despicable Me 2- $10.6 million
6)Turbo- $8.3 million
7)Grown Ups 2- $7 million
8)Red 2- $5.5 million
9)The Heat- $5.2 million
10)Pacific Rim- $3.8 million
Check back regularly for more box office news!