March 28-30 Box Office Predictions: Swear words and Sabotage of biblical proportions

box office (1)Jason Bateman’s Bad Words is one of the new releases coming out this weekend, but it’s been in limited release since the 14th of March, and has grossed $837 thousand. It premiered at TIFF back in September, and it looks pretty awesome. Since one of the taglines is “suck my dictionary,” I’m really excited. I think it looks hilarious. I don’t think this will gross a lot this weekend; but I think $6.7 million is a good enough expectation.

Noah will be the winner this weekend. I think it’s more than guaranteed it’ll gross around $30 million this weekend, and $40 million is very likely, but I think it’ll be a huge surprise hit, much like last year’s World War Z. It’s of one of the three Biblical movies this weekend; it’s the second one after Son of God, and the next one will be Exodus. This stars Russell Crowe as the titular Noah; and it also stars Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. It’s directed by Darren Aronofsky. I’m ecstatic to see this. The story of Noah fascinates me, and I’m excited to see a new film about it, and I love Aronofsky’s style. I’ve only seen his film Black Swan, but I’m excited to see more. Similar films open to $33.49 million. My prediction for this film is $56.5 million.

Sabotage is David Ayer’s newest film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Malin Akerman and Sam Worthington. I think this film looks promising. Movies similar to this open at $13.86 million. I’m curious to see if Schwarzenegger’s star power and Ayer’s direction will allow this to gross near End of Watch‘s $13.15 million. Both of Schwarzenegger’s starring vehicles since his comeback haven’t grossed double digits in its opening weekend (excluding The Expendables 2). The Last Stand was a fun movie that made $6.3 million in its opening, and Escape Plan made $9.9 million (so close). Since Arnie obviously doesn’t have as much star power as he once did, but I’m going to say this grosses $9.5 million in its opening weekend.

Here’s how I see the Top 10:

1. Noah: $56.5 million
2. Divergent: $28 million
3. Muppets Most Wanted: $10.883 million
4. Sabotage: $9.5 million
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel: $9 million
6. Bad Words: $6.7 million
7. Mr. Peabody & Sherman: $6.3 million
8. God’s Not Dead: $6 million
9. 300: Rise of An Empire: $4.2 million
10. Need for Speed: $3.8 million

Advertisements

“The Conjuring” scares a big audience, Snails and Retired Spies do okay, “R.I.P.D.” bombs hard

New releases from the weekend that are still on my watchlist: The ConjuringR.I.P.D.Red 2Turbo. So, all of them!

I’ve realized that I haven’t been a good box office analyst. I’ve been posting my predictions, but neglecting to report the results. This weekend, I’ll change that. At the beginning of 2013, it was looking like this year wouldn’t even match up to 2012 – but it’s catching up at a rapid rate. Through June, 2013 was 2.1% behind 2012. As of the end of this weekend, it is behind 1.1%. That is impressive considering this weekend was 19% behind last year, as “The Dark Knight Rises” single-handedly grossed $160.8 million. It’s looking like 2013 could match 2012’s number with some big blockbusters still to come: “The Wolverine”, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” this fall, to name a few. Anyway, let’s get to this weekend.

“Turbo” opened to $21.3 million and has earned $31 million through its first five days. That’s the worst opening for a DreamWorks Animation since 2006’s “Wallace and Gromit”, and it’s even less than last year’s “Rise of the Guardians“. It could have legs because of its rewarded ‘A’ Cinemascore, but family audiences chose those yellow minions again (“DM2” earned $24.9 million this weekend) over snail racing. DreamWorks can only hope that snail racing is big overseas. I guess at least this poor outing says “The Smurfs 2” might not do so grandly, as family audiences have only so much money to spend in a month. (But since it opens at the very beginning of August, it might not be affected.)

“The Conjuring” was the big winner this weekend with a huge $41.8 million opening, so take that “The Purge“! It is now the second-largest opening weekend for an R-rated horror movie behind “Paranormal Activity 2”. That’s great for it because it looks really scary and I want to see it. It had a great marketing campaign, it looked terrifying, and people turned out to see it. It also came at a time where there were no horror movies on the market (well besides “The Purge” which is now only in 156 theatres). It will have great box office legs, because it was rewarded an ‘A-‘ Cinemascore, which, for the horror genre, is super rare.

“Red 2” had a soft opening with $18 million. The first movie grossed $21.7 million in its opening, so it seems that audiences thought it looked too similar to its predecessor, a problem “The Expendables 2” faced. I was optimistic with my prediction of $25 million because I thought that since it had really high DVD sales and the first had great legs, “Red 2” would do better business. I was wrong by $7 million. I didn’t factor in that the older audiences that this is aimed at is perfectly content to either wait for the DVD or go during the week when the crowds aren’t as big. Dang it! (By the way, I’ll probably be posting my review of “Red” soon.)

The only movie I was really close with was “R.I.P.D.”, which is standing at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m seeing it tomorrow, because I like to see everything, but audiences just were not interested in this “Men in Black” rip-off as it only debuted to $12.69 million. (I predicted $12.8M, woo-hoo!) And its budget was $130 million or so. Talk about one of the biggest bombs in recent memory! “Red 2” was its direct competition and that one came out on top. I think this movie looks fun, but audiences just didn’t bite. I’m not surprised one bit.

Here’s how the Top 10 performed! And if you missed any of my reviews, just click on the link to read it.

Title: Result/Prediction/Difference (Over/Under)
1. “The Conjuring”: $41.855M/$37.5M/$4.355M under
2. “Despicable Me 2: $24.906M/$22.473M/$2.433M under
3. “Turbo”: $21.312M/$28.8M/$7.488M over
4. “Grown Ups 2”: $19.872M/$19.5M/$372, 000 under
5. “Red 2”: $18.048M/$25M/$6.952M over
6. “Pacific Rim: $16.002M/$19.825M/$3.823 over
7. “R.I.P.D.”: $12.691M/$12.8M/$109, 000 over
8. “The Heat: $9.303M/$9.025M/$278, 000 under
9. “World War Z: $5.191M/NA/NA
10. “Monsters University: $5.121M/$6M/$879, 000 over

For the four new releases, I was off by a grand total of: $18, 904, 000

For the five holdovers I predicted in the top 10, I was off by a grand total of: $7, 785, 000

Did any of you go to the theatre this weekend? I saw “Grown Ups 2” on Saturday, don’t ask me why. Expect the review tomorrow. 

The Expendables 2 (2012)

Expendables 2, TheThe Expendables 2

Release Date: August 17, 2012

Director: Simon West

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Randy Couture

Runtime: 103 min

Tagline: Back for war.

Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy pay check, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.

The Expendables 2 improves on its original, mainly because Stallone’s sloppy direction is trashed (and replaced with a slightly better director) and the film doesn’t try to have a brain.

Sure, there’s a story established: the baddies mean to steal from a plutonium mine (led by Jean-Claude Van Damme) to produce a bomb. That’s how the thick as the plot is. However, the real problem with this film’s predecessor is [that] it tried too hard to have a good story and it just came across as tedious. This completely disregards any attempt at giving us a good story, and the film makers focus merely on the explosions and the humour.

This offers an extremely fun experience, nothing more; nothing less. For anyone looking for an experience that never has a dull moment, this is the film to watch. It doesn’t have anything to offer to the action genre except for non-stop explosions and artillery and a great ensemble cast. The actors are having a great time, and it truly translates well to the silver screen.

Like the predecessor, this does rely on the actors to make it fun – but not quite as much. They are assisted by the good pop culture jokes. There doesn’t seem to be any true characters or development at all. The names are established, but the actors might as well be playing even more bad ass versions of themselves. Either that or characters they’ve portrayed earlier in their careers. This film is just a bunch of old guys having fun and kicking ass.

In a nutshell: The only things this film offers is the humour, the ensemble cast and the great action. This just needs a bit more Jet Li and a little less of an over-the-top  antagonist.

70/100

Serbuan maut (The Raid: Redemption) (2012)

 

Serbuan maut (The Raid: Redemption)

Release Date: March 23, 2012

Director: Gareth Evans

Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy

Runtime: 101 min

Tagline: 1 Ruthless Crime Lord, 20 Elite Cops, 30 Floors of Hell

 

Wouldn’t 30 Floors of Hell have made a decent title? Maybe I only think so.

Rama (Iko Uwais) is the rookie officer on a SWAT team that has just infiltrated a tenement run by a ruthless crime lord, Tama (Ray Sahetapy). After their cover is blown by a young spotter, Tama offers lifetime sanctuary to every killer, thug, thief and gangster who will bring him the intruders’ heads. Now Rama must guide the remaining officers through the run-down building – every floor and every room – and complete the mission, and escape with his life.

The actors aren’t very well-known, but some bring some solid performances to their characters, at least for a full-throttle action flick; and especially for most of them being stuntmen.  The Raid offers pure entertainment, and that’s the main thing I took from it; and that Indonesians actually make pretty impressive films, especially with a budget of  1.1 million dollars.

The characters are pretty well-developed, especially Rama as he has a baby boy on the way and we want him out alive, as we don’t a child without a father out there. The plot is also well-developed, with the a few pleasant plot twists that are thrown at you, which in ways are sort of surprising – but it also left me thinking, “I should have saw that coming.”

The only flaws that I felt the film possessed was that some of the action sequences felt a bit dragged out, making me want someone to win the fight already. Though, the stunts were still sweet and some fights you could really get into, and if the good guy loses, the characters are generally likeable that you can be disappointed to see them go.

It’s a film that doesn’t have many flaws. The action is pretty non-stop, which makes it that much more enjoyable. There’s a few minutes of character or plot development in between, but don’t you worry, the action will be back in about one to three minutes.  The action sequences are very memorable, and the stunts are very cool, and the kills are quite amazing – from people being killed with just their opponents’ hands; to guns, to knives, to walls, to even broken doors.

If you don’t like reading subtitles the whole way through, don’t worry for those of you just tremble at the very thought – you have the option to watch it in Indonesian, English or even French. I personally don’t prefer the English choice for foreign films as their lips are quite out of sync, and the people who do the voice-over just annoy the heck out of me (so I just went with Indonesian). I like to read books, so in a way you’re just reading a story with the visuals just laid right there for you.

I wouldn’t be so bold to say this should win Best Film in a Foreign Language at the Academy Awards, but I wouldn’t say it shouldn’t be considered for at least a nomination, as it’s pretty well done and uses its simple, and occasionally [somewhat] complex, plot very much to its advantage. If there’s an award for Best Action film in a Foreign Language out there, though, this film will have that one in the bag.

The film is well-edited and well-made, and was a wicked experience with very cool stunts, and is a film I wouldn’t be against watching again in the future (maybe at least two or three months).

This is where I’d usually say who the film stars, but there wasn’t any stars that I was familiar with.

It’s a little-flawed foreign film that should really be checked out, as a great film is offered for those action fans who have the lack of stunt action late-winter blues. Just those of the faint of  heart should beware, though it’s like an action fan’s (especially for those fans who love stunts) wet dream. Judging by its box office earnings, it hasn’t been seen by as many as it should be (cashing in a bit more than four million; hopefully it’ll do well with its home media sales). It offers a really stellar action film experience that should be seen, and is the finest action film of 2012 (but I’m seeing The Expendables 2 soon, so that statement may not stand strong in a few days).

 

80/100