Notable Openings This Weekend: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Sisters, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
We’ve arrived. This will easily be my most important box office predictions column of all time. I’ve been training for this my whole life (not really). What’s really amazing though is I actually have to talk about two other movies, but we’ll get to that later. It’s all about Star Wars this weekend. I’m so sick of talking about this movie. I remember feeling the same way right before The Dark Knight Rises opened. I need to see the damn thing! I can’t sleep for crying out loud! Here’s a little inside baseball – as I write this, I’ve yet to see the film. But when you read this, I will have. Just as Luke Skywalker can see the future, so can I. We’ve waited long enough though, because there’s only one question you people want answered – will The Force Awakens break the all time opening weekend record?
I’m still in shock that Jurassic World pulled if off earlier this year. While there were a couple movies in 2015 that had potential to break The Avengers’ record from 2012, Jurassic World was on nobody’s list, not even the velociraptors. The stars (no pun intended) seem aligned for Star Wars though. This is how crazy we’ve gotten. If Star Wars makes $195 Million dollars this weekend, it will be considered a disappointment. Think about that for a minute. $195 Million = “eh.” In 1989, Batman opened at just over $40 Million, and that was considered a HUGE deal. I know a lot has changed, but it still makes you think, doesn’t it?
Even with the hatred for the prequels, when this whole shebang was announced in October 2012, the anticipation was at a fever pitch and hasn’t slowed down once. The allure of the original characters was certainly the primary reason, but the hope we would get great Star Wars movies again drove this train for three years. All the decisions Disney has made from day one have been flawless. You couldn’t have marketed this movie any better. Add in the so far great reviews, a steady few weeks of poor box office, and Star Wars seems poised to take back its blockbuster crown. The only factor keeping Star Wars from breaking the record is that it’s a December release, not summer. The current December record holder is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which clocked in at just over $84 Million. Jumping from that to $209 Million is a very tall order. It all comes down to this though – when the final trailer was released on Monday Night Football last month and online ticketing sales went live, sites like Fandango literally crashed for hours. Doesn’t that say it all?
Believe it or not, there are two other films crazy enough to open against Star Wars. One should do fine, the other not so much. You would think Sisters might do well in February or March, especially with two lovable comedians like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, but they are going for it. This isn’t the worst idea in the world, and actually provides solid counter programming. Even though Star Wars is adamantly trying to appeal to more women, I’m sure many will tire of the whole Star Wars thing and revolt to see Sisters. Plus, there will just be a general excitement at the movies this weekend. If Sisters can pull in around $25 Million, it will be a worthwhile gamble.
Alvin the Chipmunks: The Road Chip on the other hand will not fare as well. Are you kidding me with this? There are so many red flags here. First of all, the third movie opened four years ago, and badly! If you were a fan of these Alvin movies, you’re grown up by now and not into it. They are also doing this whole marketing campaign of brining attention to the fact that they are opening against Star Wars. Yeah, it worked for Austin Powers, but it’s not going to for little Alvin. I’ve spent enough time talking about this movie. It will bomb, the end.
HOW WILL IT ALL BREAK DOWN…
With so many show times being added, and so many reports of everything being sold out, I think the force will be strong enough to pull off the miracle.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens — $212 Million
- Sisters — $26 Million
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip — $15 Million
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 — $7.5 Million
- Creed — $7 Million