After a full three weeks atop the chart The Dark Knight Rises will likely descend a few spots this weekend due to the arrival of The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign.
The two male-driven tentpoles are looking to make a big splash, while fellow newcomer Hope Springs, which debuted on Wednesday, will likely make smaller waves. Here’s how the box office might shake out:
1. The Bourne Legacy – $37 million
Universal spent $125 million on this sequel, which has Jeremy Renner taking over the franchise from Matt Damon. Although Renner’s profile was certainly raised by his presence in The Avengers and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, he’s not a proven box office draw on his own, and fans who loved the pairing of Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass (both of whom are out) may stay away. Thus, it’s likely that Legacy will start off with about half of what 2007′s The Bourne Ultimatum opened with ($69.3 million), but the franchise has ample credibility working in its favor. Action fans should turn out in large enough numbers to give the film a $37 million debut.
2. The Campaign – $29 million
R-rated comedies have been up and down this year. For every 21 Jump Street smash, there’s a movie like The Watch, which bombed despite the star power of Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Warner Bros.’ The Campaign, which boasts Will Ferrell and Zack Galifinakis, should perform on the healthier end of the spectrum. The election film’s timing with the actual presidential election season boosts its potential quite a bit, and Galfinakis and Ferrell are proven, if slightly inconsistent, audience attractors. With healthy reviews and a strong advertising push, The Campaign (for which Warner Bros. did not disclose a budget) may earn $29 million from Friday to Sunday.
3. The Dark Knight Rises – $20 million
Bourne will cut into Batman’s business, but Rises won’t fall hard. A likely 45-percent drop would give the film another $20 million, lifting its total past $390 million
4. Hope Springs – $13 million
The Meryl Streep/Tommy Lee Jones dramedy, about a long-married couple struggling in the bedroom, debuted on Wednesday with a quiet $2.3 million — less than half of what The Help, another August release targeting women, earned in its opening Wednesday in 2011 ($5.5 million). That film went on to earn $26 million in its debut weekend, and a similar pace would put Hope on pace for a $13 million frame, which would give it a five-day total of about $17-18 million. Sony (and partner MGM) acquired the picture for $15 million from Mandate, who paid $29 million for the production.
5. Total Recall – $10.5 million
After just barely beating the 1990 original’s opening weekend, the new Total Recall will likely plummet this weekend, due to poor reviews and action competition. A drop of 55-60 percent would give it about $10.5 million.
Check EW all weekend long to see how The Bourne Legacy, The Campaign, and Hope Springs fare. If you want up-to-the-minute box office updates, follow me on Twitter.