Neighbors is definitely the new release pick to dominate the box office this weekend. Even This is the End, which had too strange of a premise to attract a huge audience in its opening weekend still made a good $20 million and because of some great word-of-mouth, and because of a smart move by Sony to get it back to a lot of theatres later in its run, it made over $100 million. Films similar to this open at $22.8 million, and this just has a lot of buzz – and a great marketing campaign, as I see constant advertisements for this. But boy, does it look funny! I think the question is if this will break $40 million this weekend. 2012’s 21 Jump Street did $36.3 million, which I think this is the lowest this will go. I’m going to predict this at $44 million because it seems like one of the year’s most anticipated comedies (and one of the strongest). And if Grown Ups 2 can do $41.5 million, this better do more.
I think some company called Clarius Entertainment is really trying to hide Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return. I mean, I had to look up the trailer to see what it was – and to see if it was a real movie. It has an admittedly impressive cast – Lea Michele as Dorothy (meh), Dan Aykroyd (one Blues Brother!) Kelsey Grammer, James Belushi (well, we have the brother of a Blues Brother), Hugh Dancy, Oliver Platt and Martin Short as the villainous Jester – who literally looks like a silly version of the Joker – but I think Martin Short will have a blast as the Joker. I’m surprised this just didn’t go straight-to-DVD. Well, the budget is $70 million, but I think a lot of it was spent on the cast, but this is a really reminder that great literature is public domain after so many years if not renewed. (I’d personally love to see a Catcher in the Rye big-screen adaptation before I die – so that’s a reason public domain is a good thing!) Anyway, similar movies to this open at $10.6 million. This will not get over $10 million. I don’t think parents will pay to torture their children. But stranger things have happened: The Nut Job did make $19.4 million in its opening, but that actually had a half-decent advertising campaign. I don’t think this will go as low as Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure (the #1 worst very wide opening weekend of all time with $443, 901). I think this film has enough brand appeal to get up to $5.6 million (which is my prediction) much like Valiant, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie and the enjoyable Everyone’s Hero. I can’t imagine this going higher than Igor‘s $7.8 million, but I also can’t imagine this going much lower than Doogal‘s $3.6 million. Although, how hilarious would that be!
A film called Mom’s Night Out is being released at 1, 044 which seems like a missed opportunity considering it’s Mother’s day weekend. I think it will lose quietly through Friday and Saturday and have a bit of a spike on Sunday, no matter how high. I don’t think it will meet God’s Not Dead high for a limited release (it impressively raked in $9.2 million at 780 theatres in its opening), but this could do well. Similar films open at $8.8 million. I think this will attract mothers to the movie on Sunday, because remember the spike The Great Gatsby had last year? Wow! That was crazy! I think more mom’s will pick this as entertainment because Neighbors might be a bit too much of hard R-rated movie for them; it seems a bit raunchy. Though, the religious aspect could hurt or benefit this film. I think the cast for this film is pretty good – it has Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sarah Drew (who I’ve never seen act) Sean Astin, The Middle‘s Patricia Heaton (I’ve seen The Middle a few times but I haven’t found her shtick that strong so far); and country singer Trace Adkins playing some biker named Bones – and if I remember correctly he played a biker in 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer, too, so – type-casting for the win! Anyway, my prediction is $6.8 million.
As for what I’ll be seeing out of the new releases – I saw a screening of Neighbors earlier today and I thought it was hilarious. As for the Oz movie, I might watch that at the cheap theatre – and I think I’ll see Mom’s Night Out on Sunday if that’s my mom’s movie choice. Here’s how I see the top 5: