Summer is still two months away, but we’re creeping closer to some of the bigger movies of the year and this first weekend of March proves it. We’ve got four new wide releases making their way into theaters – “21 and Over,” “Jack the Giant Slayer,” “The Last Exorcism Part II,” and “Phantom” – and while some may post semi-solid earnings, the abundance of competition could keep each from taking as much as they were likely intended to.
With 3,525 theaters, it should be an easy win for Bryan Singer’s “Jack the Giant Slayer.” The film’s enjoyed a strong promotional campaign as well as some fairly positive reviews thus far, possibly putting it on the path towards a “John Carter”-sized opening of about $30 million. But still, that $195 million production budget is going to be tough to justify even with a winning start. Considering “Dark Skies” didn’t make much of a dent, “The Last Exorcism Part II” could benefit from the abundance of moviegoers needing a good scare. It’s unlikely “Part II” will manage to match the first film’s $20 million opening, but it could secure $15 million.
With no big-name talent, “21 and Over” will be riding on its party premise. Relatively is likely gunning for a weekend one intake similar to “Project X,” but it’s much more probable that the film will only earn as much as “The Sitter,” about $10 million. Last up for the newcomers is “Phantom.” Last up is what? Yes, that’s what most will be saying because “Phantom” is heading into theaters with little to no marketing effort. Even with Ed Harris and David Duchovny on the roster, this one probably won’t even manage to crack the top ten with a mere $2 million start.
As for the old-timers, “Identity Thief” should have no trouble keeping on top yet again. Should “Snitch” drop about 50% like 2011’s “The Mechanic,” it’ll be left with just $7 million while “Identity Thief” continues to enjoy the lack of comedy competition, pulling in another $9 million. Similarly, with the market devoid of kid-appropriate movie, “Escape From Planet Earth” should continue to chug along, possibly only losing 40% of its weekend two profits for another $6.5 million. Meanwhile, both “Safe Haven” and “A Good Day to Die Hard” could be in for much heftier weekend two to three losses. Should both drop 50%, that’ll leave them with about $5 million each, and possibly swapping places should “Die Hard” hold just the slightest bit stronger.
With “The Last Exorcism” not expected to make a killing at the box office and “Dark Skies” opening rather weak to begin with, “Dark Skies” could take a deep dip. Should it lose half of its opening earnings, it’ll only take $4 million for weekend two, and, if “Silver Linings Playbook” continues to ride the Oscar wave and only drop 20%, it might even steal the 9th spot with the slightest bit more, about $4.5 million.
1. Jack the Giant Slayer
2. The Last Exorcism Part II
3. 21 and Over
4. Identity Thief
6. Escape From Planet Earth
7. A Good Day to Die Hard
8. Safe Haven
9. Silver Linings Playbook
10. Dark Skies