Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Box-Office (Under $70 million)

Other Potential Hits.  There are several movies that could potentially surprise this year, I just am not anticipating them in the top 50 of the year.  Robert Downey Jr.'s star power could help out The Judge (10/10, WB), but he does not seem to do well outside of action franchises.  The adaptation of the extremely popular musical Jersey Boys (7/14, WB) could translate its success to the screen, but I would anticipate it doing Rock of Ages numbers.  This is Where I Leave You (9/12, WB) has a good ensemble cast and could do well with word of mouth, but nothing is going to be overly successful in September without Oscar potential.  It is impossible to judge horror movies, Paranormal Activity 5 (October, Paramount) and The Purge 2 (6/20, Universal) have the biggest chance but there could be a Conjuring this year.  Hundred-Foot Journey (8/8, Disney) has enough similarities to The Help and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that could help it.  Divergent (3/21, Lionsgate) is being marketed heavily, but all young adult Hunger Games/Twilight knock-offs failed last year.

50. The Interview (10/10, Columbia)- $50 million
This is Seth Rogen and Eric Goldberg's follow-up to their incredibly successful This is the End.  This one lacks that movie's viral campaign and self-satire gimmick.  But Franco and Rogen always do pretty well together and they have a large enough of a following that this should break $50 million.  There is plenty of comedy competition this year and October is not a good month for comedy.  But if it ends up being hilarious word of mouth could make it a surprise hit.  Need to see more about this before I can really judge it, but it should not do as poorly as The Guilt Trip or Franco's indie and supporting work.

49. Planes: Fire and Rescue (7/18, Disney)- $50 million
The first Planes only made $60 million last summer so there will definitely be a drop.  However with no Pixar or Illumination movies being released this year this should do minimal business for a computer animated film, just based on lack of cartoons being released.  This is a film strictly for kids and an attempt to sell toys, but it is an option for families in mid-summer.  Should only do a little worse than Turbo.

48. Annie (12/26, Columbia)- $55 million
This is a difficult movie to predict.  There is a chance that it could do great with family audiences and musical fans, but it is so vastly different from the original musical that it needs to be able to stand on its own.  Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz are popular figures, but certainly not bullet proof at the box-office.  This has the advantage of Acadmey Award nominee Quvenzhane Wallis in the lead, the right child star can be the key ingredient in these movies.  I think that there will be enough competition with Into the Woods, which will be easier to market and has more Oscar potential.  But if the music of this hits, it could surprise.  Also opens the same day as Night at the Museum 3, which will split family audiences.

47. Million Dollar Arm (5/16, Disney)- $60 million
Could be decent counter-programming against big budget blockbusters, but it could also be buried in a busy May.  Disney's last big sports movie was Secretariat and this should do a bit better as it features a more popular sport and has a more relevant lead.  If it is good it could get close to 42 numbers, but it will most likely be a mild hit.

46. Sex Tape (7/25, Columbia)- $60 million
Like every comedy, if it is hilarious and the marketing can convince audiences of that then it could really surprise.  The title may be a turn off for some audiences, but if it is raunchy enough that might not matter.  This is Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel's follow-up to Bad Teacher, which was a decent sized hit and adds Jack Black, whose presence may help or hurt the film based on his recent track record.  I will predict at least $60 million, but there is enough comedy competition in the summer to keep it from being a sure thing.

45. Robocop (2/12, Columbia)- $60 million
Fans of the original franchise are not excited for this, it does not look to stand on its own for new audiences and has a pretty terrible release date.  The amount of stars (most notably Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson) will keep it noticed, but it will not be the box-office hit that MGM was hoping for.  Seems comparable to Total Recall, should do slightly better due to less competition but this will be forgotten quickly.  The original Robocop never made that much money to begin with anyway.

44. 300: Rise of an Empire (3/7, WB)- $65 million
300 surprised as a huge hit in 2007, but that was 7 years ago and this one does not feature Zack Snyder or Gerard Butler.  There is no star power and it looks pretty generic.  There have been similar sword and sandal epics that have ripped off the style of 300 (Immortals, Legend of Hercules, etc.) that have bombed.  Also changing its release date from last summer does not inspire confidence in its quality.  Name recognition may save it, but it will be a bomb.

43. Transcendence (4/18, WB)- $65 million
The internet has been excited for Wally Pfister's directorial debut, but this does not look to have much mainstream appeal.  It feels like a high concept movie from the late 2000s and may underwhelm as a modern day blockbuster.  Johnny Depp is not the sure thing Hollywood thinks he is (Tourist, Rum Diary, Dark Shadows and most notably Lone Ranger).  However the presence of Morgan Freeman should help as it has been speculated that his star power elevated the box-offices of Olympus Has Fallen, Oblivion, Now You See Me and Last Vegas.

42. Ride Along (1/17, Universal)- $65 million
Kevin Hart is one of the most popular entertainers working today and last summer he broke records with a stand-up concert film.  Ice Cube also has a certain pedigree and works well in comedies.  The pairing, amount of marketing and buddy cop genre should help this stand out in a fairly empty January.

41. Expendables 3 (8/15, Lionsgate)- $70 million
Expendables 2 had a box-office drop from the original and unless the marketing picks up there should be a drop for this as well.  The big stars of this franchise: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jason Statham had a terrible 2013.  All of whom delivered notable bombs (The Last Stand, Parker, Bullet in the Head, Escape Plan, Homefront and Grudge Match).  The notable additions to the cast also had a weak 2013 with Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson in the flop Machete Kills an Harrison Ford in the terrible Parnoia (42 and Ender's Game did well enough, but not amazing).  If the stakes are raised enough it could surprise, but this trilogy will end with less fanfare than which it began.

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