This weekend, three newbies come into the fray against the holdovers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy. All three -- If I Stay, Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and When the Game Stands Tall -- open tonight in late nights. But, it currently looks like If I Stay, the movie based on yet another YA novel which stars Chole Grace Moretz (Carrie, Kick-Ass 1 and 2), may end up taking this weekend. It is tracking in the low $20Ms an female-driven. In fact, the romancer is not really registering with anyone but young females where the anticipation to see it is running high. Given that, the young females tend to go to movies in packs so that could be good news for Warner Bros. Fandango has it as its top ticket seller, too.
The late night grosses of all films tonight is going to be affected by the fact that kids have gone back to school this week in most of the country and hence the summer moviegoing is winding down. If I Stay, which was produced by MGM (who acquired the rights to the best-seller by Gayle Forman) and then co-financed with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. The budget on this one is said to be on the low end and, of course, with Moretz in it, that makes sense.
The next tier down is a bit of a toss up, but the R-rated Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, directed by Robert Rodriguez and distributed by TWC, could end up anywhere from $16M to $19M, depending on how much of its demo is sucked away by the holdovers which has a similar chunk of its demographic (which are notoriously tougher to count on). Not great news. The last Sin City one bowed in 2005 and opened to $29.1M. The visual stunner opens tonight at 9 PM.
The budget for this one is said to be somewhere around $60M to $70M and both Miller and Rodriguez are said to be getting significant profit participation. They got the price down because of a unique arrangement with the visual affects company, Prime Focus World. More on this later from reporter David Bloom who has the inside scoop. This movie was clearly pre-sold, looking at the number of distributors abroad.
Depending on how significant a percentage the next two tentpoles fall, Paramount's Turtles (in its third weekend of release) and Disney/Marvel's Guardians (four weekends in release) could land somewhere between $13.5M and $14.5M ... that's with a 50% drop for the reptiles and a 45% drop for the Star Lord. In that case, Turtles, once again edges out Guardians. That's the same positions they have been playing mid-week as well.
That brings us to the last newcomer of the bunch -- When the Game Stands Tall -- which costs anywhere between $15M and $18M and is tracking around $10M to $11M but actually might surprise and get up to mid-teens, given that this one is a topic of discussion among the faith-based crowd. Will the Christian outreach help the box office? The film, based on the non-fiction book by Neil Hayes, is about a high school football coach who inspires his team to go the distance.
The motivational story stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Chiklis and opens tonight from distributor Sony at 7 PM. The thing is, it seems to be tracking lower than the last sports-themed pic, Disney's Million Dollar Arm, which opened to $10.5M but, as I said, the faith-based crowd may kick it higher. They have surprised everyone in the past.