Box Office Predictions: January 30-February 1

The final weekend of January at the box office should bring an easy three-peat for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. Three newbies make their way to the screen: the found footage sci-fi pic Project Almanac, Kevin Costner interracial drama Black or White, and murder mystery The Loft. You can peruse my individual prediction posts on each here:

American Sniper continues to confound all expectations and, as mentioned, should easily steamroll all competitors.

Almanac appears to have the best chance to do decent business and I don’t expect much out of the other two. In fact, I have the latter two films debuting at seventh and eighth place.

As for holdovers, current #2 The Boy Next Door should suffer the furthest drop in its sophomore frame. Paddington and The Wedding Ringer should stay in the top five while Oscar hopeful The Imitation Game is experiencing very small drop-offs and could top both Black or White and The Loft.

Two important factors to keep in mind that could effect the box office this weekend: The Super Bowl and the aftermath of a massive winter storm expected to pound the East Coast. Both could trend my predicted numbers downward.

And with that, we’ll do a Top 8 for this weekend:

1. American Sniper

Predicted Gross: $42.1 million (representing a drop of 34%)

2. Project Almanac

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

3. Paddington

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million (representing a drop of 37%)

4. The Boy Next Door

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million (representing a drop of 49%)

5. The Wedding Ringer

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million (representing a drop of 41%)

6. The Imitation Game

Predicted Gross: $6 million (representing a drop of 14%)

7. Black or White

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

8. The Loft

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

Box Office Results (January 23-25)

The cultural and financial phenomenon that is American Sniper continued to keep jaws on the floor in its second weekend of wide release. Dropping just 28%, it grossed $64.6 million – well above my $50.4M projection. That’s the eight largest sophomore frame in box office history. The Best Picture nominee has grossed $200.4M so far and should easily surpass $350M with $400M being a possibility. That means it is likely to end up as the largest grosser that was released in 2014 (in limited release, for awards consideration), passing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Unreal.

The Jennifer Lopez thriller The Boy Next Door debuted solidly with $14.9 million – on par with my $14.7M prediction. Considering its low-budget, this is a fine debut for the poorly reviewed flick.

Paddington was third with $12.2 million – in line with my $12.6M estimate. The children’s pic has earned $39M at press time. The Kevin Hart comedy The Wedding Ringer earned fourth with $11.3 million, just under my $12.1M projection. It too has amassed a decent $39M so far.

The failure of two newcomers (we’ll get to that in a second) allowed Taken 3 to place fifth with $7.4 million with a total of $75M. I did not have it predicted in the top five. Same goes for The Imitation Game which was sixth with $6.9 million and has earned $60M (making it the second highest grossing Best Picture nominee after Sniper).

The George Lucas produced animated pic Strange Magic stumbled with a debut of only $5.5 million for seventh place. I gave it too much credit and estimated an opening of $8.6M.

Then… Mortdecai. Johnny Depp suffered a colossal bomb as the critically drubbed comedy placed eighth with a pathetic $4.2 million (under my $7.4M estimate). The star clearly needs to start picking better projects as his recent resume is littered with duds that include Dark Shadows and Transcendence. 

And that’ll do it for now, folks! And remember… should you need to conduct a super secret business meeting this week, go see Mortdecai and you’ll probably have the theater to yourselves. Until next time…

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