Weekend Box Office Predictions: It’s An Avengers World

Gamora Infinity War

Traditionally, the first weekend of May sees the release of Marvel’s biggest flavour of the year, a ritual dating back to 2003’s Spider-Man and really kicking into gear with 2008’s Iron Man. Disney, wisely, remembered they can put Avengers: Infinity War into any damn slot they please and every other movie would consequently shit themselves. And they did. The earlier release for Infinity War was a good move, giving Earth’s Mightiest Heroes more weekends to conquer before the double whammy of Fox’s Deadpool 2 and Disney’s own Solo: A Star Wars Story later in the month.

The downside to this, of course, is that the first weekend of May is now barren as hell.

 

Bad Samaritan (Electric)

From the auteur who brought you Geostorm comes Bad Samaritan, a thriller flick starring David Tennant. This is kind of a nothing burger, especially in the face of a giant like Infinity War that’s sucking all the oxygen out of the room.

To Bad Samaritan’s credit, the trailer has racked up over 18 million views on YouTube, but I imagine the view-to-theatre-viewing ratio here will be a bit poor. Social media wise, Bad Samaritan’s Facebook page has accrued a meager 19,000+ follows. Its reach hasn’t been terrific, with #BadSamaritan reaching 2.2 million unique Twitter users over the past week, and the bulk of the movie’s presence is due to Tennant’s popularity, thanks to his run as Doctor Who.

A more recent comparison would be Lionsgate’s Traffik, which debuted in 1,046 venues (compared to Samaritan’s estimated 1,800) to $3.94 million. Traffik was generally disregarded by critics and wasn’t able to drum up a heck of a lot of hype, so it’s a solid comp. Speaking of critics, there are only two reviews as of this writing for Bad Samaritan on Rotten Tomatoes, both wildly different – one says it’s a “first rate thriller” whereas the other calls it “so ludicrous and imbecilic that it’s almost charming,” so make of that what you will.

Traffik managed a $3,768 average in its opening weekend, the same of which gives Bad Samaritan a $6.78 million debut. Given the relative lack of interest and the overlording Infinity War, I’ll wager that’s the very high end and it’s likely to be a lower final figure.

Prediction: $4 million, #6 rank

 

Overboard (Lionsgate/Pantelion)

The original Overboard in 1987, starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, wasn’t exactly a box office smash at the time, grossing $60.61 million in adjusted dollars. Nor was it exactly loved, considering its 46% Tomatometer rating and okay 6.8/10 score on IMDb. This is all a pro and con for this remake, courtesy of MGM and Pantelion, that stars Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez – the original isn’t beloved, so it’s unlikely there’ll backlash over a remake in the first place; conversely, it doesn’t have that built-in exposure because of such.

Pantelion has done fine for itself as a brand for Hispanic-targeted movies, particularly ones starring Eugenio Derbez, a damn popular dude with 15 million Facebook followers and 9.94 million Twitter followers. Instructions Not Included grossed $44.47m in 2013 (with an impressive $7.85m opening in 348 theatres) while last year’s How to Be a Latin Lover earned $32.15m off a $12.25m debut. Latin Lover played in 1,118 venues and scored a $10,959 per-theatre average, which would give Overboard (opening in an estimated 1,500 hubs) a $16.44m weekend. Derbez’ movies tend to be reliably critic-proof, boding well for Overboard, which as of this writing has zero reviews.

Overboard will do quite fine for itself, more so if it garners good-ish reviews.

Prediction: $15 million, #2 rank

 

Tully (Focus)

Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody, and Charlize Theron’s second collaboration following 2011’s Young Adult ($16.31m) follows a mother developing a bond with her new night nanny. Right off the bat, it’s unlikely that Tully will bring Reitman back to his box office “golden age” of sorts, consisting of 2007’s Juno ($143.5m) and 2009’s Up in the Air ($83.82m), but I’ll wager it could come ahead of Young Adult.

Tully isn’t receiving your typical platform-then-nationwide release; rather, Focus is putting it in an estimated 1,200 hubs, presumably to gain word-of-mouth before expanding further. Tully has a great 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 8/10 from >30 reviews) and a meh 6.7/10 score on IMDb, albeit from ~350 ratings and thus ought to be taken with a grain of salt. There appears to be controversy regarding Tully’s depiction of postpartum depression, though we’ll see how that pans out when general audiences catch the film.

On the social media front, Tully has 50,000+ followers on Facebook (not great, but) and its Twitter exposure has reached 13.3 million unique users over the past week. Young Adult’s wide release in 986 venues earned a $3,451 per-theatre average, an average that’d give Tully a $4.14m weekend. Tully’s reviews are more positive than Young Adult’s (81% Tomatometer), but a mix of controversy (again, remains to be seen how pervasive an effect it may have) and Infinity War’s presence could hold it back from breaking out.

Prediction: $6 million, #4 rank

 

HOLDOVERs

Infinity War 1 Dr Strange
© Walt Disney Pictures

1. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) – $128.8 million (-50%), $471.4m cume
3. A Quiet Place (Paramount) – $7.2 million (-35%), $159.4m cume
5. I Feel Pretty (STX) – $4.9 million (-40%), $37.7m cume
7. Black Panther (Disney) – $3.8 million (-20%), $694.4m cume
8. Rampage (Warner Bros.) – $3.6 million (-50%), $84m cume
9. Blockers (Universal) – $1.8 million (-40%), $56.4m cume
10. Super Troopers 2 (Fox) – $1.7 million (-55%), $25.4m cume

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