Box office preview: New releases should please variety of audiences

A new weekend means new film releases, and you can look forward to a trio of nationwide releases this weekend. While they may not all to be quality films, there should be a new film for everyone. Each of these films touches on a different key demographic so everyone can enjoy a movie this weekend.

Vampire Academy, The Monuments Men and The Lego Movie are all releasing nationwide this weekend. In a month filled with mostly female-targeted films, this weekend has some of the only films that reach out to wider audiences.

The first of the new releases is Vampire Academy, the Mark Waters-directed film adapted from a series of young adult novels. It tells the story of a “Dhampir” (half-vampire half-human) girl and her adventures at a vampire boarding school after running away for two years.

The film comes off as a mix between Twilight and Harry Potter. While it does have all of the fantasy and plot elements that are akin to the renowned J.K. Rowling series, it also heavily focuses on romance and vampires, a staple in television and film as of late. It is the only new release this weekend targeting a female audience, and it will likely struggle to garner large crowds from the other demographics.

The Monuments Men, charged with a star-studded class led by George Clooney and Matt Damon, should win over large amounts of the audience. Much akin to Clooney’s Ocean’s Eleven films, this film should be both humorous and adventurous, while also stimulating an intellectual side because the premise focuses on rescuing valuable pieces of artwork during the closing stages of WWII. The film is based on a true story, but that won’t be the true catch for audiences. People love the the Damon-Clooney chemistry, and this film should be no exception.

The last major nationwide release for this weekend is The Lego Movie. The Lego Company has already won hits for its video game series, so it only made sense for the franchise to venture into film. This star-studded comedy, consisting of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman and Will Arnett among others, won rave reviews from critics, especially noting on its animation. The film has been highly anticipated for a long time, and even though some people may find the concept gimmicky, it will still prove to be popular with a large percentage of audience members.

The key to this weekend’s box office is the target demographics. February films are typically targeted toward female audiences, so Vampire Academy suffers from being one in a bunch, not to mention that it specifically caters to adolescent females. While that is a relatively large demographic, it should not fare as well as the other two films this weekend, which cater to much larger audiences.

The Monuments Men is filled with A-list stars with a quality story behind it, and is one of the few films being released this month that caters to a male audience. The film should fare well over the weekend, with many people anticipating another film that features the duo of Matt Damon and George Clooney.

The Lego Movie should come on top in terms of new films.  An all-star cast coupled with a fresh concept and rave reviews means that this film should be near the top of the box office — not to mention that it also caters to audiences of all ages. Young kids especially will drag their parents to see the movie about toys. Look for this film to be the winner of the three.

The question still remains whether any of these films can top Ride Along, which has spent three weeks at No. 1. It made significantly less money last week, which may be attributed to the Super Bowl, but can also be a sign that it is time to step down from the top seat at the box office. Look for The Lego Movie to give No. 1 film a run for its money.