Cinderella is the big game in town this weekend, looking for all the world like our latest March titan. Oz The Great and Powerful and The Lorax both mined this fertile ground for monster March openings, and a PG Disney film should rock the box office like a hurricane. I’m going with $68.4 million, but I could see it hitting as high as $80 million. Remember, Alice in Wonderland crushed this slot five years ago to the tune of $116.1 million. That’s a hint to predict big.
I’m sad to report that at no time during Run All Night did they play the Lionel Ritchie song, “All Night Long”. Missed opportunity there. As far as the box office is concerned, this looks like a mix of Tak3n and John Wick. They are marketing it in a big way, at least on the sports channels, so they’ll probably bring in the male audience the weekend before March Madness. $17.6 million is my call, far back in second place.
Chappie! It’s going to sink like a stone. It should be frontloaded as I don’t imagine too many older adults are digging robot Jo-burg, but it also came down at a B Cinemascore, or, factoring in the curve, about a C-. $6.1 million is my feeling, and I’m going to nail it exactly. Just go with that number.
Finally, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Fox Searchlight probably should have opened this slower, the audience is not the type that needs huge opening weekends. The first one, back in 2012, took four weeks to get as wide as this version. $4.8 million is where I ended up, in only because they tried to force feed a slow developing market.
SIDE NOTE: Some of the theater numbers below are estimates. We’ll have the actual counts in Sunday’s wrap-up article.