Bold Box Office Predictions: December 12-14, 2014

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Notable Openings This Weekend: Exodus: Gods and Kings, Top Five

I’m just happy there’s something to analyze this weekend. We have actual movies opening in theaters. We replace The Pyramid with a crap load of other pyramids, as Ridley Scott tries to repent from his last directorial effort (I hate The Counselor) with Exodus: Gods and Kings. The last time a controversial biblical movie graced our presence was Noah, and that did pretty damn well, opening at just under $44 Million. Exodus won’t be nearly as successful, but it will generate some interest, and it’s opening at just the right time. There’s also a new Chris Rock comedy that seems to be getting positive feedback, but will anybody care?

THOU SHALT PREDICTITH THE BOX OFFICE!

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There’s no question Ridley Scott is a legendary director. Even with all the stink bombs he’s made in his illustrious career, he’ll always be remembered for such classics as Alien and Gladiator. No matter how you slice it though, Scott is a polarizing filmmaker, especially recently. I have no doubt Exodus will again fall into that “love it, or hate it” category. The big controversy with this movie is easily all the white actors that have been cast to play all these iconic roles. I understand the frustration, but having said that, it’s really time to move on from this. The movie has been made, and it is what it is. If you’re upset about it, then don’t see the movie. That’s your best form of protest right there. Every time you mention it though, it brings more attention to the film, and honestly, that’s why I think it will get a bigger haul then expected this weekend. It’s the curiosity factor. You’re only fueling the fire.

Normally I’d say Christian Bale will help the box office by his mere presence, but that didn’t really help Out of the Furnace last year, so I’m not sure how accurate that is. American Hustle did just fine, although that had a plethora of big names. I’ve got to think Bale will bump this a little bit though. Love it or hate it, Christian Bale playing Moses is going to interest people, positively and negatively. Exodus is also a beneficiary of good timing. Its biggest competition is a film that’s been out for four weeks.

The other new film opening is Top Five, starring Chris Rock, and a bunch of other big name comedians. Chris Rock’s movie career is downright atrocious. While I think Chris Rock is a fantastic stand up comedian, I’ve always found his persona to be a tad obnoxious. He just seems like a bitter “woe is me” guy when people bring up his film career, and Top Five feels like an extension of that to some degree. I really have no interest in exploring that subject matter with Chris Rock, but to its credit, the film is getting great word of mouth, so maybe his art imitating life strategy will pay off. As far as the box office goes though, this film is mostly dead in the water, despite the positive reviews.

HOW WILL IT ALL BREAK DOWN…

Exodus easily takes #1, and over performs. Top Five doesn’t tank, but it will do mediocre business at best.

Exodus: Gods and Kings — $34 Million
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I — $12 Million
Penguins of Madagascar — $7 Million
Top Five — $6 Million
Horrible Bosses 2 — $3.5 Million

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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.
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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.