Box office preview: It's Bradley Cooper versus aliens as 'Limitless' takes on 'Battle: Los Angeles' and 'Paul'

limitless

Image Credit: John Baer

Between Seth Rogen’s wise-cracking E.T. in Paul and the trigger-happy invaders of Battle: Los Angeles, this month’s box office alien invasion (which included mega-dud Mars Needs Moms) shows no signs of stopping this weekend. But don’t expect receipts to be equally out of this world. Holdover Battle: L.A. could face a steep drop after last week’s strong debut, and it’ll have stiff competition from the new Bradley Cooper thriller Limitless, which looks set to do medium-hot business. Meanwhile, Paul could be a draw as the first big comedy in a few weeks, and Matthew McConaughey is looking to make a return to form with the legal thriller Lincoln Lawyer. Here’s how things might play out:

1. Battle: Los Angeles: $18 million
Last week’s champ should lose some serious steam (look for a 50-55 percent drop) as first-week fanboys go looking for fresh entertainment. But as the sole blow-em-up actioner released this month, it could still cash in on audiences who go to the theaters looking for escapist thrills. 

2. Limitless: $16 million
The first real, post-Hangover test of Bradley Cooper’s solo star power, this slick-looking thriller is a bit of a box-office wild card. With a king-of-the-world storyline appealing to guys, and the Coop’s chiseled features calling to the ladies, there’s a chance Limitless could bust into the high teens or even low twenties. But there’s no proof so far that Cooper can reel in crowds without his Wolf Pack: Last summer’s The A-Team made the box-office D-List, while 2009’s All About Steve was one of that year’s biggest duds.

3. Paul: $13 million
This sci-fi romp mixes live action actors (Kristen Wiig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Jason Bateman) with a CG-d alien emcee (voiced by Seth Rogen). It’s the only comedy among the new releases, which gives it a clear leg up with moviegoers who want yuks for their bucks. But with an opaque title and a marquee star hidden in a little-grey-man body, Paul could generate a lot of puzzled looks at ticket counters. Look for it to skew young and male, though it’ll have to fight over that slice of the audience with both Limitless and Battle: L.A.

4. Rango: $12 million
This animated adventure (with Johnny Depp voicing the star chameleon) dropped about 40 percent last weekend and should be headed for a similar decline this time around, though family audiences (who don’t have much else to pick from) will keep it from falling out of the top five.

5. Lincoln Lawyer: $10 million
Matthew McConaughey’s first dramatic lead since 2006’s We Are Marshall is earning solid reviews and plenty of comparisons to his 1996 blockbuster A Time to Kill. But it’s been a long time since the actor has had a non-comedic hit: Marshall made just $43.5 million, while 2005’s Two for the Money topped off at a measly $22.9 million. Still, for the modestly-budgeted Lawyer, an eight-figure opening would be enough to make the case that McConaughey is a legitimate leading-man.

Outside of the wide-release race, watch for Sundance fave Win Win starring Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan as parents who take in a runaway teen — to emerge as a specialty crowd pleaser, while the Ed Helms comedy Cedar Rapids finally cracks the $5 million mark five weeks after its debut.


Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • Lorenzo Von Matterhorn

    I do want to see Paul but Limitless looks sweet. I’m a bigger fan of Bradley Cooper who I first liked back on Alias. Paul is second to that. And don’t we always think Seth Rogen is from another planet? Now he is just finally playing one. Later!

    • Kenneth

      @Lorenzo; I went to see Limitless today and it was a great movie. You should check it out because I am sure, you will enjoy seeing this movie.

      Limitless will be number 1 at the box office. Are wonder are those Bradley’s real blue eyes? The guy has some dark blue eyes. Having eyes like this would attact a lot of women for Bradley. LOL

  • dominic

    I recommend The Adjustment Bureau. I saw it last weekend, and Matt Damon and Emily Blunt were terrific together; and the story was very interesting. I’m glad I chose to see a smart thriller last weekend instaed of Battle: Los Angeles and being pummeled by meaningless explosions for two hours.

    • Erin

      Battle: LA was a horrible movie.

    • Kenneth

      @Dominic; I went to see The Adjustment Bureau last weekend and I enjoyed this movie. I guess those guys were some type of Angels or super beings?

  • Will

    I hope Battle: Las Angeles drops hard.
    One of the worst movies I have seen in quite a while. The action in it wasn’t even good and that’s all I wanted.

  • Justin

    Limitless first, Paul second. Battle: Los Angeles was very entertaining. Reminded me of Independence Day, which is a good thing in my book.

    • Henry

      Battle: LA was nothing like Independence Day except they both had aliens. Battle: LA had no build up, crappy action scenes, and was not a fun, entertaining movie. Independence Day was a masterpiece in comparison.

      • Justin

        Your opinion, not mine.

  • Adam

    Battle: Los Angeles was better than ID4 because of actual Marines as opposed to Will Smith saving the day or some computer virus. It was down and dirty fighting.

    • larry

      So by “actual marines” you mean crappy actors pretending to be Marines.

      It definitely included “dirty” and unwatchable fighting.

      • Jose

        Aaron Eckhart is far from a crappy actor.

  • Ooo

    Paul looks like a good one. Bradley Cooper has an evil look. He should play the evil vampire in every movie… Even movies that aren’t about evil vampires.

    • Kenneth

      Bradley looked skinny to me in this movie. He appears to have lost weight. In his last movie, he was muscular.

  • theBigE

    Rango will not drop that much – no new kid films, and it’s holding up very well this week.

  • Kirk

    I want to see Limitless because of De Niro and Cooper. The story looks good, too.

  • tom

    i want to see limitless in hopes a shot with brad and his shirt off…..yummy! Goes to show you why people pay for a a movie!

  • kajol

    Director Ewing Miles (Lucky) Brown says Sam Botta has lost 70 lbs for the show “Live Fearless with Sam Botta” in pre-production at Movie Tech Studios Hollywood.

  • Ryan Ann

    I actually think “The Lincoln Lawyer” looks really good with some really good actors. It’s between this movie and “The Adjustment Bureau” I am seeing this weekend.

  • jon

    I want to see Limitless. It looks like a really good movie and a great story line.

    ‘find more entertainment jobs on careerDaddy com’

  • larry k

    Just got back from a matinee of Paul.It far exceeded my expextations!Extremely entertaining,the audience laughed,clapped and cheered through out the movie .The entire cast was great,but Kristen Wiig was a revelation.Blyth Danner delivers the films funniest line near the end.Sort of an R rated E.T.(My favorite movie)

  • Danielle

    I just got back from seeing the Lincoln Lawyer and I thought it was great! It totally lived up to the book. I hope it does better than $10M.

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