Part of me still can’t believe they didn’t throw a pile of money at Matt Damon to do a scene in The Bourne Legacy. Oh well. The ads keep telling us there was never just one. Duh. The question is if audiences will return if/when they know it doesn’t feature the character in the title.

And though most people reading this know that Matt Damon isn’t in the movie, it’s likely that some audience members will be surprised/confused that a movie called The Bourne Legacy doesn’t actually feature Jason Bourne. You would think that wouldn’t be a problem, but then ads keep talking about him. Does that help or hurt the film? Hard to say, if there’s a dramatic drop-off next weekend, we’ll know for sure.

The last Bourne movie opened to $69 Million, the second opened to $53 Million, so what’s a good opening here, and how much did they spend? Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner‘s salary had to have gotten a bump over the last couple pictures, though spending anywhere from $4-$15 Million for your lead is much cheaper than what Damon could have demanded. But this is a big action movie, so it must have cost somewhere north of $100 Million, and international isn’t in their pocket. At the end of the day, Universal biggest movie of the summer will be Ted, both in terms of gross and profit. That is to say, there’s no way this does $200 Million domestic.

The Campaign is much cheaper, so it’s got a good chance of breaking even or turning a buck, but it’s also rated R. That hasn’t worked against its stars in the past, but it definitely limits the audience. The question is if the politics will be a turn-off in an election year. August is a good time for a film like this, though I don’t know if audiences are excited for a new film from Zach Galifianakis or Will Ferrell. It should open respectably.

Meryl Streep has a loyal audience. She could be a ringer with Hope Springs.

So numbers, let’s see what you’ve got:

  1. The Bourne Legacy – $33.3 Million
  2. The Campaign – $22.5 Million
  3. The Dark Knight Rises – $19.5 Million
  4. Hope Springs – $17.5 Million
  5. Total Recall – $10 Million

The new films could go either way, because Bourne keeps getting mixed reviews. We liked it, but it’s not everyone’s cup of action. The Campaign is getting way more favorable reviews, but politics could keep people away, like I said. Even though the film isn’t so much partisan as anti-super PACs, that could be enough to get someone like Bill O’Reilly to rant against the film. You never know.

What are you going to watch this weekend?