Forecast (cont.): 'The Campaign,' 'Hope Springs,' 'Nitro Circus'

by Ray Subers
The Campaign

August 9, 2012

<< Continued from "'Bourne' Reboot Hopes to Extend Franchise's 'Legacy'"

The Campaign
is the latest in a string of successful Will Ferrell vehicles opening every other year in late Summer. It began with Anchorman in 2004 ($85.3 million), which was followed by Talladega Nights ($148.2 million), Step Brothers ($100.5 million) and The Other Guys ($119.2 million). All four of these movies opened to at least $28 million, though even with strong support from Hangover star Zach Galifianakis it could be tough for The Campaign to match that.

Political comedies don't have a great track record, and previews have had a tough time generating many laughs (probably a result of having to hide the R-rated jokes). Also, this Summer has repeatedly proven that star power alone can't open a movie (see Rock of Ages, That's My Boy and The Watch), and Ferrell's young male audience is going to be torn between this and Bourne anyway. All these factors suggest an opening noticeably lower Anchorman's $28.4 million.

Hoping to provide some late-Summer adult counterprogramming, Hope Springs echoed last August's The Help by opening on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Hope Springs only earned $2.3 million on its opening day, or less than half of The Help's $5.5 million. Older audiences aren't known for rushing out immediately, though, and this movie doesn't need a huge debut to be on track for a successful run. With strong reviews (78 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), it's likely to generate good word-of-mouth that will keep it in play through the rest of the month at least.

Nitro Circus The Movie 3D also debuted on Wednesday, though distributor Arc Entertainment is holding off on reporting grosses for the time being. The extreme sports stunt movie appears to be a close relative of the Jackass franchise, though without the insanely-strong brand recognition. To counter that, Arc has made some decent media buys ("Sportscenter" on ESPN, for example), but that's not nearly enough to make this competitive. X Games 3D The Movie opened to $837,216 at 1,399 locations around the same time in 2009: it looks like Nitro Circus will do much better than that over its 5-day opening, though it still won't be a major player on the weekend chart.

Weekend Forecast (August 10-12)
1. The Bourne Legacy - $46 million
2. The Campaign - $23.6 million
3. The Dark Knight Rises - $18.2 million (-49%)
4. Hope Springs - $11 million ($15.5 million five-day)
5. Total Recall - $10.5 million (-59%)

Bar for Success
The Bourne Legacy can't be expected to match The Bourne Ultimatum's $69.3 million debut; based on past franchise reboots, a debut north of $40 million is a fine start. The Campaign needs to crack $25 million, while Hope Springs is okay with a 5-day start around $15 million. If Nitro Circus 3D The Movie can reach $5 million, consider that a win.

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