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Box Office Brasserie:
Movie News For Movie Lovers

Kevin Hart is pretty much da man when it comes to African-American comedians right now, starring in three films last year and already two this year, including “The Wedding Ringer” and his latest, “Get Hard” this weekend.

Teaming up with Will Ferrell may not be comedy gold exactly, but it certainly will make cash registers pop off as Hart and Ferrell look to have great chemistry together and bring two solid demographics together. That should bode well for Warner’s $40M, R-rated formulaic funny business, as it locks down in over 3,150 theaters.

“Get Hard” may not be able to hit the $41M that Hart’s “Ride Along” hit last January, but it could definitely swell past $35M in a marketplace devoid of comedies right now.   Ferrell has routinely opened films in the $30M-spectrum before, including “Blades of Glory,” “Step Brothers” and most recently 2010’s “The Other Guys.” His biggest live-action debut is “Talladega Nights” which opened with $47M.

DreamWorks Animation desperately needs a hit. After film flubs like “Turbo” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” the studio has cut its release calendar back significantly, and is trying to incubate new franchises to replace “Shrek” and “Madagascar.”

Their latest release, “Penguins of Madagascar,” underperformed in the states ($83M) but did make up for its $130M budget grossing $284M overseas where the DWA product is significantly stronger. The budget for “Home” is also $130M, so it better hope for smooth sailing in international waters, as well.

“Home” certainly won’t save DWA’s falling stock, as it looks pretty bland and uninspiring, but could do some decent business considering there isn’t a toon in the theaters right now and won’t be one until Pixar drops “Inside Out” June 19. That’s an extremely long stretch that really could give “Home” the boost it needs.

In 3,700+ theaters, “Home” may land with around $30M this weekend. That would be close to last spring’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” which debuted with $32M, but quickly fizzled out with $111M. Typically animated films have a much longer shelf life in theaters than traditional flicks, but that really hasn’t been the case for DreamWorks’ offerings lately.

Debuting in moderate wide release after two weeks in limited release is Radius/TWC’s chill pill “It Follows.” The R-rated horror flick has gotten insanely good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes–currently at 94% fresh–and has been tearing it up on social media and word-of-mouth.

This would be Radius’ first real breakout hit, as Weinstein’s indie shingle usually specializes in documentaries and oddball films that are often more successful on VOD than theatrically.

Expanding in over 1,200+ theaters, “It Follows” is the widest release ever for Radius and might track down upwards of $5M. Last week it scored $344k in just 32 theaters.

In limited release and VOD is the third pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Magnolia’s depression-era period piece, “Serena.” Wait, why haven’t you heard of this? Can’t be a good sign, that’s for sure. The R-rated film rolls into 50+ theaters this weekend.

In exclusive art house release, Noah Baumbach’s (“The Squid and the Whale,” “Frances Ha”) latest “While We’re Young,” starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver looks to be the real winner this weekend. Classic Baumbach.

WEEKEND ESTIMATES

  1. Get Hard – $35M
  2. Home – $32M
  3. Insurgent – $24M
  4. Cinderella – $19M
  5. It Follows – $4M

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PRIME CUT OF THE WEEK: WB’s “Entourage” (June 6, 2015)

Sure, the film is entirely unnecessary, I mean, a new 8-episode arc on HBO would have sufficed, but those who love the show are all in. And yes, I’m all in. The question is, just how many fans does “Entourage” really have that will plop down $12?

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CHOICE CUT OF THE WEEK: HBO’s “Silicon Valley: Season 2” (April 12, 2015)

If you haven’t caught Mike “Butthead” Judge’s latest and greatest TV series now is the time to sign up. Brilliant. Absurd. Hilarious. My personal favorite show on the old boob tube right now.

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CHINCY CUT OF THE WEEK: Roadside Attractions’ “Maggie” (TBA)

Arnold Schwarzenegger protects his zombie daughter. Intriguing. In a Redbox sort of way. But seriously, why is he wasting his time when “Kindergarten Cop 2” could be filming, like, right now!?!

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KEVIN SMITH GOES BALLS TO THE MALLS

As hot as Kevin Smith was after “Clerks,” (which only earned $3.1M in theaters) his much-hyped follow-up, “Mallrats,” grossed just $2.1M at the box office and was widely considered a failure until home video fanatics rescued it from cinema purgatory.

It wasn’t just that though, as Smith’s View Askewniverse expanded with “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” and “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back” many revisited his trip to the mall, and recognized it for what it was: classic Smith shenanigans and infinitely quotable. The more you watch it, the better it gets. Like all his films, really.

Now, in the midst of his indie career-resurgence (which comes after “Tusk” revitalized him as a filmmaker) he’s setting the stage for “Mallrats 2” with the original cast including Shannon Doherty, Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee and possibly Ben Affleck (I’m sure in a very limited role).

But before Smith tackles that project, “Clerks III,” “Moose Jaws,” (like Jaws but with a moose) and already in post-production, “Yoga Hosers,” starring his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith.

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X-FILES REOPENED

Series creator Chris Carter is officially bringing back the titular 90s series, “The X-Files,” for a 6-episode arc on Fox, featuring the original investigators, Mulder (David Duchovney) and Scully (Gillian Anderson).

Excellent. If all goes well, maybe we’ll even get a few more episodes, too.  Glad they chose to go this route instead of another stand-alone movie, as this is much more fitting for fans than another film installment could ever be.

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Jeff Bock, NewsWhistle’s movie editor, is the senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at Jeff@NewsWhistle.com.

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Warner Bros., Poster Design by Art Machine