It will a nostalgia-fest at the box office this weekend, and Hollywood is hoping moviegoers will yearn to relive the decade of big hair and acid-wash jeans. Audiences over 30 are going to feel like they’ve headed back in time as soon as they open up their weekend newspapers to check showtimes — even if both The A-Team reboot and The Karate Kid remake are not set in the 1980s. (And yes, only people over 30 actually still get weekend newspapers.) Anyway, it’s up to these two reboots to, well, reboot a summer that has been trending far behind last year’s and those preceding it. Hollywood is hopeful both films can redeem the box office, but both still have some stiff competition. The two new releases need to post higher numbers than those produced by The Hangover‘s second weekend in release last year and Up’s third weekend, which generated $30 million. If they can do so, then Hollywood will finally have an weekend that dominates one from last summer.
Read on for my predictions.
1. The Karate Kid:$32 million
Set in China, and co-produced with the Chinese government, this film marks the career launch of Will Smith’s heir Jaden, who we last saw in 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness. Interest is high with kids and their parents. The only thing limiting the film’s playability is its 140-minute run time, which seems excessive for a movie with an 11-year old as its star. If the film doesn’t hit number one, the film’s length will surely be the culprit.
2. The A-Team: $30 million
Twentieth Century Fox is trying to manage expectations, saying the film is likely to open similarly to the most recent Die Hard, which bowed to $33 million in 2007 and went on to earn over $130 million domestically. I think this action romp is a lot more fun than the trailers suggest. The question is, do moviegoers have a burning desire to see these four guys (Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Sharlto Copley) on screen together? They update their 1980s-era characters well, staying true to the fun of the original series. And if they can maintain the buzz over the weekend, Fox will have a hit on their hands. The movie is sure to win Friday night. But I believe it will be overtaken Saturday by the families headed for Karate Kid.
3. Shrek Forever After: $15 million
With $191 million in its coffers as of Wednesday, Shrek Forever After is destined to cross the $200 million mark this weekend. Another 40 percent drop will add $15 million to its cume, but the movie really has only one more week to reap the dollars before Toy Story 3 comes gunning for its audience. The latest Pixar film will be sure to steal any of Shrek’s remaining coin, meaning this final installment of the green ogre series is likely destined to be the poorest grosser of the bunch. Bet Dreamworks Animation never expected that to happen.
4. Get Him to the Greek: $10 million
If this essential sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall holds in as well as its predecessor, then it will likely fall 40 percent for the weekend. That will put the R-rated comedy with the $40 million budget at close to $40 million for its first two weeks of release.
5. Killers: $6 million
This brutally reviewed action comedy is likely to lose 60 percent of its value it’s second weekend in theaters.
If you’re not interested in any of the wide releases, IFC will release the Joan Rivers documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work on seven screens while Roadside Attractions will bow the Sundance fave Winter’s Bone on four.