As it happens sometimes, a spiritually-themed film you’ve probably heard little to nothing about is poised to make the most waves this weekend, even if it may not quite make it to the top spot. Courageous is a film from the folks behind Fireproof, but it’s about police officers rather than firepersons this time. Don’t worry though, they’re still wrestling with tragedy and faith. The church groups are mobilizing and it’s already pacing well ahead of Fireproof and is expected to show extremely well for a film in half as many theaters as many of the other wide releases. It would take a mighty swell to push it all the way to number 1, but don’t count out the Sunday crowd…

Dolphin Tale, Moneyball, and Lion King are all in their second or third weekend and wrestling for the top two spots. Dolphin Tale looks the most well-positioned to go number one, but only marginally. Coming off of a good opening weekend and strong word of mouth in its crowd, it’s sitting prettier than a film being undercut as we speak by its own Blu-ray campaign (plus the fact that it was mostly promoted as a two-week limited run), and another film that might have its audience siphoned by the playoffs starting. Regardless, all of them are still much better off than most of the other newcomers.

50/50 and Dream House both have tougher roads ahead of them, the former being an R-rated comedy about cancer starring a comedian audiences may arguably still be weary of, and the later being a shitty looking horror film. I like Seth Rogen, I think audiences still like Seth Rogen, and JGL isn’t much of a draw but he’s fondly thought of by all anecdotal metrics I have at my disposal. I think the good reviews will turn people around, but it’s a tough sell and is probably more likely to find success by sticking around rather than blowing up immediately. Dream House on the other hand, has been marketed with a trailer that renders actually seeing the film useless, has little buzz at all (much less good buzz), and doesn’t feature names that matter to horror fans. It’s a big enough outing that it won’t fold up completely, but I would be shocked to see it in the top 5.

Come Monday we’ll see if a sea mammal, a baseball manager, a Shakespearean lion, or pack of spiritual cops comes out on top.

Dolphin Tale ….. $14,00,000
Moneyball ….. $13,000,000
Courageous ….. $13,000,000
Lion King …. $12,500,000
50/50 ….. $10,000,000
(Dream House ….. $9,500,000) 

The thread in which you talk about this stuff.