Though many reviews are mixed, and few are saying it’s as good or better than the first (though surely someone will because it will show up in the TV spots), Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues should clean up over its five day release window. There’s also some expansion releases, and Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs, so there’s a full plate of movies to chose from.

Let’s start with this: Walking with Dinosaurs is totally off my personal radar. I guess it’s coming out, but like Epic earlier this year, I didn’t see a lot of advertising for it, nor did they push it hard to online critics/consumers. I think part of this is targeting the right audience for the material (which is to say children), though it could be that 20th Century Fox just doesn’t give a crap about the film.

Anchorman 2 is a sequel to a beloved comedy. Though people may grouse after they see it, there’s just going to be a want-to-see, and the film does deliver laughs. Whether it plays through the holidays or dies quickly is unknown, but it should get to $100 Million domestic because it’s going to leave the weekend with around $50 Million. Will it play bigger or find an international audiences is the question. It’s coming into some holiday weekends, so it’s possible it could get to $150 Million or more. But as a sequel, it’s likely front loaded.

But the question is if it can do over $30 Million for the three day, because that’s about what The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is going to do. That film should be plummeting after last weekend, but how hard is questionable. It’s still the big event film of the Christmas season and I don’t know if anything else is going to challenge it. Still, the faithful went, and they may not go again.

American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks expand this week. Hustle seems the stronger of the two. I don’t know if Banks can become an audience favorite if it doesn’t have awards support. People do love Disney, but they probably don’t care how the sausage gets made. They didn’t with The Artist, and unless Banks suddenly becomes viewed as a great film, instead of a pretty good one, I don’t know if it plays long or gets Oscars.

So let’s do this:

  1. Anchorman 2 - $33 Million
  2. The Hobbit 2 – $27.5 Million
  3. American Hustle – $ 17.9 Million
  4. Frozen – $ 16.5 Million
  5. Saving Mr. Banks - $9.5 Million

Walking with Dinosaurs is the spoiler here. Could it actually have been marketed well? Unknown.

What are you going to watch this weekend?