Box-Office Preview: 'RoboCop' Kicks Off '80s Mania at the Multiplex
In a blast from the past, a trio of remakes invade the multiplex this weekend hoping to see a boost from Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day -- RoboCop, About Last Night and Endless Love, all based on movies from the 1980s.
The lone exception to the weekend trend is Winter's Tale, a supernatural drama based on the novel by Mark Helprin and marking the feature directorial debut of writer and producer Akiva Goldsman. The film stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay and Matt Bomer.
Unfortunately, none of the new offerings may be able to topple holdover The Lego Movie, which appears on course to stay at No. 1 over the long holiday. The family film, from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, could earn as much as $45 million for the four-day weekend.
RoboCop, which has taken nearly a decade to make, is getting a jump on the action by opening Wednesday. Directed by Jose Padilha, the reboot stars Joel Kinnaman in the title role and opens 27 years after Paul Verhoeven's original debuted. Sony and MGM hope to reinvigorate the sci-fi franchise with Padilha's film, which has gotten off to a solid start in select markets overseas, earning nearly $28 million to date.
Based on prerelease tracking, RoboCop is on pace to gross $28 million for the four-day and $35 million to $38 million for the six-day time frame. The film also stars Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson.
While RoboCop hopes to seduce males, the three other new movies hope to woo Valentine's Day sweethearts.
Sony's Screen Gems has high hopes for About Last Night, thanks to Kevin Hart's soaring star status. Hart's buddy cop comedy Ride Along has zoomed past the $100 million mark domestically, far outpacing expectations. About Last Night, starring African-American actors this time, is a remake of the 1986 film starring Brat Pack members Demi Moore and Rob Lowe.
In the remake, Hart stars opposite Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Joy Bryant. Steve Pink directed the film, about two couples who hook up at a bar. According to tracking, About Last Night should earn in the $23 million range for the four days.
Sony's distribution chief Rory Bruer says he thinks both movies are different enough from the originals to make them fresh. "RoboCop is definitely fresh and relevant to today's world, while About Last Night is very different from the first one," he said.
From Universal, Endless Love is a romantic drama based on the 1981 Franco Zeffirelli film starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt. While the original was panned, it was a solid box-office performer. Moreover, the theme song, by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, became an instant hit and remains a classic. It is also the biggest-selling single of Ross' career.
The remake, directed by Shana Feste, features an ensemble cast led by Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde. It should open in the mid- to high-teens, similar to Winter's Tale. The story revolves around a privileged girl whose love affair sparks the ire of her parents.