Box office preview: 'Project Almanac' joins 'American Sniper' in theaters
Three movies are opening wide this weekend, but that’s likely not going to stop American Sniper from spending a third week at the box office’s No. 1 spot.
Out of the three newcomers, only one is expected to crack the top five: Project Almanac, a sci-fi found footage film about the creation of a time machine. It’s about young people, so it should play well with younger crowds—especially teens who aren’t interested in the seriousness or prestige of something like American Sniper.
The other two have bleaker outlooks. Black or White is opening in around 1,700 locations and stars Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, two big names that could help bring in audiences, but isn’t getting much help from critics: Reviews have been mostly negative so far. The Loft, a thriller starring Karl Urban and James Marsden is also opening in around 1,700 locations—1,841, to be exact—but is only expected to bring in around $3 million.
As for what will make the top five, here are our predictions:
1. American Sniper — $35.5 million
American Sniper impressed once again last weekend when it grossed $64.6 million—only a 28 percent drop from the weekend before. While it initially benefitted from lots of press thanks to its wide release, which broke multiple January records, that hype is slowly dying down and its ticket sales will likely experience a more typical decrease this time around.
2. Project Almanac — $15 million
Sci-fi fans haven’t gotten much to watch in terms of new movies recently, so Project Almanac should bring them to theaters to check out the latest offering in the genre. And even if sci-fi fans of all ages won’t head to the cinema, the younger ones should: Project Almanac has been marketed heavily toward teens, an audience that isn’t particularly concerned with reviews (although Almanac‘s aren’t necessarily horrible—it currently has a 64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Because of this, it shouldn’t have a hard time breaking even with its $12 million budget, at the very least, and will probably make at least a few million more than that.
3. Paddington — $7.4 million
Families looking for a movie to watch this weekend will likely choose Paddington, a British comedy that’s received both stellar reviews and word-of-mouth. Sure, the theater has other PG-rated options right now—Strange Magic, an animated film released last weekend, for one—but none are receiving the same kind of overwhelmingly positive attention Paddington has since its Jan. 16 opening.
4. The Boy Next Door — $6.7 million
With a production budget of just $4 million, Jennifer Lopez thriller The Boy Next Door did considerably well last weekend with a $14.9 million opening. The film attracted mostly female audiences—71 percent of last weekend’s viewers were women—and should continue to bring in women who want to see something sultry and scary in preparation for the also-sexy 50 Shades of Grey, out in just a couple weeks.
5. The Wedding Ringer — $5.7 million
Rounding out the top five will probably be The Wedding Ringer, one of the few comedies currently in theaters during a particularly serious January. Although the Kevin Hart film isn’t an outright success, it’s definitely been performing consistently as the nearly sole option for comedy fans and should be able to spend at least one last weekend in the top five.