Box office preview: 'Evil Dead' will try to put 'G.I. Joe' in the grave

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It’s been a tough year at the 2013 box office so far. Altogether, the film industry has racked up $2.267 billion worth of ticket sales, a whopping 12.5 percent decrease from the $2.55 billion that movies had earned at the same point in 2012.

It seems unlikely that the hordes of dead bodies and dead dinosaurs hitting theaters this weekend will resurrect the struggling box office — that won’t happen until May, when Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, and The Hangover Part III debut — but The Evil Dead and Jurassic Park 3D should be able to achieve hearty numbers nonetheless.

Here’s how the box office may shake out:

1. Evil Dead – $24 million
The brand new horror film, from Sony, FilmDistrict, and Ghost House, should top the box office this weekend. Evil Dead is a remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic, and it’s been earning positive buzz and geek-cred for months after screening at festivals like SXSW. The combination of built-in anticipation, nostalgia, and  reliable gore-loving audience members may drive the film, which carries a small $17 million budget, to a $24 million weekend. It could reach higher, though its R-rating limits appeal considerably.

2. The Croods – $20 million
Fox’s $135 million caveman comedy is still the only family film out in the marketplace, and that will be the case until Fox releases Epic on May 24. (Somehow, The Weinstein Co. was the only other studio that thought to release an animated film in the first six months of 2013.) That means a series of small drops are in store for the colorful adventure. A 25 percent decline would give The Croods another $20 million, pushing its total to $125 million after three weekends. If the film manages an even better hold — and there’s a good chance it will — it could return to first place.

3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $19.5 million
Last weekend’s box office champ commanded $40.5 million over its first Friday-to-Sunday period, and given the frontloaded nature of big-budget sequels (Paramount reports Retaliation‘s budget at $130 million, though an LA Times story suggests it reached $185 million), it’s likely that the film will fall by about 50 percent in its sophomore frame. G.I. Joe may enlist another $19.5 million worth of ticket buyers this weekend.

4. Jurassic Park 3D – $14 million
Universal spent only $10 million to convert the Steven Spielberg classic into 3-D, and even though most moviegoers have realized that these 3-D conversions are simply marketing gimmicks to get people in the door (while paying for an upcharged ticket!), a hefty advertising campaign is bound to have drummed up enough interest for a $14 million debut.

5. Tyler Perry’s Temptation – $9 million
Tyler Perry is a major opening weekend attraction, and his films almost always play well in their first three days. Unfortunately, that also means they almost always see hefty second weekend drops. Temptation, which cost Lionsgate about $20 million to produce, may drop by about 60 percent this weekend into the $9 million range, which would give it a ten-day total of $38 million.

Check back to EW all weekend for box office updates, and to discuss the box office even more, follow me on Twitter at @EWGradySmith.

Read more:
Evil Dead: EW Review
Jurassic Park 3D: EW Review


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