The Dark Knight Rises has managed to overcome the negative hype surrounding the film and rule the box office since its release on July 20th. Total Recall, The Watch, and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days were no match for Nolan’s final installment of the Batman trilogy. The film has grossed over $300 million in the states and still has a shot to break the $400 million mark domestically. This weekend The Dark Knight Rises will finally get knocked off the top of the box office mountain thanks to a triple team of films opening this weekend.
The first film to land a critical blow to The Dark Knights Rises will be the well reviewed adult dramedy Hope Springs. Hope Spring stars Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep as married couple of thirty years Kay and Arnold, who decide to undertake an intense, week-long, couple counseling session to work on their relationship. Oscar buzz has already begun to surround the film for its two leads as well Steve Carrell’s portrayal as Dr. Feld, who tries to help the couple work through their issues. In the past, adult counter programming has worked well in the summer months. Hope Springs will have a generous box office take when the film’s run is over but it will probably never break the top two during its theater run. Films like this do well in the long-term but will never sit at the top of the box office, even for a single weekend. My prediction is for Hope Springs is to make $19 million this weekend at the box office.
The second film to open this weekend will try to break Batman’s funny bone. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star as rival politicians trying to win an election in The Campaign. This film is a tough call for me. I love Will Ferrell but he hasn’t done a movie I have enjoyed since Anchorman. The Other Guys made money but the film wasn’t funny and Ferrell’s turn in Spanish cinema’s Casa di me Padre early this year didn’t translate into dollars or laughs. Ferrell is barely hanging on as Hollywood’s leading funny man and could use a hit leading into Anchorman 2 next summer. Another problem I see with this film is the R rating. Films like That’s My Boy and The Watch struggled finding an audience carrying the R rating. Outside of Ted it’s been a tough summer for R rated flicks in general when it comes to making back money on your investment. Normally I would say a film starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis would be number one at the box office but with the trend of unfunny movies from Ferrell and R rated flops this summer, I can’t back that statement. My thinking is The Campaign will gain some votes at the box office but will finish shy of $30 million this weekend.
The box office death-blow for The Dark Knight Rises will come from The Bourne Legacy not starring Matt Damon. By now you have seen the trailers with rising star and two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner taking the reins of the Bourne Franchise. Renner won’t be playing Jason Bourne in the new installment but a new character named Aaron Cross. The film takes place in the Bourne Universe with the events of the first three films driving the story in The Bourne Legacy. Renner has been solid with critics as well as the box office with hits like The Avengers and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol under his belt. Universal hopes to keep the franchise going with Renner so down the road we could see a Damon/Renner Bourne movie in the future. I expect even without Jason Bourne jumping from roof top to roof top, The Bourne Legacy will win the box office by taking in $35 million. Hit me up on Twitter @CW44CouchPotato or Facebook and tell me who you think will win the box office this weekend.
1. The Bourne Legacy – $35 million
2. The Campaign – $26 million
3. The Dark Knight Rises – $ 21 million
4. Hope Springs – $19 million