Four new films will close out the month of April before the summer blockbuster season begins next weekend. The romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement [5YENG] appears to have the best shot of topping the weekend box office. Jason Segel [JSEGE] and Emily Blunt [EBLUN] star as a couple taking a long, circuitous route to their wedding. Segel’s previous collaboration with director Nicholas Stoller [NSTOL], Forgetting Sarah Marshall opened with $17.7 million in 2008 and established both as players in comedy. Universal has hyped the R-rated film’s connection to Bridesmaids, but the trailers and reviews have not been as good as the 2011 smash. Nevertheless, there are materials appealing to both genders, which should attract the dating crowd. Debuting in 2936 theaters, The Five-Year Engagement should walk away with $20 million.
Last weekend’s top earner Think Like a Man [TLKAM] broke out across all demographics. With good word of mouth, Think Like a Man should hold better than 50% at arounc $18 million.
Pirates! Band of Misfits [PIRTS] is Aardman Studios’ first stop-motion animated film since 2005’s Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which opened with $16.0 million. Their last effort, the CG-animated Arthur Christmas opened to just $12.1 million last November. British humor just doesn’t translate broadly in the States. The PG-rated family film does have in its favor of being the only animated offering since The Lorax. Pirates! could loot $14.5 million from 3358 locations.
With its female target audience, the romance The Lucky One [LUCON] may decline 45% to $12 million.
John Cusack [JOHNC] plays Edgar Allan Poe in the period thriller The Raven [TRAVN]. The Relativity release markets itself as a R-rated version of Sherlock Holmes with the horror elements of Saw. Unfortunately, the film lacks buzz and holds little audience appeal outside older men. Landing in 2203 theaters, The Raven could quoth a figure of $10 million.
Safe [SAFE] is the latest R-rated action vehicle starring Jason Statham [JSTAT]. Lionsgate’s marketing has done little to make the film stand out. With only hardcore fans likely to turn out, Safe is unlikely to match the opening of Statham’s last two efforts, Killer Elite’s $9.3 million or The Mechanic’s $11.3 million. Playing in 2266 theaters, Safe may unlock just $7.5 million.
That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.
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