This week, biblical epic Noah will face off against last week's book office champ, Divergent.
Box Office Predictions:
1. Noah - $39 million. Starring Russell Crowe (Man of Steel) and directed by auteur Darren Aronofski (Black Swan), this film has been the subject of a lot of controversy, which also means it has gotten a lot of attention. Despite Paramount fearing Christian backlash and including disclaimers on the film and its promotional material, I think Noah will be financially successful. Its well-known stars, respected director, lots of action, and positive reviews (76% on Rotten Tomatoes) should help it have a solid opening weekend.
2. Divergent - $22 million. Last weekend this film debuted of $56 million, a great haul, though it didn't surpass any expectations. Due to middling reviews and the trend of Young Adult adaptations, it should have a steep drop in its second weekend, especially facing Noah as competition in the action genre. Expect Divergent to fall at least 55% this week.
3. Muppets Most Wanted - 11 million. The Muppets sequel disappointed last week with only $16 million (about half of 2011 film's $29 million opening). Still, positive word of mouth and the fact that family films generally have longer legs should help. Expect a 30% drop.
4. Sabotage - $9 million. The other new release of the week stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (Escape Plan) and is directed by David Ayer (End of Watch). Arnold has not been much of a box office draw recently, outside of the Expendables franchise. Expect a soft debut.
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel - $8 million. Wes Anderson's latest (Moonrise Kingdom) is getting rave reviews and has excellent word of mouth. It is expanding into theaters and could turn out to be his most financially successful film yet.
Check back Sunday to see how well my predictions hold up.