Hello and welcome back to Box Office Beat, the column in which I predict the upcoming weekend’s box office results. I began an official accuracy slump last week, under-predicting both “The Purge” (who didn’t?) and “The Internship,” making it two weeks in a row that I got both openers off by a considerable margin. So it’s time for me to earn my honor back. But whether I actually manage that or not with “Man of Steel” and “This is the End,” your guess is as good as mine. Let’s (arbitrarily) crunch some numbers.
“Man of Steel” reboots the venerable Superman franchise after the 2006 box office under-performer “Superman Returns,” with a new director in Zach Snyder and a new cast. The obvious comparison is last year’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” in that it was a superhero reboot that didn’t start slow before amassing a robust fanbase (“Batman Begins”) or open worse than its predecessor (“The Incedible Hulk”). But where the comparison is imperfect is “The Amazing Spider-Man” opened on Tuesday, not Friday, so its weekend frame of $62m is significantly lower than what “Man of Steel”’s will be. Thus, the best option is to take “The Amazing Spider-Man”’s final gross of $262m and deduce an opening using a multiplier from a more similar film. That more similar film would be “The Dark Knight Rises” (also a DC Comics/WB property, sharing a producer in Christopher Nolan), which had a 2.79 multiplier. And that might even be a tad high, because of the number of people who were put off from seeing “TDKR” on opening weekend due to the Aurora shooting massacre was significant. Thus, I’ll go with a smaller 2.6 for “Man of Steel.” Using the $262m “Amazing Spider-Man” figure, that brings me to a $100.8 million opening weekend prediction for “Man of Steel.”
Also new at the megaplex is the comedy “This is the End,” which opened on Wednesday to get an early start on its ‘Super’ competition. Wednesday launches aren’t highly common in this genre, but we’re in luck, because “Pineapple Express,” which stars many of the same principal cast-members as “This is the End” (and is repeatedly referenced in the new film), happened to be one. “Pineapple Express” made 1.92 times its opening Wednesday gross over its first weekend. I’m going to jack that factor up a slight bit to 2.0, however, because “Pineapple Express” hit in August when all students were out of school, whereas some high schoolers are in their last week of school now, making Wednesday attendance tougher to swing. Applying such a multiplier to “This is the End”’s Wednesday of $7.8m, I come to a prediction of $15.6 million.
My prediction of what the full top 10 will look like:
- “Man of Steel” … $100.8m
- “This is the End” … $15.6m
- “The Purge” … $10.6m -68.9%
- “Now You See Me” … $10.5m -44.9%
- “Fast & Furious 6” … $8.8m -55.2%
- “Epic” … $8.3m -30.1%
- “The Internship” … $7.8m -55.0%
- “Star Trek Into Darkness” … $5.7m -50.1%
- “After Earth” … $4.8m -55.2%
- “The Hangover Part III” … $3.2m -56.4%