For the first time since 2014, Easter won’t have a huge multi-quadrant event film opening and dominating this weekend, and as we explained last week, that’s due to Disney dating Avengers: Endgame on the calendar next Friday.
The Russo Brothers-directed Marvel film is expected to be one of the five highest grossing pictures of all-time, not adjusted for inflation, and as such rival studios have opted to hold back any tentpoles over this lucrative holiday weekend when kids are off from school, and not play in front of Endgame. Instead studios are pushing out non event titles, geared at one or two demos. This despite the fact that the theatrical marketplace has demonstrated many times that two event pictures can perform simultaneously, even outside of summer. According to ComScore 74% K-12 schools and 29% colleges are on break Good Friday, moving respectively to 37% and 8% by Monday.
New Line will wind up the winner for the third weekend in a row and it will either be with the third weekend of Shazam! (around $16M) or The Conjuring producers’ horror feature The Curse of Llorona which tracking has between $15M-$17M at an estimated 3,400 theaters. Even though the movie isn’t directly part of The Conjuring universe (it does co-star Annabelle priest Father Perez [Tony Amendola] who comes to the aid of the pic’s protagonist Anne Garcia [Linda Cardellini]), the movie comes with the Goodhousekeeping stamp of producer James Wan, a brand unto himself whose only production to open below $20M was Saw IV ($14.1M). Why is the film not connected to The Conjuring? Because those movies strictly stem from the Warren files. The Nun, despite being blemished by a 26% Rotten Tomatoes Score, proved that the rating didn’t matter and posted a record opening for a Conjuring pic ($53.8M). That said, it’s not a shocker if La Llorona overperforms and possibly hits $20M or more. La Llorona, rated R, is trending big with Latinos, and younger males and females despite.
Cardellini plays a social worker and widow raising her two children in 1970s Los Angeles, who is called to check in on one of her cases. She finds signs of foul play. As she digs deeper, she finds striking similarities between the case and the terrifying supernatural occurrences haunting her family. Enlisting the help of a local faith healer, she discovers that La Llorona has latched onto her and her children. La Llorona is a female ghost of Latin American heritage who lost her children and causes misfortune to those nearby. As Llorona searches for them, she takes other lost children, making them her own. La Llorona previews start Thursday at 6PM, and will play in multiple formats such as Imax, PLFs, Dine Ins, Motion Seats and Drive Ins.
Disney is officially releasing its first 20th Century Fox release, Breakthrough tomorrow at roughly 2,700 locations with an eye on $13M-$17M (over five days). A faith-based release starring Chrissy Metz and Topher Grace, Breakthrough is based on the inspirational true story of one mother’s unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. When Joyce Smith’s (Metz) adopted son John falls through an icy Missouri lake, all hope seems lost. But as John lies lifeless, Joyce refuses to give up. Her steadfast belief inspires those around her to continue to pray for John’s recovery, even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction. Miracles From Heaven‘s DeVon Franklin produces and the pic was adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte (Seven Pounds) from Joyce Smith’s own book. Roxann Dawson directs.
Universal’s second weekend of the Marsai Martin movie Little looks to hook $11M, -29% for a fourth place second weekend. In its first four days the pic has collected $16.5M.
Timed to Earth Day tomorrow in 1,800 locations, Disneynature has the Alastair Fothergill-Jeff Wilson documentary Penguins which is expected to earn between $5M-7M (over five days). Ed Helms narrates the coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. Pic is from the filmmaking team of Disneynature’s Bears and Chimpanzee.
Lionsgate in limited release has the Julia Hart-directed sci-fi mystery pic Fast Color at 25 theaters in 11 markets. Hunted by mysterious forces, a young woman (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) with supernatural abilities must go on the run when her powers are discovered. With nowhere else to go, she flees back to her family and the farmhouse she abandoned long ago. There, while being pursued by the local Sheriff (David Strathairn), she begins to mend the broken relationships with her mother (Lorraine Toussaint) and daughter (Saniyya Sidney) and learns that the power she needed was inside her all along. Industry estimates for the pic are in the low single digits.