April 18th Forecast: Heaven, Transcendence, and Bears…Oh My!

Copyright: Alcon Entertainment - A Warner Bros. Picture Release

Copyright: Alcon Entertainment – A Warner Bros. Picture Release

Easter Weekend is always a mixed time at the box office, but studios are taking a stab at it with three releases this year.

Bears

Disney is launching their now-annual Earth Day Nature release in Bears. Last year’s Chimpanzee was one of their more successful releases, grossing $10m opening weekend and just shy of $30m overall. Bears are pretty darn cute, unless they’re eating you, so I’d expect something similar. Erring on the side of where some of the lower DisneyNature fare grossed, I’m predicting an $8m opening and about $24m overall. The film will face strong competition from Rio 2 which comes out the week before, as well as Heaven is For Real on the same weekend, so I think anything close to Chimpanzee numbers would make the Diseny folks happy.

Transcendence

Wally Pfister’s got certain audiences excited for his directorial debut. The famed cinematographer of many Christopher Nolan film’s finally gets his shot at the helm with this Johnny Depp picture. The film, about a scientist who downloads his mind in his computer, could be a breakout hit or a dud that’s no better than many cheesy ’90s films. The trailer reception has been mixed, so it’s too early to tell. Thus, I’m anticipating a decent debut of $22m and a final total of about $50m. Again, it could be much more (or less), but I’m not seeing anything to indicate that yet. (The film opens on Thursday.)

Heaven is For Real

The real question mark is this religious film based on the best-selling book about a child who reports of having seen heaven. Faith based audiences are being targeted heavily this spring with Noah and Son of God, but, with the book’s popularity, this film appears to have a chance at being a decent hit (meaning $50m+). The film is opening on Wednesday and is taking advantage of the religious holiday. I’m currently expecting a decent $16m weekend and a $45m gross, but this one has a varied range of success depending on how word of mouth spreads with church groups.