Easter Weekend Box Office: Can “Heaven is for Real” transcend “Transcendence”?

Neither of the major openings this weekend has a prayer of catching “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” or “Rio 2.”

The bad reviews for Johnny Depp’s last film in which he does not play a pirate (merely a prediction) won’t help “Transcendence.” You have to squint extra hard to find real names on the critics’ “quotes” on the TV ads endorsing this stinker. Never a good sign.

Box Office Mojo still figures Depp doing sci-fi will pull in $20 million. I doubt it.

Box Office Guru makes the case that “After Earth” and “Oblivion” opened bigger than that, and based his $25 million prediction on those precedents. We’ll see. I think Depp, as much as I’ve enjoyed him over the years, is done. And he’s particularly bad in this part.

“Heaven is for Real” is the last of this Easter season’s faith-based films, and with the director of “Braveheart” and Greg Kinnear and a god supporting cast, this child’s view of the afterlife earned far better reviews than the dreadful “God’s Not Dead,” which will end up earning $50 million or so, when all is said and done.

The Guru figures “Heaven” could open at $16, which would be impressive. Box Office Mojo is thinking $15 million. Will the faithful embrace it? “Noah” made nearly $100 million despite being pounded by evangelicals and Fox News blondes. “God’s Not Dead” had a lot of church-based marketing behind it. Will “Heaven” get that sort of boost? 

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