Amazon Studios hope adults are going for a night on the town when Air debuts on Wednesday, April 5th. The fifth directorial feature from Ben Affleck recounts the risky decision by Nike to develop a shoe based around an NBA rookie named Michael Jordan. SPOILER: It turned out well. Ben’s Good Will Hunting cowriter Matt Damon, as salesman Sonny Vaccaro, joins his pal Affleck (who plays company cofounder Phil Knight). The ensemble cast includes Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, Matthew Maher, and real life married couple Viola Davis and Julius Tennon as MJ’s parents.
Solid buzz greeted the project when it debuted at South by Southwest. Air sports a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score and it could even be an awards player several months down the road. Adult dramas have faced a tough road recently though A Man Called Otto was a 2023 bright spot in the genre.
The connection to MJ and the star power could give this a lift over the five-day Easter frame. Amazon chose to go full theatrical and not simultaneously release on their streaming service. That is a vote of confidence and TV ads have played frequently during March Madness (in addition to a Super Bowl slot).
Some parents with 80s nostalgia might be distracted taking their kiddos to The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Yet I’ll say this manages to top $10 million over the traditional three-day with mid to high teens for the extended holiday.
Air opening weekend prediction: $12.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $18.9 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
For my The Super Mario Bros. Movie prediction, click here: