Box office preview: Sparse new releases over Super Bowl weekend

It’s the time of year where new releases are few and far between. Awards season has saturated the box office with Oscar nominees and critically acclaimed films. Movies like Frozen, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street have accumulated large audiences over the past few weeks.

In stark contrast to last weekend’s release of I, Frankenstein, this weekend has has female-targeted releases of Labor Day and That Awkward Moment.

Labor Day, starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, is the tale of a convict taken in by a single mother and her child. Its major themes include morality and the nature of love. The two leads are both very well established and talented actors, and critics have already noted both actors deliver quality performances. The film emphasizes romanticism more than sexuality, earning the film its PG-13 rating.

That Awkward Moment plays to a much younger demographic, starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller as three best friends who promise to stay out of relationships together.  While it loosely follows the format of a romantic comedy, it plays out a bit more like a “bromantic comedy,” peppering raunchy jokes into a romantic comedy-esque storyline. The film will most likely cater to a female demographic over Super Bowl weekend.

How well they actually perform will most likely come down to marketing.

Labor Day was first released in December to a limited audience, attempting to gain momentum through word of mouth. While the film has received generally positive reviews, it has not achieved the critical acclaim to dominate the box office.

That Awkward Moment has turned to social media to draw interest. With promotional clips, teasers and trailers garnering massive amounts of YouTube views, marketing has played into the younger generation’s reliance on social media to generate an audience for the R-rated comedy, solidifying its presence in the minds of moviegoers.

But neither film has what it takes to dominate the box office this weekend. Ride Along, the Kevin Hart and Ice Cube action-comedy, will likely spend its third consecutive week at No. 1.