Bold Box Office Predictions: January 29-31, 2016

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Notable Openings This Weekend: Fifty Shades of Black, The Finest Hours, Kung Fu Panda 3

Well, I stupidly forgot to account for the east coast storms last weekend in my predictions, making my prognostication for The Revenant a tad high.  We also don’t have to talk about my Dirty Grandpa prediction, although it’s not like I was way off, so leave me alone!  Ride Along 2 – boy, did that plummet.  Enough about last week though, because we actually have a legit headliner this weekend.  Yeah, no 5th Wave this time around.  The Kung Fu Panda has returned!  Let’s discuss how he’ll do.

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It’s been a while since the last Kung Fu Panda movie (five years), but it’s been a moderately successful franchise.  The last one couldn’t crack $50 Million opening weekend, but it came out in the heart of the summer.  Moving this to January was a great move.  It’s also been a while since we’ve had a kid’s movie, so that Panda should be Kung Fu fighting easily to #1.  Yeah, I went there.  Get over it.  I suspect this will open in the $50-55 Million range, right in between the previous two.

We also have a new sea thriller, The Finest Hours.  While this looks moderately better than In the Heart of the Sea, which sank faster than a killer whale’s excrement, haven’t we learned our lesson by now?  Boring, overly budgeted sea epics don’t work anymore.  I’m pretty sure Titanic came out in 1997.  This should open #2 by default, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it tanked completely, falling behind The Revenant, and maybe even Star Wars.  I feel bad for Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, but this is dead in the water, and we all know it.

Marlon Wayans is in another movie.  Yaaaaaaaaaay.  To be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen a Marlon Wayans movie in about ten years, but I know people shiver when they hear that name, ala Adam Sandler.  Fifty Shades of Grey is an easy target, and even though this has barely been marketed, I’m sure it was made for peanuts.  I feel like Marlon Wayans will always be with us, continuing his never ending quest to kill the parody movie.  Parody movies used to be comedic gems when you had guys like Mel Brooks and Jerry Zucker at the helm, but thanks to Marlon Wayans and the Disaster/Date Movie guys, it hasn’t been relevant in years.  Very sad, but that’s a discussion for another day.

HOW WILL IT ALL BREAK DOWN…

Don’t worry, we’re almost out of the January doldrums, thank Moses.  Kung Fu Panda 3 has positioned itself to easily dominate the box office, with The Finest Hours narrowly beating out The Revenant and Star Wa—actually, screw it.  The Finest Hours is tanking hardcore.  It gets bumped to #4.  Fifty Shades of Black and Dirty Grandpa battle it out for the last spot.

1. Kung Fu Panda 3 — $53 Million

2. The Revenant — $10.5 Million

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens — $8.5 Million

4. The Finest Hours — $7.5 Million

5. Fifty Shades of Black – $7 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.

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.