Weekend Forecast: 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues', 'American Hustle', 'Saving Mr. Banks', & 'Walking with Dinosaurs'
Featured Stories - on December 18, 2013 by BoxOffice Staff
The heart of Christmas season arrives this weekend with two new wide releases and two wide expansions.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
- The first film is widely regarded as a modern classic, becoming one of the most popular cult comedies since the Austin Powers series in the late '90s.
- Will Ferrell and Paramount have mounted a game-changing viral marketing campaign over the last few months, generating a significant amount of awareness.
- Online tracking metrics are very strong across Twitter, Flixster, and Facebook.
- Comedy has been a hot seller all year long, as evidenced by Identity Thief, This Is the End, The Heat, We're the Millers, and Bad Grandpa.
- The first film was a box office success, but only modestly so with an $85 million domestic run.
- The audience for this sequel could easily continue to be male-heavy.
- Competition from American Hustle and holdover The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug could be a factor.
- The star-studded ensemble cast.
- Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence are fresh off the uber-successes of their Dark Knight and Hunger Games series, respectively. Not to mention recent Oscar wins.
- Reviews have been stellar, generating a significant number of awards nominations over the past week.
- Director David O. Russell is on a hot streak following The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook.
- The competitive market could translate to more back-loading for this film, similar to how The Fighter performed.
- The Abscam story isn't one well-known to today's younger audiences.
- Will Anchorman 2 overshadow it this weekend?
Saving Mr. Banks
- The allure of Tom Hanks portraying the iconic Walt Disney.
- Emma Thompson's recent nominations for her role in the film, as well as carryover goodwill from Hanks' turn in Captain Phillips.
- Mary Poppins still boasts a sizable fan base today, particularly through older women.
- The Disney name is a major attraction for families, especially around the holidays.
- Awards buzz for this has been overshadowed by American Hustle, among other flicks.
- While Hanks will be a draw here, his role isn't getting as much attention as Thompson's or his nominated Captain Phillips turn.
- Enticing men of any age will be a challenge given the competition from Anchorman 2, The Hobbit, and American Hustle.
- The somewhat obscure title may also hold back upfront demand/interest.
Walking with Dinosaurs
- The film is based on somewhat popular BBC series.
- Families looking for something new and outside the fantasy realm could opt for this.
- Fox's marketing has emphasized the presence of voice stars not known to be box office draws, and made comparisons to Avatar--usually indicative of soft interest.
- Families may just easily opt for The Hobbit or Frozen again.
Check out our forecast for these films and the remainder of the top 11 in the table below.
|Title||Release Date||Distributor||Opening Weekend||Domestic Total through Sunday, Dec. 22|
|Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues||Dec 18, 2013||Paramount
|The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug||Dec 13, 2013||Warner Bros. / New Line
|American Hustle||Dec 13, 2013||Sony / Columbia
|Frozen (2013)||Nov 22, 2013||Disney
|Saving Mr. Banks||Dec 13, 2013||Disney
|Walking With Dinosaurs||Dec 20, 2013||Fox
|The Hunger Games: Catching Fire||Nov 22, 2013||Lionsgate
|Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas||Dec 13, 2013||Lionsgate
|Thor: The Dark World||Nov 8, 2013||Disney
|Dhoom 3||Dec 20, 2013||Yash Raj Films
|Inside Llewyn Davis||Dec 6, 2013||CBS Films
Phil Contrino, Daniel Garris, Alex Edghill, and Shawn Robbins contributed to this report.