That Awkward Moment and Labor Day—are targeted at female audiences that may not be completely consumed by the insanely popular sporting event. Neither movie is poised to really break out, though, and it would be surprising if any title earns over $15 million this weekend.
Playing at 2,809 locations, That Awkward Moment could be
in a tight race with Ride Along
for first place. The R-rated romantic comedy is being sold mostly on the
likeability of its three male leads, who have so far achieved varying levels of
Teller and Michael
B. Jordan have seen their stars rise a bit in the last year thanks to their
work in The
Spectacular Now and Fruitvale
Station; unfortunately, neither of those movies set the box office on
fire, and it's unlikely that either actor is much of a draw yet.
on the other hand, has a proven track record at the box office. So far, Efron
has exclusively headlined three nationwide releases—17 Again,
St. Cloud and The Lucky
One. The worst among those was Charlie St. Cloud, which started
with $12.4 million on its way to $31.2 million. That Awkward Moment is
Efron's first major R-rated movie, though that shouldn't be too much of a
deterrent; fans of his from the High School Musical era should be old
enough now to buy an R-rated ticket.
Last Summer, FilmDistrict acquired
domestic distribution rights to the movie for $1.5 million (at the time, it was
called Are We Officially Dating?). Later in 2013, FilmDistrict merged
with Focus Features, and That Awkward Moment marks the first release from
the new Focus. The studio executed a targeted campaign geared toward younger
women; while that's kept costs low, it also means the movie probably won't open
too high. Still, it should earn at least $10 million this weekend, which is a
fine start for a modest romantic comedy.
Labor Day, adapted from
Joyce Maynard's novel of the same name, opens at 2,584 theaters this weekend.
Marketing is primarily focused on the movie's director (Jason
Reitman) and two leads (Kate
Winslet and Josh
Brolin). Unfortunately, the movie is off-brand for Reitman—his previous
outings all include a healthy dose of comedy—and Brolin hasn't really opened a
movie yet. Winslet, on the other hand, has had modest success with similar fare,
though a pairing with Titanic
DiCaprio wasn't enough to get 2008's Revolutionary
Road past $23 million total.
Labor Day's marketing has
been geared toward older, more discerning moviegoers. Unfortunately, the movie
was shut out of Oscar consideration, and is getting poor reviews (as of Thursday
afternoon, it was hovering around 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Paramount is
currently expecting between $6 and $8 million this weekend, which seems like a
Forecast (Jan. 31-Feb. 2)
1. That Awkward
Moment - $12.1 million
2. Ride Along - $12 million (-44%)
Job - $7.9 million (-35%)
4. Frozen -
$7.7 million (-15%)
Survivor - $7.3 million (-43%)
6. Labor Day - $7.2
Bar for Success
That Awkward Moment and Labor
Day are modest movies—both in budget and in marketing costs. As a result,
both are in good shape if they get past $10 million this weekend.