Your Complete Weekend Box Office Tracking, Predictions, & Analysis (02.05.15)

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$35 million

$23 million

$20 million

$7 million

$5 million

This week sees three new releases: The Spongebob Movie, the Wachowskis’ epic sci-fi flick Jupiter Ascending, and the epic fantasy Seventh Son. The obvious winner is The Spongebob Movie. Projections have it on track to take in $35 million, which should easily top a week of fairly low-grossing films.

I’m a little bit out on a limb with Jupiter Ascending. Early projections had pegged it for an $18 million opening; some recent estimates have revised that up into the $21 million range, but most people are still predicting a third-place finish. There’s some sound reasoning to that. Reviews have not been kind to Jupiter Ascending, and the Wachowskis seem to have spent most of the cache they earned from The Matrix. Their last film, 2012’s Cloud Atlas, made just $9 million in its opening weekend. And certainly, I don’t think that Jupiter‘s going to blow anything out of the water. At most, I’d say that it’ll make very slightly over the high end of the estimates. But I’ve seen the actual tracking numbers for Jupiter Ascending, and they’re not bad. And while many predictions are pointing to the movie’s seven-month postponement (it was originally slated for release last July) as a bad sign, it did have one positive side effect: It got people talking about, and interested in, the movie. I also don’t think that Cloud Atlas is the best comparitor for Jupiter Ascending. It’s pretty well established that the Wachowskis are no longer drawing in people interested in seeing “a Wachowski movie.” I’m looking at Jupiter, not as a Wachowski movie, but as what it looks like to people who have never heard of the Wachowskis: a shiny, high-concept sci-fi movie starring people whose names everyone knows. After Earth made $27 million in its opening weekend, and its reviews were way worse than Jupiter Ascending‘s.

 
  Opening Weekend Current Gross Facebook Likes Tweets
N/A N/A 637,686 56,253
N/A N/A 230,714 63,755
$89.269 million $255.594 million 1,476,327 282,822
N/A N/A 245,865 15,813
$18.967 million $51.585 million 576,029

But Jupiter Ascending could take in the low end of the $21 million range prediction, and I’m still not sure it would fall to third. People have correctly pointed to the Super Bowl as the cause of American Sniper‘s 52 percent drop last weekend, but for it to overtake the high end of the Jupiter Ascending predictions, it would have to limit its drop to an extraordinarily low 22 percent this week — lower even than the drop between its first and second weekends. And Sniper has been adding theaters for the past few weeks, but at 3,885 currently, it’s probably maxed out. Even accounting for the bounce back from the Super Bowl, I think that a drop on the order of 30 percent is more likely. That would put American Sniper somewhere around $20 million for the weekend. If Jupiter performs at the low end of estimates, that puts Sniper in second; if Jupiter performs at the high end, it puts Sniper in third.

The #4 and #5 spots are a bit less contentious. Seventh Son has almost no awareness — I don’t think I’ve seen a single ad for it — and it’s on track to take in $7 million. Meanwhile, Paddington should retain about $5 million in its fourth week. If, however, Seventh Son underperforms — not a vastly unlikely occurrence — look for Project Almanac to take fifth place instead.

       
  Rotten Tomatoes IMDb Metacritic
  Critics Users # of Ratings Stars # of Ratings  
70 N/A 16,959 7.3 842 64
29 N/A 69,780 6.3 1,898 43
73 87 101,373 7.6 92,063 72
8 N/A 43,489 5.8 5,416 36
98 86 29,308 7.6 10,747 77

(Sources: boxoffice.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Starred figures are estimates. Tweets represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)

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