We have four wide releases this weekend, two new, one sequel, and a 3D re-release. Date movie The Vow has the best chances to claim the top spot with Star Wars and Safe House fighting for 2nd place. Sequel Journey 2: The Mysterious Island should come in 4th.
Now we might be in for a strong weekend at the box office but at least according to critics The Phantom Menace is all eye candy with no substance, The Vow is shallow, Safe House is uninspired, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is, and I quote: “aggressively unambitious”. But then again, what do they know, right? Chances are there’s something for everyone this weekend.
The Vow is looking to replicate the success of Dead John, a movie released 2 years ago starring the same Channing Tatum and opening with $30.4 million. Then there’s Rachel McAdams and she’s been in quite a few hits. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I guess couples will boost this to around $30 million, more than enough for the top spot.
For 2nd place I’m split between Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace and Safe House. For Star Wars we have to keep in mind that there’s still a generation out there that grew up with Cartoon Network’s Clone Wars series, one that never experienced Star Wars in theaters. They should be part of the driving force behind The Phantom Menace. Now Safe House stars Denzel Washington and that’s more than enough for an opening north of $20 million. As an added bonus we get Ryan Reynolds in what should be at the very least a cool action flick. I’m thinking both should gross $22-23 million over the weekend.
Journey to the Center of the Earth opened in 2008 with $21 million and went on to gross $101.7 million, becoming one of the surprise hits of that year. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is the sequel to that flick and while it lacks one Brendan Fraser, it certainly makes up for that with Dwayne Johnson, while Josh Hutcherson acts as the only familiar face returning. Four years ago digital 3D was still a new thing, today it’s everywhere so I can’t see this sequel replicating the success of the original. Maybe $17 million over the weekend, 4th place.
Rounding out the top 5, Chronicle should beat The Woman in Black again with around $11 million for a 10 day total of $38 million. That’s already more than twice the $15 million reported budget.
Next week is Valentine’s Day and Fox brings in the heavy guns with McG’s This Means War, Sony unleash Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, while Disney brings to the states the latest Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) animated flick, The Secret World of Arrietty.