What looked a few months ago like a box office cakewalk for “Edge Of Tomorrow” now has all the makings of becoming a Game Seven overtime battle with “The Fault In Our Stars” this weekend. Toss in a “Maleficent” holdover for good measure and lo and behold we have ourselves the best box office slugfest of the year so far.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS—FOX—WIDE—125 MINS—PG-13
If you’re over 40 you might have heard of this movie. If you’re between the ages of 12-25 and female you might have heard of other things in this world other than this movie. Social media sites devoted to this Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort romantic drama have spontaneously combusted from overuse like a Spinal Tap drummer. The trick for Fox is to try to expand beyond that young female quadrant who will come out in droves and into a more adult audience. If they can entice older females to drop by their local multiplex they should be able to secure the top spot this weekend. Predicting whether a film based on a young adult novel can indeed broaden its audience beyond female teens is about as exact a science as predicting earthquakes but here’s thinking Fox will pull a rabbit out of its hat.
JIM’S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $32 MILLION
CAST: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
DIRECTOR: Josh Boone
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 9:00 PM.
SPECIAL “NIGHT BEFORE OUR STARS” EVENT: Thursday night at 8:30PM East Coast time, 5:30PM Pacific, moviegoers can be the first to see the film, which will then be followed by a live Q & A with the film’s stars, director and also the author of the book, John Green. Attendees also receive a commemorative poster and charm bracelet.
EDGE OF TOMORROW—WARNER BROTHERS—WIDE—113 MINS—PG-13—IMAX, 3D, D-BOX
My first inclination with “Edge of Tomorrow” is to say, hey it’s Tom Cruise, it’s sci-fi, it’s action, it’s Imax, it’s every format known to man, so it works. But let’s look at the last few Cruise starring vehicles, shall we? Last year he opened “Oblivion” to $37 million. Nifty. However, 2012’s “Jack Reacher” opened to only $15 million, “Rock of Ages”, ok he wasn’t the “star” of the movie per se but still, could only muster up $14.4 million, “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” opened to a perilous $12.7 million before finding its footing through the Christmas holiday on its way to $209 million overall, and before that both “Knight And Day” and “Valkyrie” only opened in the low 20’s, so it’s not a fait accompli that Cruise rules the weekend. On the plus side, the film has one of the best action directors in the business in Doug Liman, ticket price upcharges (Imax, 3D, D-Box, Exhibitor Large Screen theatres) will help the movie, the TV campaign is effective and the Rotten Tomatoes score is running at roughly 90%. Analyze. Predict. Repeat.
JIM’S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $28 MILLION