Box office preview: Can any new movie crack the Top 5 to help save a weaker-than-usual May?

May comes to a close with a quieter weekend full of odds and ends and nothing particularly wide in terms of studio releases. Read on for Gold Derby’s box office preview.

After a fairly disappointing Memorial Day weekend, the month ends with a number of moderately wide releases. Since most of these new films are smaller, few theater counts have been reported, making it tougher to determine how some of them might perform, though it’s likely that only one will be getting a wide enough release to potentially break into the Top 5. Otherwise, we’re looking at a repeat of the Top 4 with the slightest chance that “The Garfield Movie” might pass “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” with few of the new releases targeting family audiences.

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The one movie that has the best chance at cracking the Top 5 would probably be Crunchyroll’s latest Anime feature “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle,” based on Haruichi Furudate‘s volleyball manga that was turned into an anime series about 10 years back. Anime has been floundering a bit in theaters lately, with Crunchyroll only releasing this one into 1,000 theaters, roughly half what “Spy x Family Code: White” got in April, when it opened with $4.8 million. Because of that, this one will probably open between $3 and $4 million, so it will be battling against some of the returning films for that fifth place slot.

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Also this weekend, Bleecker Street releases the Tony Goldwyn-directed family dramedy “Ezra,” starring Bobby Cannavale as stand-up comedian Max, who is having troubles with his autistic son Ezra (newcomer William A. Fitzgerald), which intensifies when he takes the boy on a cross-country trip to L.A. for an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Also starring Robert De Niro as his father, his actual wife Rose Byrne as his ex-wife, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rainn Wilson, the Toronto International Film Festival premiere received moderately decent reviews, though this doesn’t seem like something that might open with much more than $2 to $3 million, placing it in the low end of the Top 10. 

There also isn’t an early theater count for Chris Nash‘s Shudder/IFC Films horror movie “In a Violent Nature,” an ultra-gory slasher from the point-of-view of the killer. The movie has received strong notices out of its Sundance premiere and other festival appearances, and IFC is coming off one of its biggest recent hits with “Late Night with the Devil.” Early word-of-mouth from festivals and curiosity about the gory kills (not unlike the popular “Terrifier” series) should drive business to this one for an opening in a similar range as “Ezra,” although again, that would be in the bottom half of the Top 10.

In a rare moderate theatrical release from Disney, Daisy Ridley stars in “Young Woman and the Sea,” a biopic about Trudy Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926. Directed by Joachim Rønning (“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”), this might have a harder time finding an audience in the United States, despite Ridley’s fans and the PG rating. Opening in a few hundred theaters or slightly more, this may have problems even getting into the low end of the Top 10, but word-of-mouth should be good.

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Furthermore, Roadside Attractions is giving a wide release into roughly 1,500 theaters to the comedy “Summer Camp,” starring Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Eugene Levy, Betsy Sodaro, Dennis Haysbert, and Beverly D’Angelo, following a group of older women who reunite at their old summer camp. This is trying to capitalize on the success of movies like “80 for Brady” and “Book Club” (from the same producers), geared towards older women, who aren’t exactly flocking to theaters. This one probably won’t even get into the Top 10 as it struggles to make $1 million or slightly more this weekend.

There are plenty of limited releases this weekend, including Thea Hvistendahl‘s Norwegian zombie drama “Handling the Undead,” starring Renate Reinsve from “The Worst Person in the World.” Viggo Mortensen wrote, directed and stars in the Western “The Dead Don’t Hurt,” co-starring Vicky Krieps (“Phantom Thread”). And finally, Pablo Berger‘s Oscar-nominated animated feature “Robot Dreams” will open at a couple theaters in New York on Friday, a wonderful tale about a dog and the robot companion he buys. It will expand to L.A. next weekend and hopefully into more areas in June.

Check back on Sunday to see how the above movies do, but the month of May might as well be over already.

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