It's been said that if Dredd 3D can make $50 million at the U.S. domestic box office, that would substantially increase the chance that the film might be greenlit for a sequel--either one of the two that Dredd writer Alex Garland has in his head or something else.
Well, the experts over at Box Office Mojo are predicting an opening of around $12.6 million, which would seem unlikely to yield a $50 million cume. How unlikely? The 1995 Sylvester Stallone-driven Judge Dredd opened at $12.3 million and ended up with only $34.7 million before it left theaters the next month.
Of course, that was with lower ticket prices, meaning that the film actually opened in front of more people than Dredd is currently projected to, but since it's so notoriously awful, and Dredd is currently "certified fresh" at Rotten Tomatoes, it seems unlikely that the nearly 60% week-to-week drop that the first film experienced will happen to Dredd. It also won't be likely to be swept out of theaters quite so quickly, since it's opening at a point in the season where there aren't a ton of big blockbuster-type movies opening (Judge Dredd hit on June 30), and strong reviews and word of mouth should help push Dredd along for a while.
The prediction at Box Office Mojo would put Dredd at #4 for the weekend, behind Clint Eastwood's Trouble With the Curve, House at the End of the Street and End of Watch. They're only predicting about a $6 million difference between #1 and #4, though, with another $3 million separating Dredd from Disney's much-hyped 3D reissue of Finding Nemo. That means that word of mouth, be it positive or negative, could make a ton of difference for any move in the top four and it's really anyone's guess how that list will shake out come Sunday.
Midnight shows of Dredd around the country tonight may provide some insight into the interest level, although those numbers may be inflated somewhat, as Lionsgate has been promoting the fact that a pair of limited-edition Dredd 3D glasses will be handed out to the first 300 viewers at theaters.