After a couple of weeks of single new releases — a result of Furious 7‘s choke hold on the box office — it’s nice to see a crowd of newcomers again. This week, we’ve got three new releases, and while it’s unlikely that any of them will knock Furious 7 out of the top spot, one or two of them could come close.
The new release that looks, on paper, like it’s got the best shot at taking down Furious is Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. The original made $31 million in its opening weekend, and if the sequel matched that number, it would stand decent odds of taking the weekend. Alas, I doubt that it will. It’s been six years since the first Mall Cop, and while that’s not the longest stretch ever between a comedy and its sequel — Anchorman 2 came a decade after Anchorman, and Dumb and Dumber To took 20 years to make it to theaters — it does reduce the momentum somewhat. And Mall Cop doesn’t have the kind of cult audience that Anchorman and Dumb and Dumber built up in their off-time. I don’t think it’s going to tank, but it should come in slightly under what the first installment did.
If a newcomer is going to surprise everyone by taking the weekend, I’d actually guess that it would be Unfriended. I’ve got it down for $20 million up above, and I stand by that prediction, but this is the kind of movie that occasionally blows up in unexpected ways: it’s got a young, interested target audience, aggressive and well-aimed marketing, and surprisingly positive reviews. My guess is that it ends up in a strong third-place finish, but I wouldn’t be beside myself if it overtook Mall Cop, and I’d only be a little beside myself if it took first.
|Opening Weekend||Current Gross||Facebook Likes||Tweets|
|FURIOUS 7||$147.187 million||$262.438 million||56,198,905||321,998|
|PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2||N/A||N/A||1,099,813||17,016|
|HOME||$52.108 million||$131.591 million||–||–|
|THE LONGEST RIDE||$13.02 million||$15.838 million||295,118||111,212|
The third new release of the week, Disney’s Monkey Kingdom, seems unlikely to break into the top five, which leaves us with two more returning contenders. Home, which dropped 31 percent last week, should see similar retention numbers this weekend (the only new family-friendly blood is Monkey Kingdom, which as a live-action documentary isn’t really gouging into Home‘s audience). I’m assuming that The Longest Ride will drop not quite half its audience, leaving it in fifth place.
|Critics||Users||# of Ratings||Stars||# of Ratings|
|PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2||0||N/A||16,337||4.1||582||–|
|THE LONGEST RIDE||28||77||17,423||7.2||1,920||32|
(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.)
Madelyn Glymour | Contributor