Box Office: “Heaven is for Real” opens big, “Transcendence” doesn’t, “Bears” bombs

This spring’s steady diet of faith-based films has apparently gotten SOME folks back in the habit of going to the movies. The faithful are tithing to Tristar as Sony’s “Heaven is for Real,” based on the best seller about a preacher who insists his little boy visited heaven, had a big Friday, and with an Easter holiday weekend behind it, could hit $26 million+ by Monday night, according to Deadline.com.

Since they always overestimate, let’s assume it does a solid $22-24, at this stage.It’s not a very good film, but it is touching, and it does leave adults and atheists plenty of wriggle room in suggesting the kid’s upbringing and coaching/prompting has more to do with this “amazing true story” than facts.

That’s a lot more than the heavily hyped “Transcendence,” which plays very much like an April sci-fi film should play — not good enough for summer release, with the box office to show for it. If it clears $12 by Sunday night, or even by Monday, it’ll be a miracle.

“Bears,” the other new opening, had a weak Good Friday, but Saturday will really tell for this kid-targeted nature documentary from Disney. $6 million or so by Sunday now, maybe $7 if it has a big Saturday, and Monday should pay off, too. It’s a good movie and deserves better than that. Cannot tell you how many parents are worried “does a cub die?” in comments to me about this one. We’re a long way from the emotional maturity of “Old Yeller.” Parents shield their kids from the grim reality of animals dying that these days.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” is back on top of the box office race doing about $26 over the long weekend. Close to $200 in the U.S.

“Rio 2” is managing $24 or so. It will hit $100, or close to it, before the serious summer cinema season start.

“God’s Not Dead” will be close to $50 million by next weekend.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.