Holidays make it hard to remember what day of the week it is. All the pictures for this weekend opened Tuesday on Christmas, which means we’re coming off of a four day weekend, and are looking at another four day weekend with New Years. Many tried to get this whole week off, and kids are out of school, so the numbers have been strong already for the newcomers Les Miserables and Django Unchained.
And as for who will win the weekend, it’s going to be Les Miserables. The question is if they’ve won the battle and the war. The film should exit the weekend with over $70 Million, which means that it will do over $100 Million easily, and $200 might not be out of the question. But it’s suffered some high profile pans, and for the film to have strong legs it has to become an Oscar favorite. It would be a huge shock if the film isn’t nominated for best picture, and it seems Anne Hathaway has the supporting actress Oscar on lock, but it’s all about the academy, and many are dismissive of director Tom Hooper, and Russell Crowe. The film may be like Mamma Mia! and just play to its audience regardless of the critical reception, but awards-wise it looks a little weak. It’s possible that Tom Hooper won’t get an Oscar nomination for direction, which would signal that the film can’t close for best picture. But if it does become the lead horse it’s more likely that the film will do over $200 domestic.
Django Unchained may get some scattered nominations, but it doesn’t seem like an academy picture in the slightest. Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio all have a good shot at a supporting actor Oscar nomination, but the Weinstein Company is going to have to pick who they’re going to promote. We’d guess they’ll go with DiCaprio, and argue that it’s time he won something. It’s not a bad argument to make, and considering that most of the people he’s up against (like Robert De Niro or Allan Arkin) have already won, I wouldn’t bet against the Weinstein’s on this one. But this film doesn’t need critical support, it needs to appeal to young people and the urban market, and it looks like it does, no matter what Spike Lee says.
The problem with the film is that it was a runaway production, which means it cost more than $100 Million to make. It’s currently got $25 Million in the bank, and will do over $100 Million domestic, but it has a ceiling. To this point the most successful Quentin Tarantino film of all time is Inglourious Basterds, which made $120 Million domestically. It’s very likely this will top that, but that’s no guarantee of profit. With the international prospects slightly diminished as Westerns don’t always play outside the states, it’s very likely that the film will both be a winner and a loser in that it will probably take home video for the film to turn a profit. Regardless, the movie is awesome.
And then there’s Parental Guidance, which has no critical support and no Oscar chances, but is going to do more business than The Guilt Trip. This must have been better marketed. Perhaps it’s people getting hit in the nuts. Who’s to say.
So let’s make weekend predictions:
- Les Miserables - $34 Million
- Django Unchained – $28.5 Million
- The Hobbit 1 – $24.7 Million
- Parental Guidance – $15 Million
- Jack Reacher – $13.7 Million
Do audiences like The Hobbit? I’m not sure. That’s the picture that could go higher or lower, but it feels like interest was what it was, and it should suffer a slide this weekend. It’s already made half a billion worldwide, so it doesn’t matter if it does over $300 Million domestically. Still they’ve got two to release, and it’s hard to find people who are stoked for more.
What are you going to watch this weekend?