Transcendence should be the winner this weekend, even though it looks to be the most mysterious title on the board (generally a deal-breaker with general audiences). Here’s the crazy part – right now it sits at 17 percent on RottenTomatoes! That’s really shocking. I would have given it around a B- (just as Brad did), right on the border, but I can’t believe it’s treading in the teens while Divergent and Draft Day are 20 and 30 points higher.
Still, the tracking for Transcendence is solid, Johnny Depp still draws a crowd (though more internationally) and I think the trailers have been halfway decent. At this point last year another non-sequel sci-fi with a big-name actor took the crown. Want a moment to guess? Time’s up, the movie was Oblivion with $37.1 million. If you like that number, then my $30.6 million call is low, but if you’re a stickler for tracking, you’ll see me as high. Quite the conundrum for you fellow predictors out there!
I can’t remember another weekend where two top ten titles were of the “Christian” persuasion, but new release Heaven is for Real is getting super wide (2400+ theaters), made $3 million on Wednesday and clearly wants the audience God’s Not Dead had. If films aimed at churchgoers can earn 20x their production budget going forward, as God’s Not Dead did, then we’re going to see this sort of thing happening a lot more frequently. As for Heaven is For Real, it has Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church, so it feels more “studio” than “grassroots” to me, but the tracking looks solid. I’m going slightly over at $17 million.
The less that’s said about a film like A Haunted House 2, the better. Naturally, this wasn’t screened, but the first one pulled down $60 million worldwide on a production budget of $2.5 million. So why wouldn’t you keep making them on the cheap? Still, I know they spend some dollars marketing these spoof films, because even I’ve seen trailers during limited TV advertisement viewing. My call of $16.2 million is below the original film’s opening number. Perhaps I just want to hope people are smartening up?
Finally, we’ve got to take a look at Bears. The Disneynature movies all come out in April, Bears will mark the fifth year in the row. Where it comes to predicting, they are all over the board in terms of worldwide totals, but the domestic openings tend to fall in the six to ten million dollar range. Why am I going over with Bears? It’s a gut feeling that young people would be more drawn to bears than say, Earth, or African Cats. My $11.2 million will likely be high, but that’s the price you pay for going with your gut instead of math.
Now it’s your turn. Predict early, predict often. I know Brad was disappointed in the amount of people predicting last weekend, so don’t let us down again. I don’t want him yelling at me anymore, help a brother out.
Current Record: 13-43-1 against the wisdom of the crowds.
Major Theater Chain (MTC) Tracking
- Transcendence: $25.7 million
- Heaven is for Real: $16.5 million
- Haunted House 2: $15.9 million
- Bears: $9.5 million
SIDE NOTE: Some of the theater numbers below are estimates. We’ll have the actual counts in Sunday’s wrap-up article.