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'Five-Year Engagement' In Position To Top Box Office This Weekend


In the final weekend before the chaotic summer release schedule begins, R-rated comedy "The Five-Year Engagement" is in good position to take over as the biggest box office draw in the country, with newcomer "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" close behind. Also hitting theaters this weekend will be the John Cusack-starring thriller "The Raven" and Jason Statham's latest tough guy action flick, "Safe," though big openings aren't expected from either. "Think Like a Man" should also still be hanging around the top of the box office after a very surprising opening, but a substantial slip from its opening numbers is expected for the Sony/Screen Gems distribution.

Hitting a little more than 2,800 total theaters, "The Five-Year Engagement" would love to pick up where "21 Jump Street" left off with mainstream adult audiences. With known actors Jason Segel and Emily Blunt atop the cast, not to mention an easy-to-grasp concept, "The Five-Year Engagement" should be a fairly easy sell this weekend, particularly with a lack of genre competition.

The only real negative for "The Five-Year Engagement" is a mixed critical opinion, though high-concept adult comedies don't tend to rely too much on critics to get off the ground in theaters. With the other new releases aiming mainly at different segments of the adult demographic, "The Five-Year Engagement" should be in a position to cross $20 million, which will likely be enough to top the box office this weekend.

The closest competition on the charts looks to be animated "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," a PG family film that has already done fairly well overseas. "The Pirates!" has racked up $55 million in foreign revenue and should be able to find a decent chunk of family audiences in the U.S. as well, though a mostly British cast will likely limit its appeal. With the widest release of the weekend at more than 3,000 total venues, expect "The Pirates!" to put up a decent opening total in the $15 to $18 million range but to finish out of the top box office slot.

As family audiences give "The Pirates!" a shot this weekend, thrill-seeking audiences could be split between "The Raven" and "Safe," which will likely prevent both from having much of an opening weekend.

Opening at roughly 2,000 total theaters this weekend, "The Raven" at least has a bona fide star in John Cusack atop its cast, though very poor reviews and a limited release will make it a difficult sell this weekend. "The Raven" should be able to earn somewhere around $10 to $12 million this weekend for Relativity.

With a similar release size, "Safe" will also be hoping to find a few adults looking for an action-thriller, though Jason Statham's releases tend to appeal to a fairly niche audience. Even if that niche audience is enough to at least get "Safe" somewhat off the ground, box office expectations are still extremely limited for its opening weekend. Look for "Safe" to struggle to find an audience and potentially finish outside of the top five with just $8 or $9 million in opening revenue.

With a mostly unimpressive list of new titles, the door is open for comedy "Think Like a Man" to have a decent second weekend in theaters. "Think Like a Man" beat all industry expectations a week ago when it topped the charts with $33 million, an impressive total for a $12 million production that hit just 2,015 total theaters. Though a sharp drop from its opening totals is expected, "Think Like a Man" should still be able to put up close to $15 million this weekend, giving it a very strong 10-day total close to $60 million domestically.

After a couple of so-so weekends of new releases, the summer schedule will get kicked off in a big way next weekend with the release of "The Avengers." Starring a number of the current Marvel superheroes, "The Avengers" has a tremendous fan following and has been getting nothing short of rave reviews so far, which should only help build the hype over the next week or so before it launches. Comedy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is also slated to hit theaters with an impressive cast, including Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, but a limited release from Fox Searchlight should mean a fairly small opening.

RTT Box Office Predictions for 4/27/12 - 4/29/12 (In Millions):

1. The Five-Year Engagement (Universal): $22

2. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony/Columbia): $16

3. Think Like a Man (Sony/Screen Gems): $14

4. The Raven (Relativity): $11.8

5. The Lucky One (Warner Brothers): $11.5

6. Safe (Lionsgate): $9

7. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate): $8.5

8. Chimpanzee (Disney): $5.2

9. The Three Stooges (Fox): $4.8

10. The Cabin in the Woods (Lionsgate): $4

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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