Weekend Forecast: 'American Sniper', 'Blackhat', 'Paddington', & 'The Wedding Ringer'

Featured Stories - on January 14, 2015 by BoxOffice Staff

jan16.pngThree new openers and one nationwide expansion hit theaters as part of this weekend's 4-day frame in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday.

American Sniper

PROS:

- Strong marketing and reviews surrounding Bradley Cooper's performance are driving momentum.
- Clint Eastwood's directorial attachment further cements appeal to older moviegoers and military families.
- The film has amassed an impressive $3.3 million from just 4 theaters since its Christmas release.
- Online buzz is sizzling, leading Twitter, Facebook, and Flixster in mentions/likes/votes over the past two weeks.

CONS:

- Eastwood's films aren't typically known for opening very big -- his largest being Gran Torino under $30 million six years ago.
- It's a very crowded weekend at the box office, although this is certainly the one everyone else may be competing against at this point.

Blackhat

PROS:

- Director Michael Mann and star Chris Hemsworth each have their own fair share of fans who may turn out.
- The timely subject matter of cybercrime is something the film is aspiring to capitalize on.

CONS:

- It's been six years since Mann's last film (Public Enemies), and that had a mixed reception. At the same time, Hemsworth is still growing as a star.
- Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter activity are in line with (or slightly behind) that of Paranoia and Transcendence.
- The crowded market this weekend. 

Paddington

PROS:

- The beloved children's character continues to entertain readers nearly a half-century after his first publications.
- Reviews are very strong (currently 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes for over 50 critics).
- Facebook growth has impressed with over 551,000 fans to-date. Flixster activity is even ahead of the likes of Big Hero 6 and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

CONS:

- The Weinstein Company isn't known for major animated box office hits, meaning families don't have a brand name to sell them further (ala Disney, DreamWorks, Pixar, etc.).
- Twitter activity has slowed somewhat this weekend. Overall online buzz could also be partly inflated by the early overseas release.
-  The crowded market this weekend.

The Wedding Ringer

PROS:

- Kevin Hart is an undeniable box office draw, helping to lead Ride Along to a record MLK Weekend opening just one year ago.
- The film's Facebook activity is well ahead of that both Ride Along and About Last Night at the same point before release.

CONS:

- Unfortunately, Twitter activity is noticeably slow compared to similar Hart films.
- The crowded market this weekend. 

Check out our complete 4-day weekend forecast in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Monday, January 19
American Sniper Dec 25, 2014 Warner Bros.
$57,000,000 $60,400,000
The Wedding Ringer Jan 16, 2015 Sony / Screen Gems
$29,000,000 $29,000,000
Paddington Jan 16, 2015 Weinstein / Dimension
$25,000,000 $25,000,000
Taken 3 Jan 9, 2015 Fox
$19,500,000 $69,000,000
Selma Dec 25, 2014 Paramount
$15,000,000 $32,500,000
Blackhat Jan 16, 2015 Universal
$11,500,000 $11,500,000
Into the Woods Dec 25, 2014 Disney
$8,200,000 $116,000,000
The Imitation Game Nov 28, 2014 Weinstein Company
$8,000,000 $51,800,000
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Dec 17, 2014 Warner Bros. / New Line
$5,800,000 $245,500,000
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Dec 19, 2014 Fox
$5,500,000 $106,500,000
Unbroken Dec 25, 2014 Universal
$5,200,000 $109,500,000

Phil Contrino, Daniel Garris, Alex Edghill, and Shawn Robbins contributed to this report.

Tags: predictions, Paddington, Blackhat, The Wedding Ringer, American Sniper

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