Weekend releases should fail to nab top box office spot

This weekend will see a slew of new releases, all targeting different markets, but none of them should be major players. Instead, expect the top box office spot to be another battle between Rio 2 and Captain American: Winter Soldier.

The biggest weekend release is Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp. Regardless of a strong cast including the likes of Morgan Freeman and Kate Mara, the film’s poor reviews may turn away potential viewers. Coming from the mind of Wally Pfister, the Academy Award-winning cinematographer known for his work with Christopher Nolan on the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, the film has a distinct visual style that will appeal to more avid moviegoers. It will, however, likely underperform this weekend.

A Haunted House 2, the comedy-horror film starring Marlon Wayans, looks to cash in on the Scary Movie franchise formula from a number of years ago. While the first film was critically panned, the signature humor of the Wayans family has been able to entertain audiences and has had decent box office numbers. This film will likely be less popular than the first one, but fans of the Wayans should find this an entertaining film to watch this weekend.

After a limited release this Wednesday, Christian film Heaven is for Real will see a wide release this weekend. Based on the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, it tells the story of a boy who claims to have seen Heaven.  For whatever reason, 2014 is the year of the religious film, and the original story was insanely popular when it first came out. The film should see a fairly sizeable niche audience in an older religious demographic, but it should not take a significant place in the box office.

Disneynature’s newest documentary, Bears, should pull a decent audience, especially families, thanks to John C. Reilly’s narration and its timely release just a few days before Earth Day. But, as is the nature of a nature documentary, the film will not likely garner any substantial numbers in comparison to this weekend’s feature films.

The top spot this weekend should be another battle between Rio 2 and Captain America: Winter Soldier. In its third week, however, the Marvel film should slow down enough to allow Rio 2 to take the lead. Transcendence is the only new release that might give either a run for its money, but don’t expect it to take the top spot.