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Box Office Predictions: Noah vs. Divergent

This week, biblical epic Noah will face off against last week's book office champ, Divergent.

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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.

Weekend Box Office: Divergent Soars, Muppets Most Wanted Falls

A new weekly segment where I predict how much money films will make at the Box Office this weekend.

Update Sunday 3/23 - Weekend Actuals

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The weekend actuals are in, courtesy of Box Office Mojo, and I got 4/5 right!

1. Divergent - $56 million. This prediction was spot on, within $1 million of the actual. This is enough for Divergent to be considered a success (if nowhere near as successful as The Hunger Games), and thanks to its mid-range budget of $85 we can except to see its sequel, Insurgent, in 2015.

2. Muppets Most Wanted - $16.5 million. While I guessed the order correctly, the Muppets sequel took in much less than I expected (I was off by 8.5 million). It will have a hard time making back it's $50 million budget domestically.

3. Peabody and Sherman - 11.7 million. This one was much closer, off by just 1.3 million. The film held pretty strongly against the Muppets, but still has a way to go to make back it's hefty $145 million budget.

4. 300: Rise of an Empire - 8.6 million. Another good prediction, off by just 1.4 million. The 300 sequel fell steeply from last week, but the film has still made $93 million so far, headed past its $110 million budget.

5. God's Not Dead - 8.5 million. Here's the one that came out of nowhere, the christian film surprised me by breaking the top 5.


Original Predictions: 

1. Divergent - $57 million. Based on the popular young adult novel, Divergent hopes to follow in the footsteps of Twilight and The Hunger Games to become the next big franchise. Despite it's underwhelming and generic looking trailers, and its poor critical receptions (35% on Rotten Tomatoes), Fandango is reporting that there is plenty of interest in this film. I'm expecting a big opening weekend followed by a sharp drop next week.

2. Muppets Most Wanted - $25 million. The 2011 Muppets Movie was a hit, making $88 million at the domestic box office, but with a few exceptions, most sequels to family movies make less than their predecessor. With this, and the fact that it's facing a lot of competition from a surprisingly strong performance by Peabody and Sherman, expect a slightly disappointing opening weekend for the Disney sequel.

3. Peabody and Sherman - $13 million. After surprisingly taking first place last weekend with $21 million, this film has held up pretty well, and will compete for the same family audience as Muppets Most Wanted. Expect another 30% drop for a respectable third weekend in release.

4. 300: Rise of an Empire - $10 million. After a 57% fall last weekend, the sequel to 300 will have another steep drop this week, especially since it's facing tough competition from Divergent for audiences hungry for action. 

5. Need for Speed - $8 million. After a disappointing opening weekend  last week (Third place with $17 million), I expect what interest there was to have waned for this film. It should fall about 50%.

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In other news, Frozen just broke another record for DVD/Blu-Ray sales, selling 3.2 million discs in it's first day of release (March 18).

 

Check back next week to see how close my predictions were to the actual numbers, and for another round of Box Office Predictions.

Trailer Roundup: Godzilla vs. Spiderman

A weekly segment where I will post and review brand-new trailers for upcoming movies. This batch reminds us that summer Blockbuster season is starting earlier and earlier each year.

New Godzilla Trailer

This new trailer expertly deploys shots of destruction and a dramatic Bryan Cranston speech to build tension and anticipation. Gareth Edwards directs this reboot of a reboot of a reboot about the classic Japanese monster. If you want to see a truly great monster movie, watch Edwards' last film, the low budget and beautiful Monsters (available on Netflix)Starring in Godzilla alongside the titular radioactive beast are Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), and Elisabeth Olson (The unfortunate Oldboy remake). I have to say that this trailer raised my level of excitement for the film, with Cranston's frantic speech seeming to suggest there will be relatively complex characters and emotions in the film. And the visuals look stunning, showing gorgeous and horrifying destruction on a grand scale. Let's hope the actual movie lives up to the tone and quality that this trailer suggests when Godzilla comes out on May 16, 2014.

Trailer Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

New "Rise of Electro" Trailer for The Amazing Spiderman 2 

This three-minute trailer shows off the most new footage we've seen of Director Marc Webb's sequel to the 2012 reboot of the Spiderman franchise. This movie stars Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as Peter Parker, Emma Stone (Easy A) as Gwen Stacy, and Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Electro. This trailer shows off lots of cool, web-slinging action, and shows that the film will most likely have more of what worked best in first one: the relationship between Peter and Gwen. One concern I have is that the sequel will be overstuffed with villains, though I'm sure this movie will introduce many villains, who will then play a part in the inevitable sequels already set for 2016 and 2018. My biggest criticism, though, is that all of the action scenes still look like a glorified video game to me, overly reliant on shiny but not quite convincing CGI. Hopefully they will have polished the effects by the time The Amazing Spiderman 2 comes out on May 2, 2014.

Trailer Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Also recently released: A fun/cameo-filled new trailer for The Muppets Most Wanted