Box office preview: 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' and 'Unfriended' face 'Furious 7'
This weekend’s a big one for new movies: Monkey Kingdom, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Unfriended, Child 44, and True Story are all opening. But Furious 7, now in its third week, is still probably going to take the No. 1 spot at the box office—and prevent some of those new movies from nabbing a spot in the top five.
Disney’s Monkey Kingdom, a documentary in the style of 2012’s Chimpanzee and 2014’s Bears, opens in 2,012 theaters and will probably perform similarly to Bears by debuting with $5 million. Both Child 44 and True Story are only opening in about 500 theaters each, so neither will have a chance to earn any huge numbers. But both Paul Blart and Unfriended are expected to make some kind of mark at the box office, thanks to their statuses as a sequel and a horror movie, respectively. See how it all might play out below.
1. Furious 7 — $29.8 million
Furious 7 hasn’t just been the No. 1 movie in the U.S. these past two weeks—it’s been the No. 1 movie in the world. It should hold on to that spot for at least one more week with the help of continually positive press, word-of-mouth, and a loyal fanbase. The more recent films in the franchise tend to drop around 40 percent between their second and third weeks, but Furious 7 has been dropping a bit less than those ones so far; it’s possible it could face just a 50 percent decrease this time around.
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $25 million
Theaters aren’t currently experiencing a comedy drought—Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s Get Hard was still in the top five as of last week—but the Paul Blart sequel should still get some love from fans of the first movie, which debuted with $31.8 million when it opened in early 2009. It’s not likely this one will perform that well—six years is a big gap between movies, especially a comedy that doesn’t exactly inspire a mass following—but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Blart premiere somewhere in the mid-20s. That’s about the average of James’ last two movie debuts: 2012’s Here Comes the Boom, headlined by just James, grossed a weak $11.8 million in its first weekend, but 2013’s Grown Ups 2—led by James, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and David Spade—opened with a strong $41.5 million.
3. Unfriended — $19 million
This horror film currently has an impressive 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an extra-disturbing marketing campaign, both factors that will likely contribute to a strong performance this weekend. While forecasters are expecting it to end up near $10 million, it’s more likely that Unfriended will perform similarly to Ouija—another horror movie based on teens and, like Unfriended, produced by Blumhouse Productions—and debut with around $19 million.
4. Home — $11.1 million
Dreamworks’ Home still doesn’t have too much competition, although Paul Blart is PG-rated and might take away some of its potential audience. Home‘s sales dropped 31.4 percent last week, and it should drop a bit more this weekend—but not enough to take it out of the top five.
5. The Longest Ride — $6.5 million
Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation The Longest Ride isn’t a movie that’s going to have legs, but it should stay in the top five for one more week thanks to romance film devotees who didn’t get a chance to head to the theater last weekend. It might drop around 50 percent from its $13 million debut, bringing its weekend total to around $6 million.