Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Box-Office Predictions ($70-$85 million)

40. Blended (5/23, WB) - $70 million
Adam Sandler can do great business (Grown Ups 2, Hotel Transylvania) or poor business (Jack and Jill, That's My Boy).  This should be somewhere in the middle.  This seems to be a little more family friendly, which is the demographic Sandler has been succeeding with recently.  But this premise of a trip to Africa seems to be less marketable and relatable to American families and the re-teaming with Drew Barrymore shouldn't help too much as her career has been very poor lately.  Competition should be the main factor against this.  May is full of big budget spectacles and The Neighbors may take the comedy crowd.

39. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount, 1/17)- $70 million
Moving a movie to January is never a good thing.  Paramount is clearly hoping to making Jack Ryan a franchise similar to Bourne, Mission: Impossible and James Bond.  However Chris Pine is a not a sure thing at the box-office and hype is pretty low on this.  It will stand out in an empty January, however.  The franchise recognition, star power and lack of competition should help this to get around Contraband numbers.  Will most likely do better than Chris Pine's This Means War, but it may not be enough to restart this franchise.

38. The Equalizer (Columbia, 9/14)- $75 million
Even when Denzel Washington doesn't do great business (last year's 2 Guns) he still easily passes $50 million.  Like 2 Guns this is an August release, so it will not do as well as Safe House or Flight.  But Denzel's star power should bring this to $75 million.  Will be in the top fifty films of the year no matter what.

37. Dumb and Dumber To (Universal, 11/14)- $75 million
Despite the legendary status the original 1994 film has it is doubtful that it will be an enormous success.    Jim Carrey did not help Kick-Ass 2 or Incredible Burt Wonderstone last year.  This will do better than those two, but movies with long sequel gaps have not had as much success as Hollywood thinks that they will have.  If Anchorman 2 could only get close to $120 million with its aggressive marketing and people begging for it then it is doubtful that this will cross $100 million unless it is really funny and manages to be relevant.

36. Non-Stop (Universal, 2/28)- $75 million
For whatever reason Liam Neeson does well in February.  Even The Unknown was a decent success for the first quarter of the year.  This will not do Taken business, but putting Liam Neeson on a plane with the support of Julianne Moore will get people in theatres.

35. Exodus (Fox, 12/12)- $80 million
Ridley Scott has been prolific, but has not been doing well critically or commerically in the past several years.  With the resurgence of biblical films this should find an audience.  There are recognizable stars and Moses is one of the more familiar Bible stories.  If it gets Oscar buzz (based on Ridley Scott's recent films it won't) it could do better.  But I am anticipating the Christian right supporting it over the holidays.  Not going to be a huge hit, but could be modest enough.

34. Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Bros., 6/6)- $80 million
Tom Cruise's career has not been what it once was.  This will most likely hit a little lower than Oblivion but higher than Knight and Day.  Visually it looks like Elysium meets Source Code.  It will have a lot of competition it won't have the critical response or mainstream appeal to pass, but Cruise probably won't earn less than $70 million in an action movie.

33. Think Like a Man Too (Screen Gems, 6/20)- $80 million
The first movie was a huge surprise, but that was in March.  This will premiere in a crowded summer.  But Madea's Witness Protection did well two summers ago with a similar release date and last year's sequel Best Man Holiday really surprised.  The popular cast, notably the inclusion of Kevin Hart, and positive response for the original should help this to do similar business.

32. Muppets Most Wanted (Disney, 3/21)- $85 million
The Muppets had a huge response in 2011, but that was the comeback and was creatively marketed.  This has not had the same ingenious marketing and The Muppets have not been consistently popular since then (their Lady Gaga special bombed).  But this is still a beloved franchise with a decent amount of hype.  If it hits with adults and families it should do close to similar numbers as the previous movie.

31. Jupiter Ascending (WB, 7/18)- $85 million
This will not as much of a failure as Cloud Atlas or Speed Racer but not as big as The Matrix.  Relevant stars Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum should help it find a decent audience, but as evidenced by last summer's White House Down he is not a sure thing.  Original sci-fi's are difficult sells and this has a similar release date to Pacific Rim, which underperformed.  If it gets a good reception it could pass $100 million, but there is a lot of competition that is more accessible and this looks to be potentially divisive among sci-fi fans.

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