Before the first month of the year comes to an end, we’ll get two brand new wide releases, neither of which really has a shot at cracking the $20 million mark. First up is CBS Films’ remake, The Mechanic starring Jason Statham. Statham has a fairly loyal following, which is no surprise considering he’s latched onto the action genre and always delivers big time. His only January release was In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, which hit theaters back in 2008 and pulled in just $4.8 million its first weekend. Of course, Freestyle Releasing isn’t exactly known to deliver big money makers, but neither is CBS Films. Minus In the Name of the King, Statham has a pretty good box office record, generally earning $20 million or more in week one. However, back in November, another CBS Films release, Faster, which is quite similar to The Mechanic in terms of the subject matter, the typical action star leading the cast plus a supporting team filled with familiar faces, basically bombed only earning $8.5 in its first weekend, which was Thanksgiving weekend nonetheless. It looks as though The Mechanic might suffer the same fate and open with just $10 million.
The second new entry is a thriller with a religious influence, The Rite. Just last year, we had two biblical thrillers drop in January, The Book of Eli and Legion. Legion snagged $17.5 million in week one while The Book of Eli opened big with $32.8 million. Looking at the casts, Denzel Washington is certainly more of a draw than Dennis Quaid, which attributed to The Book of Eli’s bigger opening. The Rite’s famous face is Anthony Hopkins. Yes, the guy is a very well respected actor, but looking back at his most recent wide releases, his biggest opening was last year’s The Wolfman, which began its run with $31.5 million. Not only did The Wolfman open in more theaters, but the marketing campaign was significantly stronger. Plus, in that film, stars Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt certainly had something to do with the box office reception. Basically, Hopkins isn’t enough to claim Book of Eli status and The Rite will likely land on the lower end of the spectrum alongside Legion with $17 million.
Now for our old timers. No Strings Attached should have no problem coming in second behind The Rite. Not only is it still without any real competition in the romantic comedy department, but The Green Hornet is on a fast decline. The Green Hornet is basically on line with 2007’s Ghost Rider, so if we continue with that comparison, like Ghost Rider, The Green Hornet should end up with a 42% week three decline, leaving it with about $10 million. As for No Strings Attached, if that one continues to perform like another Ashton Kutcher romcom, What Happens in Vegas, it’ll drop just 30%, earning about $14 million.
Speaking of No Strings Attached’s romantic comedy competition, or lack thereof, The Dilemma is proving to be on an even steeper decline than expected. Last week we compared its performance to The Bounty Hunter, but The Dilemma took a whopping 48.9% week two hit as compared to The Bounty Hunter’s 42% drop. Should The Dilemma outdo The Bounty Hunter again by about 6%, it’ll fall 56% leaving it with just $4 million in its third week.
The King Speech’s potential was a bit overestimated last weekend and while we don’t want to make that mistake this time around, it still looks like the film will hold up quite well, perhaps just falling 25% and earning $6 million. True Grit and Black Swan, on the other hand, are now on steadier declines. Both could tumble at least 30%, leaving True Grit with $5 million and Black Swan with $4 million.
The Fighter should finally get the chance to trump Little Fockers, which has been dropping steadily. It’ll fall at least 40% this weekend, letting The Fighter and its potential $3 million to snag the eighth position, while Fockers will have to settle for the ninth spot with $2 million. Tenth place will almost certainly be Yogi Bear. The film has been on a bit of an earnings rollercoaster since it opened, dropping a massive 51.9% in week two, but then rising 56.8% during New Years only to fall again the following week, but since, it’s leveled out quite a bit only seeing moderate declines. It could take in another $2 million this weekend.
1. The Rite
2. No Strings Attached
3. The Mechanic
4. The Green Hornet
5. The King’s Speech
6. True Grit
7. Black Swan
8. The Dilemma
9. The Fighter
10. Little Fockers
By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)