After their box office dominance over the last few weeks, Jurassic World and Inside Out are likely to cede the dance floor this week. Of course, the weekend will probably see them knocking on $600 million and $300 respectively, numbers they should easily pass, if not next week, then the week after. Because it’s not like either film is going to drop off the face of the earth; there’s really only one real source of competition this week, and nobody has a firm feeling for what Ant-Man is going to do next weekend. And since Universal and Disney are behind the next two likely big openers, they won’t weep too much if their current hits dip a little.
First though there’s this week, and that brings us to The Gallows. This is a found footage horror and already my eyes are glassing over and I’m losing the will to keep going. Barring some really clever conceit that has until now eluded most filmmakers, found footage films have yet to overcome the looming “Why don’t they just put the camera down and run?” question that hovers over every single one of these. Unfriended probably came the closest with its webcam aesthetic, but a $32 million run doesn’t exactly make it a trendsetter. Of course, it had a budget of $1 million, so nice return on investment, one The Gallows is likely to mirror, since it undoubtedly wasn’t very expensive, and it’s the only real horror film out right now. Anything in the Top 5 would be a victory for it.
Self/less has some big names attached to it — Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley, director Tarsem Singh — and yet I’ve heard little to nothing about it, beyond a single trailer I recall seeing months ago. This sci-fi film about transplanting the consciousness of dying patients into healthy young bodies feels like it should have gotten the Ex Machina treatment, getting a small release and slowly ramping up on word of mouth. But this is dropping in almost 2,500 theaters today. Which tells me either they think they really have something and want to get it out there, or, more likely, advanced word wasn’t good so there was no chance of ramping up on word of mouth, so let’s make money while we can. Reynolds has a lot of buzz right now, but thanks to a completely different movie (his upcoming Deadpool), so I don’t think he helps here. Still, I’m more interested in this concept than I am spooky video cameras.
But this weekend is going to belong to Minions. Universal has done a masterful job of teasing this film along, the trailers have been going over like gangbusters, the characters have been all over Universal’s parks, and the previous Despicable Me movies have combined for $629 million in box office, with the second film earning over $100 million more than the first. And the Minions have arguably been the most popular element in those films, so there’s no reason to think their solo film won’t explode. Besides, with Inside Out making everyone cry, people will probably be looking for a little goofier animated film, and this should fit that bill nicely. It’ll easily give Universal their third $100+ million opening weekend of the year, and go a long way towards easing the disappointment over Ted 2. If all that Furious 7/Jurassic World money hasn’t already written a blank check for every other film they release this year.