The Coen brothers’ latest movie “Hail Ceasar!” will attempt to conquer Super Bowl weekend.
The Universal picture is set around a film about ancient Rome during the golden age of old Hollywood, and has a phalanx of stars including George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, and Jonah Hill.
Box office analysts are projecting the film to have a $15 million opening weekend. Universal puts the forecast a bit lower at $10 million. The movie cost $22 million to make.
Yet, there’s one big outlier that could skew box office predictions and ticket sales this weekend: Super Bowl 50.
The NFL’s big game is the TV event of the year and can keep audiences out of theaters.
The biggest box office opening on a Super Bowl weekend belongs to Disney’s “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” which made $31.1 million in 2008.
However, the game could also work to the film’s advantage.
“As counter-intuitive as it seems, opening a movie over Super Bowl weekend can actually be a smart move for studios,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore (. “They can take advantage of the fact that audiences may want to strike a balance between staying home all afternoon on Sunday and wanting to get out of the house earlier in the weekend.” )
Dergarabedian added the Super Bowl doesn’t run all weekend long so “there’s plenty of time to take in a movie before Super Bowl Sunday.”
“Hail, Caesar!” will have some competition from last weekend’s box office big winner, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” but “Caesar” could get a boost from its directors, the Coen brothers.
The films of Coen brothers have only made roughly $540 million at the domestic box office, but the two have won multiple Oscars and have created many beloved films such as “The Big Lebowski” and “Fargo.”
With a 78% fresh score on review site RottenTomatoes.com, “Hail, Caesar” hopes to be the next in the Coen canon.
“Their body of work and reputation is not box office dependent but rather a product of the Coen’s delivering time after time, an incredible movie-going experience,” Dergarabedian added. “Hell, how many directors can you think of that have a brand name like the Coen brothers?”
CNNMoney (New York) First published February 5, 2016: 5:09 PM ET