In a word, “no.” A longer, Tom Hanks action picture vs. sci fi with Bullock? No contest.
“Captain Phillips” is enjoying the same sorts of rapturous reviews as “Gravity,” but it won’t have 3D IMAX money to count, and Tom Hanks is on the backside of super stardom. The days when his name ensured blockbuster are over, with this film being the exception to the rule of his career trajectory. He’s a fine actor and he’s sure to land an Oscar nomination for this or “Saving Mr. Banks.” Or both. But “Captain Phillips” won’t do much better than $25, top end.
Box Office Mojo says “Gravity” will hold 75% of its opening audience and do another $40 million plus. “Phillips” won’t quite hit $25. The comparison points for this picture are “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” which opened in the $20 million range. Add Tom Hanks’ star power (he is the only “name” in the cast, unless you count Catherine Keener, who plays his wife in the opening) and maybe you get low $20s.
Box Office Guru says that “Gravity” will lose quite a bit more audience and only do $33 million, and that “Captain Phillips” will only hit $18. I’d agree that “Gravity” won’t hit $40, but I think “Phillips” has more heft than that. And since I predicted “Gravity” would clear $50 when everybody else was saying $40 last weekend, I’ll double down on that.
“Variety” also says “Gravity” will only add another $30 or so to its robust BO totals. It should have legs, but will it do “Blindside” numbers? Will Bullock’s audience continue to show up? “Phillips” Variety says, will hit the low 20s.,
“Romeo & Juliet” won’t crack the top ten. “Machete Kills” has limited appeal, but that’s working against “brand identity,” which it has, thanks to the first film’s $28 million or so at the box office (total). Will it make $10? I think so. Nobody else does.
And also opening in 147 theaters, an R-rated child’s tale of inner city struggle — “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.”