Box Office: 'Awkward Moment,' 'Labor Day' Make a Play for Women on Super Bowl Weekend
Instead of trying to compete directly with Sunday's Super Bowl, Hollywood will attempt to do an end run around the big game by introducing a pair of new films targeting females.
That Awkward Moment -- marking the first release from Focus Features under Peter Schlessel's rule -- hopes to entice younger women intrigued by Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan, who play three best friends facing pivotal points in their respective relationships.
The R-rated indie comedy is poised to open in the $10 million to $12 million range, a solid start considering the movie's $8 million budget. Schlessel acquired rights to Awkward Moment for roughly $1.5 million when he was running FilmDistrict and brought the title with him to Focus.
Directed and written by Tom Gormican, Awkward Moment opens Friday in 2,809 theaters and is targeted at women between the ages of 17 and 34.
Jason Reitman's Labor Day is tracking best among women over the age of 45 as it prepares to open Friday in roughly 2,500 locations. The drama, expected to open in the $6 million to $8 million range, stars Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith and Tobey Maguire.
From Paramount and Indian Paintbrush, Labor Day cost $18 million to make. It's the first time that one of Reitman's movies has opened nationwide; the rest have all opened in limited runs before slowly expanding. Labor Day, about a woman and her son who bring a stranger home over the holiday, was originally supposed to debut in theaters late last year, but its release was pushed back.
The wild card of the weekend is Disney's animated blockbuster Frozen. Disney is releasing a sing-along version of the family film in 2,057 theaters on Friday (the total location count is 2,754), and it's not inconceivable that Frozen could beat the competition, considering it made $9 million last weekend.
On Wednesday, Frozen -- which is heading into its 10th weekend in nationwide release -- raced past the $350 million mark at the domestic box office, pushing its worldwide total north of $812 million.
The soundtrack, featuring the movie's nine songs, is also doing blockbuster business and returned to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the week ending Jan. 26. Frozen is the first soundtrack since High School Musical 2 in 2007 to spend at least three weeks at at No. 1.