Weekend Box Office: ‘Draft Day,’ ‘Rio 2’ and ‘Oculus’ on the Clock Against ‘Winter Solider’

Last week 'Captain America's' sequel dominated the box office, but this weekend it's 'Rio 2's' turn as the animated kid pic joins 'Draft Day' and 'Oculus' in the hunt for the top spot.

Apr 11, 2014 at 6:58AM

Super-heroes still dominate at the box office. That lesson came through loud and clear last week as Captain America: The Winter Soldier broke records at Cineplex's across the country. This weekend the iconic comic star has a trio of films in the hunt for the top spot, but the odds are good the Captain won't be dethroned.


(Credit: Fox)

Rio 2

If any film can top Winter Solider, it's going to be Fox's (NASDAQ:FOXA) Rio 2. It's been a good year so far for kid flicks with The Nut Job and The Lego Movie doing a number on the box office. Although as proven the other week with Muppets Most Wanted, nothing is guaranteed. Fox will look to avoid that trap with Rio 2, the sequel to the 2011 hit with a vocal cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, and Jamie Foxx.


The animated comedy will likely draw around $40 million, about what the original pulled a few years ago. As before the additional upcharge of 3D will help boost Rio 2's revenue, but this one's largely going to see business from families who flocked to the first one. Some estimates have it coming in a little higher and that could end up putting it in a tight race for the top with Winter Soldier, which is expected to drop by at least half from last weekend's $95 million debut. Rio 2 is lighter in tone and at least a half-hour shorter, both of which should help attract the younger set.

Fox (and partner DreamWorks Animation) has recently been down this road -- just last month the pair's Mr. Peabody and Sherman hit theaters. Many analysts point to that film as the reason for Muppets' soft opening, as the market was saturated with kid pics (which usually isn't a bad thing). Here though between Lego and Peabody parents looked like they wanted a break and that affected Kermit and friends. Don't expect that to be the case again this weekend, but the odds are still better for a second place opening.

Draft Day

It's only April and Kevin Costner's already had two films come out, with two more to come. The next pic is Draft Day, which has the Oscar winner revisiting his sports movie roots. Costner's had a lot of recent misses, but he knows how to do sports films (and Westerns). Here he plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns who must navigate the always tricky NFL draft. With footage shot during last year's NFL draft, the movie has a sense of realism to it and that's help sell football fans on the premise.


This won't make a ton of money, but it doesn't have to in order to be a hit. Draft Day is aimed squarely at male sports fans; if anyone else shows up, it will be a pleasant surprise for distributor Summit (a subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF). Early projections have the movie earning around $11 million to $13 million, in line with the $12 million Costner's 3 Days to Kill earned in February and just a hair less than the $15 million Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit did in January.

Both of those movies under-performed, but they carried somewhat loftier expectations since they were marketed to a wider audience...this one's very niche. Draft Day is also sporting better reviews with many critics suggesting this could help Costner begin to reverse his downward box office spiral.



(Credit: Relativity) 

The biggest wildcard of the weekend is Relativity's Oculus. The horror film, which is fronted by two lesser-known actors (Karen Gillian and Brenton Thwaites), centers on a woman who is determined to prove her recently released from jail brother was framed for his crime by a supernatural phenomenon. It's a horror film...it doesn't have to make sense.

The interesting part though is that it's registering with critics who are getting behind the film, which is co-produced by WWE Films (NYSE:WWE).


Horror films were BIG business in 2013, but this year not so much. Relativity, which incidentally was behind Costner's disappointing 3 Days, is hoping to reignite the fright fest in theaters, and tracking on Oculus has it around $13 million to $15 million, which would be a nice first week showing. It wouldn't be the same level that the Evil Dead remake did around this time last year (with $25 million), but right now the industry seems to be OK with baby steps.

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Brett Gold has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information