Found footage superhero flick Chronicle is poised to open on top over the Super Bowl Weekend in North America, but Daniel Radcliffe’s first movie since finishing the Harry Potter series, horror The Woman in Black, could upset that order. Also Drew Barrymore returns to the big screen after almost two years of absence in Big Miracle.
There’s something about the found footage sub-genre that gets people into theaters. Just a month ago we had The Devil Inside open with $33.7 million and that has made $52.8 million so far, now we have another. Fortunately Chronicle is not another horror since I think we’ve had more than enough of those. It’s more Cloverfield than Paranormal Activity, and while the later proved to be more successful, Cloverfield was no slouch either. Chronicle is a superhero origin tale and while the premise will undoubtedly attract people, we have to keep in mind that Sunday is Super Bowl and that should hit the movie’s weekend total pretty hard. I’m going to say $18 million for first place.
My second place pick is another film opening today, The Woman in Black. The novel spawned a very successful stage play which has been running in London since 1989, a year which also saw a TV movie made. Now we have Daniel Radcliffe in the lead for his first real box office test outside the Harry Potter franchise. Can his name alone make this a hit? Unfortunately I have to answer that question with another question. What is a hit? You see, distributor CBS Films paid $3 million to acquire The Woman in Black so I recon anything above a $10 million opening should be fine for them. I’m in a good mood today so I’ll say $15 million for The Woman in Black.
Big Miracle represents the perfect counter-programming for the other two releases mentioned above. It’s a PG family flick about whales. Just three months ago Dolphin Tale, another marine mammal movie, made quite a splash at the box office with a $19.1 million opening. But don’t expect such a debut from Big Miracle for at least two reasons: fewer theaters and no overpriced 3D. What Big Miracle will have going for itself is a bigger Sunday than the rest of the movies above. I’m thinking $12 million for 3rd place.
In 4th place we should find former leader The Grey with $10 million for a total of $35 million after 10 days. Rounding up the top 5 might be Underworld Awakening with $6 million and more than $54 million after 17 days.
Next week Dwayne Johnson replaces Brendan Fraser in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island for another Jules Verne adapted adventure, Ryan Reynolds tries to keep Denzel Washington alive in Safe House, we go back to a galaxy far far away in the 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, and Channing Tatum has to win the heart of Rachel McAdams again in The Vow.