Hello, and welcome to the first of many weekly box office previews! Within I will share my thoughts about this weekend’s box office – including which movie will be #1, which movie(s) will shine, and which movies will sink. This week we have 3 new wide releases – The Girl on The Train, The Birth of a Nation and Middle School: The Worst Years of my life. Let’s dig into all three!
First there is The Girl on the Train, directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) and starring Emily Blunt as an alcoholic, depressed train passenger who witnesses something awful happen to a woman (Haley Bennett) – or does she? It’s virtually impossible to ignore Gone Girl when looking for comparisons for how Girl will do – and the filmmakers obviously welcome this, as they all-but marketed the movie as “this year’s Gone Girl”. However, Gone Girl had many factors working in it’s favor on it’s opening weekend (37 million) that Girl on the Train does not. First, there is the director – The Help was a very well received and successful movie, but it was more noted for it’s performances than the directing, and it didn’t do a lot to make Taylor a household name. Gone Girl, however, had a very critically and financially successful director in David Fincher that helped provide a pedigree for that film. Then there is the matter of star-power. Emily Blunt (while I love her to death) is not on the same level as Ben Affleck when it comes to box-office success or audience awareness. The rest of the cast is rounded out with TV talent, supporting talent and unknown talent. Finally, there is the matter of critical reception. While Gone Girl boasts an impressive 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, Girl on the Train is chugging far behind at 57% (as of writing this post). My opening weekend prediction: 27 million.
Next is an interesting one in The Birth of a Nation. A few months ago, the Nate Parker -directed, scripted and starring – film seemed poised to be a serious awards contender and box office hit. However, with the controversy surrounding the film due to Parker’s past, the movie now seems on track to do a lot worse than many would have expected. The film deals with delicate subject matter, and many will feel that Parker isn’t the proper choice to tackle it. It’s tough to get an exact read on this one, as it could go well below or a little above what I am projecting. My opening weekend prediction : 8 million.
Finally we have Diary of a Wimpy – oops, I mean Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. Honestly? I had no idea this movie was coming out this weekend until I started doing research for this article. It stars a bunch of child actors and Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood fame and is directed by the man who brought us a 90 minute sneak-preview of fresh hell with Paul Blart: Mall Cop. The marketing for this one is not up to par and the books don’t have anywhere near the same following as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books do. This one’s got stinker written all over it. My opening weekend prediction: 6 million.
Here’s how I see the top 10 playing out:
- The Girl on the Train – 27 Million
- Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – 17 Million
- Deepwater Horizon – 12 Million
- The Birth of a Nation – 8 Million
- Storks – 7.5 Million
- The Magnificent Seven – 7 Million
- Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life – 6 Million
- Sully – 4.5 Million
- Masterminds – 3 Million
- Don’t Breathe – 1.5 Million
That’s it for this weeks Box Office Preview! Check back on Monday to see the final box office results, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.