Box Office Predictions: January 15-17, 2015
Notable Openings This Weekend: American Sniper, Blackhat, Paddington, The Wedding Ringer
So a sniper, talking bear, groom, and computer hacker walk into a bar, and all decide to open on the same weekend. How will they fare? This is actually a more interesting January weekend than most. It helps that you have the Oscar run off, as people will pull the inevitable “Oh, you know, I haven’t seen any of those Oscar movies. I guess we should go.” This should be a pretty good weekend at the box office, but I want to touch on last week very briefly. Despite atrocious reviews and a lackluster previous installment, Liam Neeson still manages to kick ass. Bless that old bastard. Okay, onto this weekend – let’s do some predicting!
Wow, talk about good timing. American Sniper finally opens in wide release, and is poised to absolutely clean up, and possibly even threaten for a January record. Not only did it just get nominated for a bunch of Oscars, but it got surprise nominations, which drives the interest that much more. It’s a well-known story, has a bankable star, a legendary director – Bottom-line: American Sniper destroys the weekend competition.
Kevin Hart is definitely the “It” comedic actor of the moment, and actually had one of the funnier segments at the Golden Globes, which isn’t saying much. Hart also had a movie in January last year with Ice Cube (Ride Along) that opened at just under $42 Million. While The Wedding Ringer certainly won’t do that type of business, it should perform very well. People also like Josh Gad, so I’m thinking this take will make the studio very happy.
I know it has great reviews right now, but I just don’t understand the logic behind making a Paddington movie. Maybe it will do well internationally, but here’s the problem: Paddington is too old to resonate with younger viewers, and kids who liked Paddington growing up don’t really go to movies anymore, and are probably unaware of its existence. It’s also barely been marketed. This won’t bomb or anything, but nobody cares. This will be the last time we talk about Paddington in the top five. My apologies to other talking bears who might be reading this.
And lastly, we have Blackhat. (Insert bomb sound effect here). Awful reviews. Michael Mann hasn’t made a good movie in ten years. Chris Hemsworth hasn’t exactly proven himself outside of Thor. This is dead in the water, and will not make the top five.
HOW WILL IT ALL BREAK DOWN…
American Sniper breaks the January weekend record, which ironically is held by Kevin Hart’s Ride Along. So there you go.
1. American Sniper — $47 Million
2. The Wedding Ringer — $25 Million
3. Taken 3 — $16 Million
4. Paddington — $13 Million
5. Selma — $10 Million
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.