Box Office Forecast: Catching Fire to aim for one of the biggest openings of all time; Delivery Man to be moderate

We have finally reached the weekend where one of the most anticipated movies of the year is finally going to appear on the big screen…. and it is going to be big. The film is none other than Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which has been receiving plenty of buzz over the past few months, and from the first couple of reviews, it seems like critics are embracing it more than everyone thought either. Meanwhile, with all the attention heading to this film, it seems like Delivery Man would have to take a back seat, and serve as counter-programming. For a short recap of what happened last weekend, Best Man Holiday actually surprised many, earning over $30 million for first place. That wasn’t good enough to beat the Thor sequel, which still earned north of $38 million. (Numbers based on estimates)

This weekend last year, the final installment of Twilight dropped over 69% to $43.6 million, while Skyfall held up well, dropping only 13% to $35.5 million. The three new offerings, Life of Pi, Rise of the Guardians and Red Dawn, failed to enter the top 3, with Rise of the Guardians leading the pack with $23.8 million. This weekend will definitely be able to beat that by quite a bit, thanks to none other than the Hunger Games wrath.

hunger games catching fire
FACEBOOK: 11,572,334 LIKES

The Hunger Games became a surprise hit when it opened big, securing not only the biggest opening of March, but also the biggest first installment opening of all time. That left many shocked, and I previously thought that I had read it wrongly when I saw the number. I thought- $152.5 million? That is crap. And to this day, I still cannot believe how it did that well. Now, the sequel comes about a year and a half after the first film, and many have been putting this date on their calendars for a long time coming. Audience awareness is high, and this film has been embraced by critics- the film currently, as of time of writing, seats at an amazing 97% rating from 30 reviews, with only one of the reviews being rotten. That is totally unlike the recent chain of YA novel adaptations (Mortal Instruments, The Host), which have tried replicating the success of Twilight and Hunger Games, but failed with bad reviews. This time round, the cast is back, but Gary Ross has been replaced with Francis Lawrence, or remembered as the guy that brought you the movie ‘I am Legend. Main star Jennifer Lawrence has also seen her star status on the rise, with her best actress win for Silver Linings Playbook less than a year ago. Her previous appearance in the first film helped a lot either. Lionsgate has marketed the hell out of this, replicating the marketing they did for the first film, but making it bigger. The latest trailer has shown the arena itself, and the trailers have all been received positively.

As with all second installments, this film is expected to be front-loaded, as the fanbase would rush out first thing to catch this film. To create awareness for this film, the cast have been going around the world, having movie premieres in several places. On the international basis, the film has already secured success- it’s opening in Brazil this weekend, also known as it’s first territories, has more than doubled the first film’s opening in the region, with $6.3 million on opening weekend. However, even with the international audience expanding, it’s worth remembering that it is unpractical for this film to go above The Avengers opening record of over $207 million. This film is definitely not being expected to have the same multiple as the Twilight sequel, which had a big jump over it’s predecessor. The film is also opening in a more competitive season, where it has to face off against the upcoming Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Frozen, and even Thor: The Dark World, which is still getting a bit of attention right now. The fan base for this film might have expanded rapidly, but the theater count is most probably going to stay constant with the first film.

Lionsgate is currently being conservative, predicting the film to earn somewhere between $140 million and $150 million. That’s definitely massive, but not enough to beat it’s predecessor. However, some people are predicting north of $170 million. I think this film will beat Iron Man 3, or be around even with it, but going anywhere further up? Unlikely.

My prediction for the film seats at $177 million, and might change over the week, so check back again.

delivery man

The counter-programming option of the weekend this week seems to be Delivery Man. Let’s just say that this film has picked a REALLY REALLY unlucky date to premiere, when everyone goes seek out Hunger Games instead. I believe the film would have found a larger audience if it were to release last week, as Best Man Holiday was the only new offering for the week. Delivery Man stars non other than Vince Vaughn, who had a shaky year (The Internship). Let’s just say this film is a totally bad idea- The Internship might have a bad marketing and people might have shook it off as a Google advertisement, and this film might not have that problem, but who would want to watch a scene-by-scene remake of a Canadian film, especially if some people have already caught it earlier? Yes, not everyone has heard of the film this is basing on, Starbuck, but that issue alone might turn off some people. What makes it worse- the director for both of those films is the same. And that isn’t a joke. Reviews are mixed, but that only arrives from 4 reviews, and doesn’t paint the full picture for now.

Let’s look at some comparisons with The Internship:
The Internship Facebook: 356,557 likes
The Internship Twitter: 5127 followers
Delivery Man Facebook: 154,206 likes
Delivery Man Twitter: 4213 followers

Delivery Man is currently behind The Internship by a large margin, so it is unwise to think it will match The Intership. With all the factors above counted, I am currently predicting $13.9 million for this film on opening weekend. That number might change, so check back later on in the week.

Here are my current top 10 predictions:
1)The Hunger Games: Catching Fire- $177 million
2)Thor The Dark World- $20.1 million
3)The Best Man Holiday- $13.9 million (DRAW)
3)Delivery Man- $13.9 million (DRAW)
5)Last Vegas- $7.0 million
6)Free Birds- $6.1 million
7)Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa- $5.2 million
8)Gravity- $4.4 million
9)Ender’s Game- $3.5 million
10)12 Years a Slave- $3.3 million
Top 10 estimates: $254.4 million
Last Year Top 10: $198.5 million

That’s all for now! Next week, I shall be looking at the box office potential of Frozen, Philomena, Homefront and Black Nativity. Meanwhile, before leaving, remember to participate in our movie poll on the right sidebar! Also, remember to like the site’s Facebook page so that you can be kept up to date on the latest posts! See ya!


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