PRISONERS
This weekend Prisoners and Battle of the Year are the wide releases, and though last week’s release of Insidious Chapter 2 may have made it seem like the box office was cooking, we’ll be lucky if one of these films cracks twenty million.

Prisoners is the best bet for box office success because the film has a lot of star power. That power isn’t always something that delivers (Hugh Jackman‘s Real Steel was a star vehicle that disappointed), but the film is well reviewed at this point, and it could be a conversation starter. The problem is that the tone and the commercials play up the bleak aspects of the film, and — though the film is something of a bait-and-switch — that morose, “daughters missing, torture the possible kidnapper” tone may keep audiences away. Then again, we’re well out of the Bush administration, and the role of enhanced interrogation techniques is no longer in the foreground of popular culture. Perhaps enough time has passed that people are comfortable watching this sort of movie.

Whereas Battle of the Year is as disposable as they come. In 3D and with no real names (sorry Josh Holloway), the film may need Chris Brown fans to turn up en masse for the film to do well. That’s not as odd a proposition as you might think, and even though his public behavior has turned off a lot of people, there are those who still love him.

Otherwise, Insidious is bound to fall hard, while Ron Howard‘s Rush needs to do well in limited release.

Predictions:

  1. Prisoners - $17.5 Million
  2. Insidious Part 2 - $15 Million
  3. Battle of the Year – $10 Million
  4. The Family – $7.3 Million
  5. Lee Daniels’ The Butler  – $4 Million

Battle could go either way as it’s hard to say if younger audiences want to see the film, and could be under the radar. Prisoners could also go a little higher, I’m being conservative here.

What are you going to watch this weekend?