After three weeks of dominance, "The Dark Knight Rises" should give up the top spot at the box office this weekend, as "The Bourne Legacy" and "The Campaign" both look to be in good position for strong openings. At more than 3,600 theaters and with ties to Matt Damon's Jason Bourne series, "The Bourne Legacy" looks to have the upper hand, though expectations are still fairly high for "The Campaign," which stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Also heading into its first weekend in theaters is "Hope Springs," a comedy/drama starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones that should benefit from mostly rave reviews.
Starting with "The Bourne Identity" in 2002, the "Bourne" series helped turn Matt Damon from a well-known character actor to a bona fide action superstar. "The Bourne Identity" would end up being a smash hit and sequels "Supremacy" and "Ultimatum" would do even better, gathering big box office numbers and a significant amount of critical support to boot. Even with a rough early August release, "The Bourne Ultimatum" hauled in $227 million in the U.S. and more than $400 million worldwide in 2007, though Universal was unable to get Damon and director Paul Greengrass to come back for another entry.
With Damon not returning, Jeremy Renner steps in as a new superspy in a spin-off from the original material. The franchise will also bring back director Tony Gilroy, who wrote or co-wrote the screenplay for each of the first three "Bourne" films and directed acclaimed drama "Michael Clayton." With Renner's popularity from recent hits "The Town" and "The Avengers," he looks like a solid replacement that audiences will recognize, which should help "The Bourne Legacy" get off the ground this weekend.
The main problem, though, is that it will still lose plenty of momentum simply because Damon is no longer the star. "The Bourne Legacy" also carries nowhere near the amount of critical support the first three in the franchise had, which could make it a tough sell as it competes for audience members with "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Total Recall." Look for "The Bourne Legacy" to earn near $40 million this weekend, though overall numbers should pale in comparison to the original trilogy.
Also looking for mainstream moviegoers this weekend is "The Campaign," an R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as dueling politicians. Though Ferrell's recent movies haven't done that well at the box office, he's still a big name and combining him with Galifianakis looks like a formula that has some real commercial potential. Reviews have also been very positive and "The Campaign" is perfectly timed with the elections coming up, which should translate to a strong opening weekend for distributor Warner Brothers.
"The Campaign" also has fairly advantageous release timing, as comedies "The Watch" and "Ted" are nearing the end of their box office runs. Look for "The Campaign" to earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 to $34 million this weekend and to do well with its target audience throughout the rest of the month.
As "The Campaign" and "The Bourne Legacy" take over at the top of the box office, comedy/drama "Hope Springs" should also be in a good spot to appeal to its target demographic. Aimed mostly at older adults, "Hope Springs" will likely benefit from very strong critical reviews and it should get off to a decent start this weekend, though a limited release of only 2,361 suggests it has a fairly small overall audience to appeal to. "Hope Springs" should open with around $15 million and could stick around the box office top ten into September if it benefits from positive word-of-mouth.
Heading deeper into August, we'll get a consistent diet of action-thrillers as we close out the summer blockbuster season. Next weekend, "The Expendables 2" will bring back a group of some of the biggest action stars of the 1980s and 90s for another R-rated action thrill-ride. Family film "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" will also hit theaters on Wednesday, August 15th and limited releases "ParaNorman" and "Sparkle" are also slated for release next weekend.
RTT Box Office Predictions for 8/10/12 - 8/12/12 (in millions):
1. The Bourne Legacy (Universal): $40
2. The Campaign (Warner Brothers): $32
3. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Brother): $19
4. Hope Springs (Sony/Columbia): $15
5. Total Recall (Sony/Columbia): $12.5
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (Fox): $6.9
7. Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox): $4.2
8. The Watch (Fox): $3.2
9. Ted (Universal): $2.9
10. Step Up Revolution (Summit): $2.7
by RTT Staff Writer
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