Box-Office Preview: 'Walk in the Woods,' 'Transporter 4' Close Out Summer
'The Transporter Refueled' may not be able to bump 'Straight Outta Compton' from the top spot in what could be a sleepier-than-usual Labor Day weekend; 'Walk in the Woods' is opting for a smaller rollout.
Hoping for attention from the 45-plus crowd, Robert Redford's adventure dramedy A Walk in the Woods is opening Wednesday to get an early jump on what's expected to be a quiet Labor Day weekend.
The final weekend of summer is never a busy time at the box office, but this year could be worse than usual in terms of overall revenue. The good news: Thanks in large measure to Universal and Disney, domestic revenue from May 1-Sept. 7 is expected to clear $4.4 billion, one of the best showings of all time and up more than 7 percent over summer 2014. Attendance is also up.
From director Ken Kwapis, Walk in the Woods co-stars Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson, and is one of the first releases from new indie distributor, Broad Green Pictures. The adult-skewing movie is based on travel writer Bill Bryson's book about hiking the Appalachian Trail with a friend.
Opting for a modest release, A Walk in the Woods is expected to gross $7 million to $8 million from roughly 1,800 theaters over the course of its six-day debut, including a four-day opening between $6 million and $7 million. Broad Green acquired the film out of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It later pacted with AARP for a screening program, in addition to partnering with outdoor retailer REI.
The holiday's other new entry is EuropaCorp's The Transporter Refueled, the fourth outing in the action franchise and the first not to feature Jason Statham in the lead role. Instead, Ed Skrein stars as Frank Martin. The film is going out through RED, the joint distribution venture between EuropaCorp and embattled Relativity Media (RED is not part of the Relativity bankruptcy proceedings).
Opening in roughly 3,400 theaters, Transporter Refueled is getting the second-widest release of all time for a Labor Day title after Halloween, which went out in 3,472 locations in 2012, debuting to $30.6 million, the best showing of all time for the holiday. Refueled, costing $22 million to make, is expected to do substantially less business, or in the $10 million range for the four days. That could put it behind holdovers Straight Outta Compton and War Room.
The last film in the franchise opened to $12.1 million in November 2008, while the second installment took in $20.1 million over Labor Day weekend in 2005. Transporter Refueled, targeting younger males, is getting a wide berth in Imax theaters and premium format locations.
Transporter Refueled, the first in a planned trio, has big ambitions overseas, where it is opening in 27 markets this weekend. The first three films were a popular staple overseas.
The specialty box office sees the debut of Alex Gibney's latest documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, which Magnolia opens in select theaters and on VOD.
Chris Evans' directorial debut, Before We Go, also opens in select theaters after premiering earlier this month on VOD. Evans stars opposite Alice Eve in the romantic drama, from Radius-TWC.