Box Office Preview: 'Fast & Furious' revs up for a weekend win
It’s not very hot outside, but, man, it sure feels like summer at the multiplex. Thanks to the one-two punch of the summer-esque blockbuster wannabe Fast & Furious and the strong holdover Monsters vs. Aliens, Hollywood could see its first April weekend ever to boast two $30 mil-plus grossers. Sure, that’s one of those made up “records” that industry trackers love to trumpet, but it does speak to a broader issue that we’ve been aware of for some time now: Those antique things known as seasons are fading fast from movieland, for better or worse. And now, for better or worse, here are my weekend picks.
1. Fast & Furious — $41 million
Yeah, yeah, this fourth installment in Universal’s inexplicably popular car-smashing franchise has the same cast and title as the first film — minus a few “the”s. Nice. It kinda reminds me of what Sylvester Stallone did with the name of his Rocky return, Rocky Balboa, a few years ago. Anyway, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster are all back in their original roles, and that should bring back audiences, right? Well, sure, why not? Folks flocked to the first two films in the series (which opened to $40.1 mil in 2000 and then $50.5 mil in 2003), so this reunion/throwback should attract the same kind of crowd. I mean, Vin Diesel has had an up-and-down career arc in the years since, and the other actors haven’t really broken out, but that shouldn’t stop people from going, eh?
2. Monsters vs. Aliens — $36 million
If Fast & Furious tanks — or even comes in on the lower end of expectations — this’ll be the No. 1 movie for a second straight weekend. Having banked a sweet $3 mil-plus per day during the middle of the week, DreamWorks Animation’s 3-D family flick should suffer a merely minor decline from its hefty $59.3 mil debut last time around.
3. Adventureland — $12 million
People love the infinitely noogie-able Jesse Eisenberg and Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart, but will that widespread affection translate into box office bucks for this new raw comedy from Greg Mottola, the director of Superbad? Yes, but only to a certain extent. The movie is playing in just 1,862 theaters, so its financial upside is relatively limited.
4. The Haunting in Connecticut — $10 million
Virginia Madsen’s thriller surprised with a $23 mil debut last time around. But horror movies always tend to fall off pretty fast (and, uh, furiously).
5. I Love You, Man — $8 million
Paul Rudd and Jason Segel’s bromance brought in a somewhat soft $17.8 mil on its first weekend, although it dropped just 29 percent in its second frame. Competition with fellow R-rated funny film Adventureland may depress I Love You, Man‘s grosses a bit more this time, but people clearly aren’t ready to dump the cool comedy just yet.
Okay, box office fans, now it’s your turn to predict the weekend’s results!