PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Limitless turned in a surprising upset at the box office last weekend, earning an unexpected $18 million to take that coveted number one position at the top of the charts away from expected winner Battle: Los Angeles, which fell to number three in its second week of release.
But can Bradley Cooper's dirty drug habits keep him afloat for a second straight week in a row? That is highly unlikely as director Zack Snyder debuts his long-awaited first original big screen concept with the non-remake Sucker Punch. Plus, we can't overlook the family friendly fan favorite Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, which could prove to have enough muscle to take down Baby Doll and her dangerous insane asylum denizens.
Sucker Punch is expected to take the top position on this weekend's box officer charts with close to $26 million, which may be over shooting it a bit. While Zack Snyder has his fans, and they've been waiting for this one for quite a long time, awareness for the pic is down, with many folks standing outside genre circles confused by the film's marketing approach. Snyder's last film Watchmen earned $55 million when it opened on March 6th of 2009. That movie was an adaptation of a popular DC comic book, and garnered a hefty opening weekend due to its already established fanbase. Sucker Punch has no such fan base, and early word of mouth from Thursday night screenings is telling us that it's a loud, unnecessary essay on the excesses of filmmaking disguised as a loud, unnecessary film. It won't be around for long.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules actually stands as stiff competition against Sucker Punch, with an already firmly established fan base, and a franchise based on a series of popular books by Jeff Kinney. Its unlikely that Rodrick Rules will best Sucker Punch, but its estimated to pull in about $25 million, which accounts for that missing half of Watchmen's initial box office take back in 2009. Opening this same time last year, the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid took in a solid $22 million. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules has the added bonus of being a family film, which will snag all of the younger folks. And a lot of older males, who caught the original on DVD, are looking forward to this follow-up, which could, believe it or not, pull some of Sucker Punch's intended audience away. Especially when it comes to 18-35 year old fathers with young sons.
Limitless will certainly be heavy hit by the combined release of Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2, but it is still predicted to fall no further than third place for its second weekend, with an estimated $11 million take. Which isn't a drastic drop from its initial bow last week. Good word of mouth will keep it around for a while.
Opening in limited release is Julian Schnabel's latest film Miral, which, with its surrounding controversy, should impact this weekend's per screen average quite a bit, landing it at the top of that particular chart.
Be sure to check back in on Sunday, when esteemed New York-based writer David Ozanich will be taking over the Box Office columns for us on a regular basis.