This Friday, The Case for Christ will attempt to capitalize on the upcoming Easter holiday by bringing in faith-based audiences. Pictures in this genre have over performed in the past. Christ focuses on proving the existence of Jesus with a cast that includes Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Robert Forster, and Faye Dunaway (last seen accidentally proclaiming La La Land as Best Picture instead of Moonlight).
The pic comes from Pure Flix Entertainment and they specialize in these Christian themed dramas. Their biggest success was 2014’s God’s Not Dead, which surprised prognosticators with a $9 million opening and $60 million eventual domestic gross. Christ is slated to premiere on around 1100 screens, which isn’t a huge number.
I don’t believe this will enter the territory of the studio’s largest success. Instead, I could see a gross similar to their 2015 effort Do You Believe?, which made $3.5 million out of the gate on a similar (1320 screens) number of venues.
The Case for Christ opening weekend prediction: $3.4 million
For my Smurfs: The Lost Village prediction, click here:
The last week of March brings two titles to the multiplex that could easily place first and second: the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard and Dreamworks animated flick Home. You can peruse my detailed projections on each of them here:
Get Hard should rule the weekend unless its quite negative reviews give it a softer opening (so to speak) than expected. Home should manage an OK debut for an animated pic.
As for holdovers, Insurgent opened a little lighter than anticipated and it should lose more than half its audience in weekend two, like predecessor Divergent did. Cinderella should place fourth in weekend #3 while nearly two month old Kingsman: The Secret Service may stay at the five spot.
And with that, my projections for the weekend’s top five:
1. Get Hard
Predicted Gross: $30.3 million
Predicted Gross: $24.6 million
Predicted Gross: $24 million (representing a drop of 54%)
Predicted Gross: $19.1 million (representing a drop of 45%)
5. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Predicted Gross: $3.5 million (representing a drop of 25%)
Box Office Results (March 20-22)
As mentioned, YA sequel Insurgent came in a bit lower than expected with $52.2 million, under my generous $62.1M prediction and slightly under what Divergent accomplished a year ago. This is certainly not a huge letdown for the studio, but most prognosticators had this debuting higher than the original.
Cinderella dropped to second in its sophomore frame with $34.9 million, just below my $36.9M projection. The Disney live-action hit has amassed $122 million in ten days.
Liam Neeson’s action dud Run All Night was third in weekend #2 with $5 million, in line with my $5.6M estimate. It’s made just $19 million so far.
Neeson’s Taken director stumbled with The Gunman, Sean Penn’s action thriller which flopped with just $5 million out of the gate, below my $6.8M prediction.
Kingsman: The Secret Service managed to stay in the top five with $4.6 million. I incorrectly didn’t include it in the top five. Its total stands at $114 million.
Finally, faith based drama Do You Believe? bombed with a paltry $3.5 million for sixth place. Many similar themed pictures debuted to bigger than expected results in 2014 and I incorrectly believed this would, estimating a $12.3M opening. Oops.
For the second weekend in a row, a big budget blockbuster geared towards the female audience will likely dominate a B action movie with Liam Neeson connections. YA sequel Insurgent comes out a year following its predecessor Divergent and I have it debuting to even bigger numbers. The Gunman comes from the director of Neeson’s Taken and stars Sean Penn. The wild card newbie is faith based drama Do You Believe?, which could carry on the recent tradition of these types of pics premiering with larger than anticipated results. You can find detailed prediction posts on all three newcomers here:
As you can see, I expect Insurgent to easily top the charts. Disney’s live action Cinderella retelling should be #2 after its very strong rollout this past weekend (more on that below). I anticipate it’ll drop in the mid 40s range.
I have Do You Believe? posting healthier numbers than The Gunman, which has been the victim of some pretty brutal reviews so far. The underperforming Liam Neeson thriller Run All Night should round out the top five after its muted opening this last weekend.
And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:
Predicted Gross: $62.1 million
Predicted Gross: $36.9 million (representing a drop of 45%)
3. Do You Believe?
Predicted Gross: $12.3 millon
4. The Gunman
Predicted Gross: $6.8 million
5. Run All Night
Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 49%)
Box Office Results (March 13-15)
Well, call me the belle of the ball this weekend! Disney’s Cinderella got off to a terrific start with $67.8 million. My prediction? $67.8 million! Holla!! Female audiences turned out in droves for the acclaimed feature. Having a short film from the Frozen team airing before it probably didn’t hurt either.
The news was not near as good for Liam Neeson as Run All Night stumbled with just $11 million, a little short of my $12.1 million. Reviews were OK but having this arrive so soon after Taken 3 was probably a misstep.
Kingsman: The Secret Service was third and it’s posted solid holds from week to week. I incorrectly had its outside the top five but it earned $6.2 million to boost its current cume to $107 million.
Focus and Chappie each made $5.7 million for fourth and fifth, right around my respective projections of $5.6 million and $6.1 million. The Will Smith caper has made a middling $43 million while Chappie stands at a weak $23 million. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was sixth with $5.6 million, in line with my $6 million estimate. It’s made $18 million through two weeks.
And that will wrap it up for now…. Until next time!
From the filmmakers who brought you God’s Not Dead one year ago comes Do You Believe?, out this Friday. 2014 was a banner year for faith based pictures and Believe looks to continue the trend. The eclectic cast includes Sean Astin, Mira Sorvino, Ted McGinley, Cybill Shepherd, and Brian Bosworth. Wait… Brian Bosworth??
These faith based features have an ability to get congregations out to view them and that has assisted in most of them opening higher than anticipated. God’s Not Dead premiered to just over $9 million a year ago and on far less screens than Believe is slated to. One month later, Heaven is for Real debuted to $22 million. Movies like this are more or less critic proof, so that shouldn’t be a factor.
I do believe that Do You Believe? will open to low double digits, but it could go higher.
Do You Believe? opening weekend prediction: $12.3 million