If this weekend plays out like last weekend, then Hollywood will be extremely happy. Four films debuted last weekend over $20 million for only the second time in history, and now three more new releases arrive this weekend looking to ride the same wave that’s helped the 2012 box office grow 14% from this time last year. Is it a stronger better economy? Warmer winter weather? Or are the films just that much better? Whatever the case, movie theaters have been busy these first couple months of the new year. Let’s take a look at what they’ll be busy with this weekend …
What’s the Scoop: Nicolas Cage returns to the play the Marvel comic anti-hero, complete with two of Hollywood’s craziest directors (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor) behind the camera. In this installment, Johnny Blaze (Cage) must use his powers to fight the devil, who is trying to take on a human form.
Why It Might Win the Weekend: Well, Nicolas Cage urinates fire in the movie, so there’s one giant, badass reason to see this. Plus no other new release features characters urinating fire, so it definitely has that part of the market covered.
What’s the Scoop: Tom Hardy and Chris Pine play a couple of CIA operatives who wage a war against each other when they begin dating the same woman, played by Reese Witherspoon.
Why It Might Win the Weekend: No other new release is as pretty to look at as this. Reviews haven’t been stellar, but I don’t think they’ve been factoring Chris Pine’s magical eyes into the equation.
What’s the Scoop: An animated film about a four-inch-tall family who live anonymously among a normal-sized family until the day one of them is discovered.
Why It Might Win the Weekend: We admit this one is flying a drop under the radar, but the animation is gorgeous and the credits include names like Hayao Miyazaki, who directed by Ponyo and Spirited Away, so think of this as being along those same lines.
My Prediction: Another tough weekend of predictions. Could Nicolas Cage pull off a win for Ghost Rider? Are Hardy, Pine and Witherspoon enough to win it all? Or could the animated film surprise everyone? Meanwhile, The Vow and Safe House are still lingering around, itching to upset. Coin toss! And This Means War it is!
My Pick of the Week: There’s a ton of films in limited release this week, which means some of them are also on VOD. Those in the mood for a doc and suffering from football withdrawal should hit up Undefeated, a doc about an underdog football team. In the mood for something a bit tougher and grittier? Go with Bullhead, one of this year’s best foreign language Oscar nominees.
Now it’s your turn -- sound off below with your picks for which film will win the weekend box office. Also let us know what you’ll be seeing.