Box office preview: Will 'The Five-Year Engagement' earn as much as 'Bridesmaids'?

five-year-engagment

Image Credit: Greg Wilson

Four new wide releases enter theaters this weekend — rom-com The Five-Year Engagement, kiddie flick The Pirates! Band of Misfits, literary thriller The Raven, and Jason Statham’s Safe — but will any of them be able to take out Think Like A Man, which ended The Hunger Games‘ reign atop the box office last week?

Check out my predictions below:

1. The Five-Year Engagement – $20 million

The Jason Segel/Emily Blunt romantic comedy is the latest 2012 release to target women, and if the success of The Vow, The Lucky One, and Think Like A Man are any indication, females should turn out this weekend as well. The Five-Year Engagement, which was produced by Universal for a modest $30 million, has been framed as a companion to Bridesmaids, which opened in May 2011 to $26.2 million before grossing $169 million overall.  If the hot pink and white color scheme of the advertisements didn’t make that connection clear, then the fact that every inch of marketing includes the words “FROM THE PRODUCER OF BRIDESMAIDS” should. Oh yeah — it’s also about a wedding.

Tracking for the film has been encouraging in the weeks leading to its release, and while it hasn’t garnered quite the same amount of buzz as the ultra-bawdy Bridesmaids did last year, its prospects are pretty rosy. Jason Segel has become a more familiar face thanks to the success of The Muppets and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and although Emily Blunt is not a proven box office draw, she comes across nicely in advertisements. Sure, The Lucky One will eat up a bit of the film’s core female demographic, but guys should turn up in higher volumes for a straight-up comedy like Engagement, which stars Segel as well as Parks and Recreation‘s Chris Pratt. Playing in 2,936 theaters, the wedding comedy may pick up about $20 million and find legs in the weeks to come.

2. Think Like A Man – $15 million

Last weekend’s victor used social media to achieve a strong opening right out of the gate. This weekend, though, the Steve Harvey adaptation may take a hefty tumble. Second weekend drops for similar films like Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? (–62 percent) and Jumping the Broom (–54 percent) tend to be above 50 percent. Thus, Think Like A Man is looking at a sophomore frame of about $15 million — which is what some prognosticators thought it would make last weekend. If the film manages a better than expected hold, it could repeat its reign atop the chart. Either way, it will easily cross $50 million this weekend.

3. The Lucky One – $12 million

The Zac Efron ogle-fest will fall a bit quicker than usual due to the added competition of The Five-Year Engagement. Still, a 45 percent dip would give the Nicholas Sparks romance $12 million and a total above $40 million — much more than Zac Efron’s last leading effort, Charlie St. Cloud, which earned just $31.2 million in 2010.

4. The Pirates! Band of Misfits – $11.5 million

Stop-motion animation doesn’t have the broad appeal that CG-animation does in the States, and this Peter Lord-directed title (Lord co-founded Aardman Animation, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit) won’t buck that trend. Still, Sony’s $55 million film isn’t exactly sunk, as Pirates! has already earned $56 million overseas. The lack of another strong family offering bodes well for Pirates! (just as it did for Three Stooges), and it may counteract the fact that American audiences don’t tend to embrace Aardman animation or British humor especially readily (see: Arthur Christmas). Give it an $11.5 million weekend out of 3,358 theaters.

5. The Hunger Games – $9.6 million

Another small drop is in store for Katniss. A fall of 35 percent would give The Hunger Games a $9.6 million weekend and push it past $370 million.

Also opening this week is the Edgar Allen Poe-themed thriller, The Raven, which stars John Cusack, and was produced by Intrepid Pictures for $26 million. Relativity acquired the film for $4 million and is handling distribution, but the title only seems likely to pull in about $8 million over the weekend. Still that would be almost twice the $4.5 million that Shakespeare-themed Anonymous earned in its entire run last year.

And there’s another Jason Statham movie coming out tomorrow as well: Safe. The Lionsgate film may take in about $8 million, which would be on the low-side for a Statham offering. His movies, which are almost always exceedingly cheap to make, usually debut to about $10-12 million.

Follow me on Twitter for box office updates throughout the weekend.

More on EW.com:
‘The Avengers’ dominating the box office overseas: Will it break the opening weekend record?
‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Lorax’ lead 2012′s box office boom: Will this be a record-breaking year?


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