Box Office Beat: Weekend of March 29

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. After a slow start, it looks like we’re finally in a financially successful part of the year for Hollywood, with the recent big openings of “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “The Croods,” and the surprise hit “Olympus Has Fallen.” Look for that momentum to continue this Easter weekend, as the 3-D blockbuster “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” floods megaplex screens.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” actually opened today—well, last night at 7 p.m.—so there are already results coming in. As of 9:45 p.m., Deadline’s Nikki Finke is reporting that the pic’s first day total will come out to around $11m. The best way to turn this into a weekend prediction is to look at the most recent guy-targeted, Thursday-released sequel, which just so happens to also star Bruce Willis: “A Good Day to Die Hard.” That film grossed 3.014 times its Thursday gross over its opening weekend. Some might argue that the comparison is not quite apt, in that “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is PG-13, not R, and therefore targets a younger audience who will see it over the weekend rather than Thursday due to school. But, I would argue that this factor is mitigated by the fact that “Joe” is being released on Easter weekend, when box office massively dips on Sunday. (Said dip may be especially bad here, as star Dwayne Johnson is a prominent draw in the Latino community, which is disproportionately Catholic compared to other racial groups.) So I’m going to go with the same multiplier as “Die Hard 5,” giving “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” an underwhelming opening three-day weekend of $33.2 million. This prediction, of course, depends on Finke’s opening Thursday projection being accurate; adjust accordingly when the actual figure is released tomorrow.

The HostA real horserace should take place for second place among the three new openers—and likely third place at the box office overall—but I think “The Host” will narrowly win the slot over “Tyler Perry’s Temptation.” There’s no chance that the film, directed by Andrew Niccol (“In Time,” “Gattaca”), comes anywhere close in gross to source author Stephanie Meyer’s prior breakout success, “The Twilight Saga,” but it should do respectably. I think three recent female-skewing, young adult novel-based comparisons are apt: “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” ($31.2m), “I Am Number Four” ($19.4m), and “Beautiful Creatures” ($7.6m). That’s a huge range, but I’m going to hope that throwing the three figures into a blender that spits out the average will work. In which case, “The Host” should open to about $19.4 million — the exact same amount as “I Am Number Four” (crazy how that works out, huh?).

Tyler Perry's Temptation“Tyler Perry’s Temptation” is perhaps the easiest release to predict as far as opening weekend gross is concerned, in that Perry’s filmography contains a wealth of apt comparisons. One needn’t do anything more than average the openings of Perry’s five recent dramas to form an educated guess. In reverse-chronological order, these are: “Good Deeds” ($15.6m), “For Colored Girls” ($19.5m), “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” ($23.4m), “The Family That Preys” ($17.4m), and “Daddy’s Little Girls” ($11.2m). That results in a prediction of $17.4 million — easy peezy.

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

  1. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” … $33.2m
  2. “The Croods” … $28.9m  -33.8%
  3. “The Host” … $19.4m
  4. “Tyler Perry’s Temptation” … $17.4m
  5. “Olympus Has Fallen” … $14.2m  -53.2%
  6. “Oz the Great and Powerful” … $13.0m  -39.7%
  7. “The Call” … $4.5m  -49.4%
  8. “Admission” … $3.4m  -44.8%
  9. “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” … $1.9m  -56.0%
  10. “Spring Breakers” … $1.8m  -62.9%