October is an odd month for the box office; it is neither best or worst time to release a film. Sometimes we do get blockbuster hits like GRAVITY or THE MARTIAN, or prestige films like THE SOCIAL NETWORK or THE DEPARTED, but most of time time it can be used as a dumping ground for films the studios don’t have much confidence in. This weekend is proving to be a big dumping ground as we have 5 movies opening wide where most will fail to make any kind of business.
Because there are so many films opening, it will make it hard for any one film to completely stand out, plus they are going against some very strong holdovers that won’t go away. Additionally, 4 out of the 5 of the new releases are not performing well with the critics at all. Neither has been able to top 25% on rotten tomatoes, so audiences will have to choose the best of the worst, which is never a great thing.
If any film has a chance to make any money, it will probably be the THE LAST WITCH HUNTER starring Vin Diesel. Coming off this biggest his of his career, it should help bring in audiences, despite the reviews. The film does have a strong cast and a somewhat interesting concept, and people are starting to like Vin Diesel again, so I am predicting it will make an okay $20mil over the weekend. I am not sure it will be the start the studio would like for a potential franchise, but that’s what you get when you open a film late in October.
STEVE JOBS opens wide after a couple of successful weekends in its limited run in theaters, and I expect it to perform well as there is a lot of positive buzz. The reviews have been great, with Michael Fassbender getting a lot of Oscar buzz for his performance as Steve Jobs. With all this positive attention, this should help bring audiences in and make $18mil by Sunday.
The 4th and “final” film of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise opens this weekend. The franchise has been one of the most profitable franchises of all time as the films have all been extremely cheap to make and they make big money. Though the quality of the films has been declining with each subsequent film, for any fan of the series, they’ll be interested in how the whole thing ends. Though it wont open has huge as any of the previous films, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION should make $15mil over the weekend.
While the other films should do okay business, the two films that will be completely forgotten and left to waste side will be ROCK THE KASBAH and JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS. Both films are earning terrible reviews and have almost zero buzz. The only buzz JEM is getting is for how unfaithful it is to the source material, but at least people are talking about it whereas ROCK THE KASBAH has nothing going for it other than it stars Bill Murray. (Both of the GARFIELD films earned better reviews than KASBAH did and that’s saying a lot) Both films should earn between $5-6mil each, and then drop out completely after this weekend.
For holdovers, GOOSEBUMPS should hold on well and make a solid $14mil in its second weekend and THE MARTINA will continue to do good business and make $12mil.
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER – $20mil
STEVE JOBS – $18mil
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION – $15mil
GOOSEBUMPS – $14mil
THE MARTIAN – $12mil
JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS – $6mil
ROCK THE KASBAH – $5mil
This Week in Box Office History: On this weekend in 2008, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 opened to a monster $46.7mil. What makes this film interesting was it was the only film in the series to be released wide in the theaters and the previous two premiered on the Disney Channel. It was a risk to release the film in theaters as it was unclear if audiences would be willing to pay to see a movie when the got to the the others for free. Well, the gamble played in Disney’s favor and the film was a huge success make a total of $90mil buy the end of its run.