While last week only saw the release of one major Hollywood film, 21st Century Fox’s (NASDAQ:FOXA) The Wolverine, this week introduces some major competition into an already crowded summer box office. The two big releases this week are Sony Animation’s (NYSE:SNE) The Smurfs 2 and Universal’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) 2 Guns, which might make for an interesting box office this weekend.
The battle for box office supremacy this weekend looks to be a tight battle between the three movies mentioned above. However, still keep an eye on this battle royale: each film has its strengths and weaknesses in a saturated market, which may lead to a relatively balanced take for the top three films this weekend.
1. The Smurfs 2, Sony
The Smurfs 2, which opened Wednesday, already looks poised to take No. 1 at the box office this weekend. Its Wednesday sales came in at $5.2 million, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is looking at a five-day domestic debut in the $35 million range, meaning it will likely hit the high $20 million mark when it posts a final weekend box office take.
Sony is hoping for a global take similar to The Smurfs, which brought in $560 million on a $110 million budget. After several box office bombs, a number of prominent Wall Street traders are calling for Sony to spin off its entertainment division, so the studio is likely hoping it will find some success. But with the huge amount of family films in theaters this summer, it’s possible the film could run into the same problem that Dreamworks Animation’s (NASDAQ:DWA) Turbo had when it released to low box office numbers.
2. 2 Guns, Universal
The R-rated action comedy 2 Guns should successfully vie for the No. 2 spot this weekend, bolstered by the presence of box office draws Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Current tracking has the film making about $20 million over the weekend, which likely won’t be good enough to knock The Smurfs 2 from the top spot, but will likely fend off The Wolverine.
The only issue the action comedy might run into is the fact that it has an R-rating — something that Hollywood largely tries to avoid because it cuts down on the number of people able to see the film.
3. The Wolverine, Fox
The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, will likely have to settle for third place, as tent-pole films like this usually see a big opening weekend followed by large drops in the second weekend of release. As comparison, Warner Bros.’s (NYSE:TWX) Man of Steel, which made $125 million its opening weekend, saw a 65 percent decline in its second weekend with $41.2 million. Still, The Wolverine will likely benefit from its PG-13 rating, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the film came close to the numbers of 2 Guns.
4. The Conjuring, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.’s horror film The Conjuring, directed by James Wan, looks to hold strong with the No. 4 spot. The film has already made $101 million at the box office on a remarkable $20 million budget, and the film appears to have good legs as the only critically acclaimed horror film in theaters. Furthermore, the movie is benefitting from strong word of mouth, allowing the film to avoid the large dips in dropped revenue from weekend to weekend.
5. Despicable Me 2, Universal
To round out the top five, look for Universal’s Despicable Me 2 to continue its incredible box office run. Steve Burke, NBC Universal’s CEO, recently said to The Hollywood Reporter that the sequel would be “the single most profitable film in the 100-year history of Universal Studios.” The film was able to make $16.4 million last week despite being released nearly a month ago, on July 3. The added competition from Dreamworks’s Turbo only makes Despicable Me 2′s success even more incredible.
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