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article image'Woman in Black 2' will not contend

By Tim O'Brien     Jan 1, 2015 in Entertainment
There will not be a new winner at the box office as the first weekend of 2015 closes. A holdover in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" should once again emerge the victor.
That means the newcomer, "Woman in Black 2," will fail to scare up enough movie-goers. In fact, beating "Unbroken" and "Into the Woods" may not happen. So, a weekend for films that have been out is not necessarily the ideal way to start a new year. But it will not be a disaster as the top film should land in around $25 million, with a $20 million runner up.
With the overall box office down in 2014, and some odd scheduling, this year starts the same. No big new wide release on tap, and with January being slow, having "The final "Hobbit" three-peat signals boredom. For a rundown of the year at the box office, head here.
The real murkiness of the box office is when the money made the first weekend in January gets added to 2014. Or if "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" passes "Guardians of the Galaxy" this month, it gets added to 2014. Huh?
Anyway, "Woman in Black 2" is a horror film and is hoping to get those movie-goers with that genre instead of the usual holiday fare. Plus, Hollywood releases certain movies now, hoping for a January surprise, like "Taken" did a few years back. Note, "Taken 3" is out this month, too.
Woman in Black 2" opens in 2,602 theaters in what is a crowded time at the theaters. "A Most Violent Year" stars Jessica Chastain in a buzz worthy role. That is the limited release to track.
But, it is January and award season really goes into, and culminates with the Oscars on Feb. 22. It will fast and furious, too, so new movies take a back seat to the best of 2014. The Oscar voting for Academy members began on Dec. 28. There will be plenty of guild news this month, too, as the Oscar talk takes over.
Also, nominees will be showing up all over the tube as TV talk shows book them. The award season is one long marketing campaign and now it gets serious.
It is pretty tough to get a blockbuster out now and they do not even try. Looking ahead and two animated films may be the surprises they want. "Paddington" and "Strange Magic" arrive in January, but "Paddington" was originally slated for a Christmas 2014 release, so that leaves many question marks, but the bear is darn popular.
But, in any event, the first weekend of the year is usually ignored so holdovers winning and near the top again, means the holiday is still on movie-goers minds.
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