“Battle: Los Angeles” is expected to eliminate box office competition this weekend, leaving “Mars Needs Moms” searching for any sign of life.
Sony Pictures’ “Battle,” an alien invasion story starring Aaron Eckhart, is expected to open with domestic ticket sales of $ 30-35 million, according to people who saw audience polls before the exit.
But the biggest news at the box office this weekend will likely be the disastrous debut of “Mars Needs Moms,” a big-budget animated film from Walt Disney Studios that is set to debut with just $ 10 million. dollars.
The other novelty of the weekend, Warner Bros. ‘ the gothic tale of “Red Riding Hood” will likely fetch around $ 20 million.
“Battle: Los Angeles” was co-funded by Sony and Relativity Media for $ 77 million, according to a person familiar with the production, although a Sony spokesperson said the cost was $ 70 million after inducements. tax. The film, about a platoon of Marines battling aliens invading the city, is of great interest to men of all ages.
Because the film has an ethnically diverse cast that includes Latin actress Michelle Rodriguez and African-American singer Ne-Yo, Sony is hoping that “Battle: LA” will attract a large minority audience. The film is also being released in 33 foreign territories this weekend, including Britain, Russia and Korea.
Less certain is the number of people who will show up to see “Mars Needs Moms,” the 3D performance capture film about a 9-year-old boy who travels through space to save his mother from the Martians. The film was produced by ImageMovers Digital by filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, who previously partnered with Disney for “A Christmas Carol” in 2009. But the collaboration between the companies ended last year when Disney shut down the studio. digital production from Northern California and noted its investment.
If the projections turn out to be correct, “Mars Needs Moms” will be one of the biggest box office flops of the year, considering its cost of around $ 150 million. The film is also launched in 15 foreign countries.
“Red Riding Hood,” which stars Amanda Seyfried as a willful teenage girl in a love triangle, is generating a lot of interest among teenage girls, whom Warner has courted a lot in his ad campaign. This is director Catherine Hardwicke’s first film since “Twilight” in 2008, a mega-hit with young women.
Hardwicke said “Red Riding Hood” cost $ 42 million to produce, meaning its intended debut would be good but not great.
Beyond new releases, the bigger question is how Paramount’s computer-animated “Rango” will hold its second weekend in theaters after opening to an average of $ 38.1 million. Family-friendly animated films generally have lower box office drops than other genres, as parents often wait to hear what people they trust say about the picture.
However, despite mostly positive reviews, the audience’s initial response to “Rango” was largely negative: Moviegoers over the age of 13 gave the film a low average C-plus rating, according to the market research firm. CinemaScore. If the film, which stars Johnny Depp as the voice of a chameleon, drops less than 40%, that would bode well for its box office prospects.
In a limited edition, Focus Features will release a new adaptation of the 19th century English literary classic “Jane Eyre” starring Mia Wasikowska at two theaters in Los Angeles and two in New York.
– Amy Kaufman
Photos (from top): Aaron Eckhart stars in “Battle: Los Angeles”; The animated characters of Dan Fogler and Seth Green in “Mars Needs Moms”. Credit: Sony; Digital ImageMovers.