The first weekend of 2015 at the box office should be dominated by Christmas time holdovers. Only one new release is out – horror sequel The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death. You can read my detailed prediction post on it here:
In order for Black to even have a shot at the top spot, it would need to outdo the $20 million that its predecessor debuted at and that seems highly unlikely. I believe it’ll even fail to crack the top five.
The race for #1 could come down to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Unbroken, and Into the Woods. I believe Hobbit should manage a three-peat with the other two battling it out for second. Family fare Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie should round out the top five.
And with that, my top 6 predictions for the weekend:
1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Predicted Gross: $23.3 million (representing a drop of 42%)
Predicted Gross: $19.2 million (representing a drop of 37%)
3. Into the Woods
Predicted Gross: $18.5 million (representing a drop of 40%)
4. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Predicted Gross: $14.3 million (representing a drop of 30%)
Predicted Gross: $11.2 million (representing a drop of 33%)
6. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Predicted Gross: $11.1 million
Box Office Results (December 25-28)
The Christmas weekend box office saw a host of new films premiering and expanding, but The Hobbit three-quel stayed on top with $40.9 million. This was right on track with my $42.4M estimate. Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic has earned $168M in two weeks.
The #2 and #3 spots belonged to newcomers that greatly exceeded my expectations. Disney’s Into the Woods scored with $31 million over Friday to Sunday and $46.1 million since its Christmas bow, well ahead of my respective $21.8M and $30.1M projections. Rob Marshall’s generally well-received musical clearly hit its target audience and then some.
Despite middling reviews, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken also opened very high with $30.6 million from Friday to Sunday and $46 million since Christmas. This blew away my $20.5M and $28.6M predictions.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb held up well in weekend #2 with $20.2 million, just above my $18.7M projection. While it will certainly be the lowest earner of the franchise, its total stands at a fair $54 million and it should manage to pass the century mark (though not by much).
Annie was fourth with $16.5 million, right in line with my $16.9M estimate. It also benefited in its sophomore frame from family audiences on break and its total stands at $45 million, despite its woeful critical reaction.
As for other newbies, Mark Wahlberg’s The Gambler had a so-so debut with $9.1 million over the traditional weekend. My estimate? $9.1 million (gold star!). Its $14.1M Christmas to Sunday take did barely exceed my $12.2M prediction.
Oscar hopeful The Imitation Game opened wide with fabulous results with $7.9 million (Fri to Sun) and $10.9 million since December 25. This out shined my respective estimates of $5.3M and $7.2M.
The news was not so good for Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Despite mostly positive notices, adult audiences simply had so much to choose from that this was ignored. It made $3 million from Friday to Sunday and $4.4 million since Christmas, lower than my projections of $5.5M and $7.4M.
Finally, The Interview. Opening on a scant 331 screens due to large chain boycotts, the Seth Rogen/James Franco international headline of a raunchy comedy managed a pretty commendable $1.8 million (Fri to Sun) and $2.8 million since the holiday. It didn’t reach my predictions of $3.1M and $4.4M, but this still isn’t bad considering it reportedly made $15 million through its online distribution offerings.
And that’ll do it for now, folks! Happy New Year!!!