Box Office Beat: Weekend of April 26

Danny Baldwin's Box Office BeatHello and welcome back to Box Office Beat, the column in which I predict the upcoming weekend’s box office results. I’m in Hollywood covering the TCM Classic Film Festival, so I’m short on number-crunching time, but I figure I’ll quickly throw together some analysis and figures in hope of sustaining my accuracy from last week (my prediction for “Oblivion” was less than a million bucks off and my prediction for “The Place Beyond the Pines” was less than $100,000 off). So let’s get into it…

Pain and GainWe’ve come to associate director Michael Bay’s name with gigantic openings, as he’s the man behind the “Transformers” franchise (and similar blockbuster financial successes), but with a mere $26 million dollar budget, his latest film, “Pain and Gain,” doesn’t need to open nearly that well to be considered a success. That said, its macho premise seems poised to win over many young male viewers, as well as the girlfriends who are anxious to see lots of Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sans shirts. Scanning the two actors’ recent filmographies, the comparison that stands out as most apt is “Contraband,” which was similarly rated R and Wahlberg opened to a healthy $24.3m. Sure, it was more inviting to older viewers, but what “Pain and Gain” will lose in that demographic, it should make up in younger audiences. I’ll go with that figure for lack of time for more encompassing research: $24.3 million.

The Big WeddingAlso opening is “The Big Wedding,” a truly vile (watch for my review early tomorrow) attempt to combine the family ensemble wedding movie with the raunch comedy. That’s not just an awkward marriage; the film just plain doesn’t work when it’s operating in either genre. But before the inevitable bad word-of-mouth kicks in, the core senior citizen audiences of stars Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton will undoubtedly show up. Let’s take the average of the two’s most recent comparable films: “New Year’s Eve” ($13.0m), “Everybody’s Fine” ($3.9m), “Morning Glory” ($9.2m), “Analyze That” ($11.0m), “Mad Money” ($7.7m), “Because I Said So” ($13.1m), “The Family Stone” ($12.5m), and “Something’s Gotta Give” ($16.1m). That comes out to $10.8 million.

OK, maybe I’m sleepwalking through this column this week. But hey, maybe it’ll work out. A few stock brokers have been incredibly successful using the darts-at-newspaper method, right?

My prediction of what the full top 10 will look like:

  1. “Pain and Gain” … $24.3m
  2. “Oblivion” … $16.7m  -54.9%
  3. “42” … $11.5m  -35.1%
  4. “The Big Wedding” … $10.8m
  5. “The Croods” … $6.5m  -29.6%
  6. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” … $3.2m  -44.5%
  7. “The Place Beyond the Pines” … $3.0m  -39.0%
  8. “Olympus Has Fallen” … $2.9m  -35.2%
  9. “Scary Movie 5” … $2.5m  -59.4%
  10. “Jurassic Park 3D” … $2.3m  -43.3%