Opening at 3,014 locations, Here Comes the Boom is star Kevin James' third movie where he's the solo lead following Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Zookeeper. Paul Blart opened to a surprisingly strong $31.8 million in January 2009, while Zookeeper was less impressive with a $20.1 million debut last Summer.
Distributor Sony/Columbia is expecting another drop off for Here Comes the Boom, with internal forecasts projecting between $10 and $12 million this weekend. Family audiences are still going to Hotel Transylvania (also a Sony movie with James contributing voice work) and Frankenweenie (which should hold well despite its poor start last weekend), which is going to put a big dent in the opening potential for Here Comes the Boom. Additionally, last Fall's Warrior opened to just $5.2 million, suggesting mixed martial arts isn't a major big-screen attraction yet.
CBS Films is unleashing Seven Psychopaths at 1,480 locations this weekend with the hope that they can leverage good buzz (89 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and an Audience Award winner at this year's Toronto International Film Festival) in to an expansion in two weeks. Writer-director Martin McDonagh's first feature, In Bruges, earned just $7.8 million in 2008, though it was never in more than 232 locations. Since its release, though, it's built enough of a following that the connection is a noticeable part of Seven Psychopaths's marketing effort.
Advertisements also showcase absurd comedy and tough guy posturing, and the movie is clearly being positioned as an option for older male audiences. Unfortunately, it's competing for this demographic with big studio heavyweights Taken 2 and Argo, which will surely win out. CBS Films is currently anticipating around $6 million for the three-day period.
After over 50 years, Ayn Rand's influential novel was finally brought to the screen last April in Atlas Shrugged: Part I. Unfortunately, it failed to tap in to the Tea Party zeitgeist and wound up topping out at just $4.6 million without ever reaching nationwide release. Still, producers decided to move ahead with Atlas Shrugged: Part II (the second in a proposed trilogy), which is getting a nationwide release in to 1,012 theaters this weekend.
Commercials for Part II have copy that reads "Ayn Rand's best-selling novel is now a major motion-picture event," which seems to ignore the presence of the ill-received first movie. They also attempt to tie the movie in with the upcoming presidential election (Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan regularly references Ayn Rand), but the connection isn't as inherent as it was with documentary 2016: Obama's America. With the massive release, the movie will probably get past $2 million this weekend, but much more would be a surprise.
To further complicate things this weekend, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is expanding nationwide in to 725 theaters. Through just under three weeks, the movie has earned $3.85 million, and should be in line for at least $2 million this weekend.
Weekend Forecast (October 12-14) 1. Taken 2 - $23.8 million (-52%) 2. Argo - $22.9 million 3. Sinister - $18.5 million 4. Hotel Transylvania - $18.1 million (-33%) 5. Here Comes the Boom - $13.2 million -. Seven Psychopaths - $7.5 million
Bar for Success
If Argo gets to $20 million, it will be well-positioned to have a successful run. Kevin James's lowest opening is $17.8 million (The Dilemma), so Here Comes the Boom ought to be hitting $15 million at least. Sinister is okay at $10 million, though it would be nice to get closer to $15 million considering Paranormal Activity 4 is likely to steal away a lot of its audience next weekend.
Seven Psychopaths is in great shape at $10 million, though it still gets a pass if it opens around In Bruges's $7.8 million total. Considering the popularity of Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged: Part II ought to be earning at least $5 million this weekend, though there's little chance it hits that mark.