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Box Office: Zac Efron’s ‘That Awkward Moment’ Poised to Win Super Bowl Weekend

Focus Features buddy rom-com tracking in $15 million range

Super Bowl weekend at the box office historically has been sluggish, with femme-targeted films performing best on Sunday. This time around, Focus Features launches buddy romcom “That Awkward Moment,” tracking in the low- to mid-teens, while Paramount’s wide release of Kate Winslet-Josh Brolin weeper “Labor Day” is expected to gross $6 million-$8 million.

Disney should have another solid weekend appealing to families, thanks to the studio’s nationwide sing-a-long re-release of all-star B.O. performer “Frozen.” The toon, which could gross around $11 million this weekend, once again figures among the top advanced sellers, according to ticketing site Fandango.

“Frozen” has cumed $350 million and counting domestically, with more than $815 million worldwide.

Also, Warner Bros. re-launches its Oscar-nominated 3D epic “Gravity” in Imax theaters nationwide. The large-screen company initially released the $260 million-plus grosser back in October.

Universal’s stalwart holdover “Ride Along” should compete for second place with “Frozen,” tracking at just north of $10 million. The comedy has totaled more than $80 million through Wednesday.

This time last year, the pigskin frame saw the typical date entry with Summit’s “Warm Bodies,” which ultimately overperformed grossing $20.4 million in three days. There is reason to believe “That Awkward Moment,” the first release from the newly consolidated Focus Features, could similarly outdo its pre-weekend predictions, despite its ‘R’ rating. Popularity of stars Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller should strike a chord with teen girls.

Focus released a red-band trailer for “That Awkward Moment,” selling the film’s racier elements, including a naked Efron propped up on a toilet. But the distrib is trying to highlight the pic’s bro elements with men as well as women.

The film was budgeted at $8 million; Focus acquired the rights for around $1.5 million (not including P&A), meaning investors should break even, at least, with a projected domestic cume reaching north of $20 million.

Paramount, meanwhile, re-cut a trailer for “Labor Day” to emphasize romantic elements between Winslet, who plays a lonely mom, and Brolin, an escaped convict. The film premiered last year at the Telluride Film Festival, eliciting tears and divisive reviews from audiences and critics. Pic is directed by Jason Reitman based on the novel by Joyce Maynard.

“Labor Day,” which had an exclusive week-long Oscar-qualifying run in L.A. late last year, cost a modest $18 million to produce. Paramount hopes women over 25 will boost the pic’s prospects on Super Bowl Sunday.

In limited release, Sony Pictures Classics launches the critically acclaimed docu “Tim’s Vermeer” at four locations in New York and L.A.

Magnolia also bows female-targeted comedy “Best Night Ever” theatrically. Pic, about a group of young women on a bachelorette trip in Las Vegas, already has been released on VOD.

Bowing

Film (Distributor): Locations

  • That Awkward Moment (Focus): 2,800
  • Labor Day (Paramount): 2,500
  • Tim’s Vermeer (Sony Pictures Classics): 4
  • Best Night Ever (Magnolia): 1

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