Oscar weekend is historically a slow one at the box office, but given the record ticket sales posted in January, perhaps moviegoers will flock to the cinema in larger droves this year.
Nonetheless, Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail will likely take the top spot, according to estimates from Entertainment Weekly, /Film and Variety, which put the film’s three-day gross at $23-30 million. Why such a wide range? According to /Film, “industry tracking is remarkably unreliable when it comes to Perry’s movies.” Still, anywhere in that range would give Perry the second-best opening of his career after his last movie to feature “Madea” in the title, 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion.
Lionsgate, which is releasing Madea, needs a win at the box-office. The studio had a disastrous third quarter and recently revealed that it had to fund Madea, and its previous two films, by itself after losing money from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street investors. Since then, Carl Icahn has bought more than 1.6 million shares of LGF, increasing his stake to more than 12%. Who knows what Icahn’s endgame is, but Lionsgate needs to demonstrate it can still turn out hits and Perry’s consistently performed well for the studio, so there’s a good chance he’ll do so again.
Our three sources are all predicting a major drop off for last week’s top-grossing film, Friday the 13th, with /Film estimating that the horror flick will take a 60% tumble, only rustling up $16.25 million in box-office receipts for a second-place finish.
The rest of the top 5 will likely be holdovers. /Film thinks Fox’s hit Taken will battle it out with New Line’s He’s Just Not That Into You for the third spot, both of which should only pull in about $10.5 million. Still, that would boost Taken‘s total to $93 million and Not That Into You’s cume to just under $72 million domestic.
Coraline should continue to perform well, finishing either fourth or fifth with $9.6 million.
As for this week’s other big release, Sony’s Fired Up, poor tracking and the fact that it’s only playing in 2,000 theatres mean it will probably only make $5-8 million.
Finally, another interesting thing to keep an eye on this weekend is how the Oscar nominees perform in their last weekend before the big show, including how Saturday’s Best Picture showcase at AMC theatres, in which moviegoers can pay $30 million to see all five flicks in a row, will affect the contenders.