It seems the days of being on top for The Dark Knight Rises will come to an end this weekend. The Bourne Legacy, 4th entry in the rather long running spy series, has its sight on the #1 spot and nothing else. Also, political satire The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis, might surprise in 2nd place.
Initially based on a trilogy of books written by Robert Ludlum about a former CIA assassin called Jason Bourne, the series made its big screen debut with The Bourne Identity, in 2002. Starring a younger Matt Damon, the action flick opened with $27.1 million and went on to gross $121.6 million in North America. A sequel followed just 2 years later, based on the second book, The Bourne Supremacy. That one opened with $52.5 million and finished with $176.2 million, quite an improvement over its predecessor. The 3rd and final chapter of the trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum, was also the most successful, both with critics and audiences. A $69.2 million debut and $227.4 million overall were the numbers this time. That was supposed to be the end, but as we’ve come to expect more often than not lately, you can’t keep a hit series dead for too long.
The year is 2012 and we have The Bourne Legacy, the first spin-off in the series. This time around Matt Damon is nowhere to be seen but the action takes place in the same universe, around the same time. What we have instead is another former assassin gone rouge, played by Jeremy Renner, last seen in The Avengers as Hawkeye. Now spin-offs generally tend to perform worse than the original films, so in this case $45 million would be a great result for The Bourne Legacy and more than enough to secure the #1 spot.
The Campaign, the other big release of the weekend, aims a bit lower. With the exception of Fahrenheit 9/11 (and that was a documentary), political satires have never been what you’d call big hits. If we look at films about political campaigns, the results are even worse with the absolute best opening at just $21.1 million (The Adjustment Bureau). Being a comedy might help The Campaign and the great cast certainly doesn’t hurt, so $22 million could happen, good for 2nd place.
The Dark Knight Rises will surely come in 3rd with $17-18 million for a new total of about $388 million. Sometime next week the film will pass the $400 million mark and if I were to guess, I’d say next Saturday, so 30th day. If I’m right, it will be the 4th fastest film to ever reach $400 million.
Battling for 4th place might be Hope Springs, the other new wide release, and Total Recall, the disappointing (at least at the box office) remake. Hope Springs opened Wednesday and made $2.2 million that day. It should go up over the weekend so $10-11 million sounds about right. Total Recall will bring in similar business, so it’s hard to tell which one ends up taking the #4 spot.
Next week The Odd Life of Timothy Green brings a strange kid, ParaNorman comes packed with ghosts, zombies and centuries-old curses, Sparkle stars the late Whitney Houston, while The Expendables 2 opens a big can of whoopass.