Holiday Forecast: Here's our early prediction for Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken'... http://t.co/rSfmz7JAMt pic.twitter.com/qpZLAM7TLo
— Box Office Mojo (@boxofficemojo) November 8, 2014
Forecast (click titles for analysis):
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - $385 million
2. Interstellar - $265 million
3. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - $235 million
4. Big Hero 6 - $215 million
5. Into the Woods - $140 million
6. Penguins of Madagascar - $135 million
7. Exodus: Gods and Kings - $130 million
8. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb - $120 million
9. Unbroken - $105 million
10. Horrible Bosses 2 - $100 million
11. Annie - $95 million
12. The Interview - $90 million
Release Date: December 25th
Genre: War Drama
Director: Angelina Jolie
Writers: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen and Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson
Cast: Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Jai Courtney, Alex Russell, Finn Wittrock, Takamasa Ishihara
Studio Description: A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.
Analysis: Movies set during the second World War can be a tough sell: so far this year, The Monuments Men fell short of $80 million, while Fury will likely wind up below that mark as well. Both of those movies had considerable on-screen starpower, which is something that Unbroken lacks.
Unbroken does, however, have some pretty serious credentials behind the camera. Angelina Jolie doesn't much of a track record as a director—her first movie, In the Land of Blood and Money, wasn't particularly commercial—but she is undeniably popular: there's no way Maleficent makes over $240 million without Jolie in the lead role. Unbroken is a serious passion project for Jolie, and she'll be campaigning aggressively for it.
It also helps that the movie is based off a bestselling book, written by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand. The recent success of Gone Girl and The Fault in our Stars reinforces the notion that readers can be converted to viewers when an adaptation is well-timed and faithful to the source material (and Unbroken appears to be both).
If it's at least a generally well-made movie, Unbroken should also benefit from some serious awards buzz. The movie is an inspirational true story set during World War II, and is focused on an Olympian and war veteran (Louis Zamperini) who just passed away in July. All of these elements will likely be catnip to awards voters.
A good comparison for Unbroken is Steven Spielberg's War Horse, which was also an awards-contending PG-13 war movie starring mostly unknown actors. That movie earned $79.9 million around the same time in 2011; with a more accessible story and more popular source material, we're betting that Unbroken exceeds that figure.
Forecast: $105 million