Friday, February 15, 2013

The Projector: Die Even Harder Edition UPDATE

Sunday UPDATE: Die hard indeed. The fifth installment of the Bruce Willis' now likely dead-and-buried franchise fired blanks at the box office opening weekend, missing my overgenerous mark by $15M or so. While it opened Valentine's Day with $8M and its total bank is $33M through Sunday, its toxic mix of poor reviews and R rating left a ton of cash on the table as teens couldn't get in thanks to the MPAA's absurd ruling that gratuitous use of the F-bomb forces an R rating – violence is the less egregious crime.

But there was a film that had a much more disastrous opening, Beautiful Creatures bombed with a teensy-weensy $7.4M for the weekend, $10M if you toss in Valentine's Day. It would appear the Twilight wannabe with witches will not be a trilogy after all for Warner Bros., who will likely have a round of mass firings over the debacle. As if the WB didn't how deadly dull the thing was, puh-lease.

(Totals without Valentine's Day included)

1. A Good Day to Die Hard $25M (4-day weekend est. $32M)
2. Identity Thief $23.4M (4-day weekend est. $30M)
3. Safe Haven $21.4M (4-day weekend est. $28M)
4. Escape From Planet Earth $16M (4-day weekend est. $21.5M)
5. Warm Bodies $9M (4-day weekend est. $12M)
6. Beautiful Creatures $7.4M (4-day weekend est. $10M)

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It's the first big weekend of 2013 for Hollywood. Valentine's Day kicked things off and Presidents' Day wraps it up. And in the bonus round, the majority of kids across the Northeast have the entirety of the next week off to boot. Hence the plethora of new offerings, four films that - coupled with holdover Identity Thief - hit every conceivable demo on the ticket-buyer target. I'm expecting a robust haul at the stanza's close with the winner becoming the first film of the new year to bust through the $40M+ barrier, quite possibly $50M+.

(All 4-day projections)
  1. A Good Day to Die Hard $47.5M - Joining such luminaries as Child's Play and Final Destination, the Die Hard franchise spits out its fifth installment this weekend. This time 'round, rolling to Russia to administer a bombastic onslaught of smashed-up machinery and king-sized explosions. Its 'R' rating brings it back in line with the first three films as opposed to 2007's PG-13-slapped Live Free or Die Hard. Where that one opened to $33M, I expect this one - even with the restrictive rating - to be bigger due to the void of legit action flicks at the multiplex since Skyfall wrapped up its $1.1B haul worldwide.
  2. Safe Haven $23M - The latest Nicholas Sparks' assembled-for-weeping-ladies novel-turned-film arrives this weekend. That's where my analysis ends.
  3. Escape From Planet Earth $23M - How long has it been since an original animated film was in theaters? Late December with DreamWorks Animation's financially-disastrous Rise of the Guardians. Talk about pent-up demand. The Weinstein Company capitalizes big time in a film I have far exceeding expectations simply due to parents looking for anything to get their kids out of the house.
  4. Identity Thief $22M - The Melissa McCarthy-starring freight train chugs on for a second weekend after raking a massive $35M in its opening frame.
  5. Beautiful Creatures $18M - Good news fans of young adult novels that lift their plotlines from the Twilight series, you have a new star-crossed couple to fall for. While Lena and Ethan doesn't have quite the same ring as Bella and Edward – give it some time. Warner Bros. is planning to bring you the entire 3-book series, even if the first big screen adaptation is a snoozefest.