Can you believe it’s April? It certainly doesn’t feel like it, here in New York at least. Anyway, we’ve arrived at a brand new month, the final month before the summer season kicks off. Sounds exciting, right? Well, April box office numbers have a tendency to be rather lack luster. Last year, the month kicked off with a bang courtesy of Clash of the Titans, but from there it was almost all downhill. 2008 was a particularly tough year for the month of April with the box office never seeing more than $82 million in total for the top 12 films of a weekend. Well, we’ve got some pretty big ones arriving this weekend, most of which are seeing some positive reviews, so perhaps the month will pack a little more punch than usual to start.
The widest release goes to the new film with the worst reviews, the live action animated film Hop. With Rango on its way out, the only film posing much of a threat is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. That one had a pretty strong opening, but Hop’s pull from the animated angle as well as its holiday appeal, could be enough to bring in a nice chunk of cash, perhaps just as much as Gnomeo and Juliet with about $25 million. No, it’s nothing substantial, but we’ve got to consider the fact that very few animated-live action hybrids have been big moneymakers aside from Alvin and the Chipmunks. Recently, Yogi Bear started with just $16.4 million, Marmaduke with $11.6 million and Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore with only $12 million. Isn’t that $25 million starting to sound pretty good?
Now, onto the adult fare. Duncan Jones’ second directorial effort, the sci-fi thriller Source Code, arrives in 2,961 theaters. Considering his first feature, Moon, only arrived in eight theaters, there’s clearly no comparing the two, but Source Code could bear some similarities to the recent release Limitless. Both films star Hollywood heartthrobs and focus on fantastical and appealing concepts, the former and its smart pill, NZT, and the latter and its “time reassignment” system, Source Code. Source Code is hitting a little over 200 more theaters than Limitless, but Limitless also performed better than expected, so let’s say both open with the same, $19 million.
Lastly we’ve got the latest from the creators of Saw and the guys behind Paranormal Activity, the horror film Insidious. This is a tricky one to call. Yes, it boasts the names behind those two very popular films as well as that of Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, but overall, Insidious isn’t exactly a mainstream horror flick. It might not put up Saw numbers (2, 3, 4 and 5 at least), but it could perform just as well as something like The Last Exorcism or The Haunting in Connecticut. Should that be the case, Insidious might even be able to slip right by Source Code with $20 million.
As for the rest of the list, should Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules continue to perform in line with its predecessor, but a bit stronger, it could see a 40% drop this weekend leaving it with $14 million. What’s Sucker Punch’s fate? Even with the extremely disappointing start, there is a chance that sheer curiosity should keep it from completely freefalling in week two. Should it continue to stay on par with Kick-Ass it’ll lose 50% of its week one profits giving it about $9 million this time around.
As for the bottom five of the top ten, they’ll likely remain in the same formation. Both Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer will continue to enjoy modest declines, perhaps not as modest as their week two falls, but likely not much more than 35%. That would leave Limitless with $9 million and The Lincoln Lawyer with $7 million. In four weeks Rango has yet to drop more than 40% and it probably won’t start doing so now. Should Rango lose another 40, it’ll end up with about $5 million.
Both Paul and Battle: Los Angeles look as though they’ll take hard hits, but they’re far enough ahead of Red Riding Hood and The Adjustment Bureau at this point to maintain their spots in the top ten. However, Paul could easily lose 50% leaving it with just $4 million while Battle: Los Angeles could fall even harder with 55% of its week three earnings evaporating, giving it $3 million.
The PG-13 version of The King’s Speech is also due out this weekend, but considering it’s hitting just 1,011 theaters and the hype is long gone, it doesn’t stand much of a chance at cracking the top ten, or 12 for that matter.
3. Source Code
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
5. Sucker Punch
7. The Lincoln Lawyer
10. Battle: Los Angeles
By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)