Kicking off my first attempt at providing a box office prediction is a slow week in the middle of the Summer movie season. 2 new wide releases are opening and neither will make for a record weekend. Opening in 3,365 theaters, you have
Vince Vaughn has had a rough couple of years at the box office. The last 2 films that he has top-lined: The star-studded "comedy" The Watch and Ron Howard's misfire The Dilemma both tanked at the box office. Vince Vaughn has plenty of hits within his resume, but unfortunately, most of those films were early on his resume. The good news for Vince Vaughn is that his last hit was the PG-13 comedy Couples Retreat, which has the same rating as The Internship. The bad news is that Couples Retreat was four years ago.
Owen Wilson finds himself in the same boat as Vince Vaughn. Box office hits have been really hard to come by lately. Not even releasing a film in 2012, we have to go back to 2011 to see Owen Wilson's box office track record. Cars 2 was a hit, but with that film being a Pixar film, it would have made money with or without Owen Wilson as the star. Midnight in Paris was a moderate hit (especially for Woody Allen standards) but was not setting the box office on fire. The remaining 2 films from 2011: The Big Year and Hall Pass were quickly forgotten and disappeared from the box office as quickly as they arrived.
Both Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson need a hit, and I'm sure this looked like a can't miss idea. Re-team the duo from Wedding Crashers, direct them by a director who makes safe films with big returns, and this would be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, this film is not 2005 and The Internship will struggle to make it's $58 million dollar budget back domestically.
The other wide release is the small-budgeted, but high-concept; The Purge. With only a budget of $3 million dollars and starring Ethan Hawke, The Purge tells the story of a futuristic America, where one day of the year, all crime is legal for a 12 hour period. Ethan Hawke plays a family man who must survive The Purge with his family as citizens try to attack them in their home.
Coming from hit producer Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes producing company, the small-budgeted film lacks the usual pizzazz of Summer fare, but offers the audience a different type of film as counter-programming. Ethan Hawke is coming off the similarly-produced Sinister, which became a solid hit over the Fall of 2012, and may help The Purge over perform even more than it already will. I would look for The Purge to contend for the box office lead against stale holdovers and the limp-looking The Internship.
Beyond the new releases, the remaining holdovers might hold better than past weeks due to the weak competition. Now You See Me might hold the best as the numbers during the week show the film doing solid business. Now You See Me will again contend with Fast and Furious 6 while After Earth will plummet after its disappointing opening weekend and bad word of mouth.
My prediction for this week's top 5 are:
The Purge - $19.7 million
Now You See Me - $17.7 million
Fast and Furious 6 - $17.3 million
The Internship - $16.2 million
Epic - $10.3 million
I know I will be way off, but this is just something fun. Hope you enjoy it.