by: Madelyn Glymour | Contributor
Here’s a boring prediction for you: This weekend’s top five will be much the same as last weekend’s top five, but with lower grosses. The three new releases — long-delayed comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, YA adaptation The DUFF, and Kevin Costner sports drama McFarland, USA — are none of them poised to make a particularly big impact. Only Hot Tub Time Machine stands a chance of breaking into the top five, and then at the low end, with $13 million likely (though not certainly) giving it the #4 spot over the ninth week of American Sniper. Given that this weekend’s top five are so insufferably dull (not the movies themselves — just their ticket counts) I thought I’d focus on the two that didn’t make the cut this week: The DUFF and McFarland, USA.
|Opening Weekend||Current Gross||Facebook Likes||Tweets|
|FIFTY SHADES OF GREY||$85.171 million||$102.673 million||9,114,799||386,228|
|KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE||$36.206 million||$47.275 million||258,451||203,694|
|THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER||$55.365 million||$107.746 million||749,583||47,200|
|HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2||N/A||N/A||1,002,741||8,830|
|AMERICAN SNIPER||$89.269 million||$308.8 million||1,583,396||148,841|
The DUFF is based on the YA novel of the same name by Kody Keplinger, and offers a kind of twist on the geek-to-chic teen movie trope. McFarland, USA is a based-on-a-true story of a cross country coach (that’s Costner) who leads his down-on-their-luck team to greatness. Both movies are getting reasonably positive, if not exactly glowing, reviews, and neither of them is tanking in the interest department, but it’s highly unlikely that either of them will break $10 million this weekend.
The issue is competition and awareness. The DUFF has exactly one demographic — teen girls — and many of those will either still be seeing Fifty Shades, or simply won’t have heard of The DUFF. Those who have heard of it may be put off by its esoteric name. It’s also the type of movie that will probably end up being smarter than it sounds (think Easy A) which means exactly the people who wouldn’t be interested in Fifty Shades may overlook The DUFF based on its synopsis. Nevertheless, for a movie that was made for $8.5 million, a $5 – $10 million opening weekend wouldn’t be bad.
McFarland, USA has a much wider audience pool to work with, but there’s no demographic that’s as interested in it as young women are in The DUFF. Costner isn’t exactly a box office draw, these days, and if The DUFF has marketing issues, McFarland has whole volumes. Awareness is extremely low, so even people who aren’t finding what they want in the rest of this week’s offerings may not know they have an alternative. Like The DUFF, though, McFarland was a pretty cheap movie to make, so the low haul this weekend shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
|Critics||Users||# of Ratings||Stars||# of Ratings|
|FIFTY SHADES OF GREY||25||50||48,303||4.1||71,390||46|
|KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE||73||89||67,902||8.3||34,902||59|
|THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER||74||63||26,748||6.8||5,540||63|
|HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2||14||N/A||25,318||–||–||31|
(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.)