Box Office Predictions: January 16-18

Four high profile pictures enter the marketplace this Friday. They are Clint Eastwood’s Oscar buzz worthy American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper, the Kevin Hart comedy The Wedding Ringer, children’s pic Paddington, and Chris Hemsworth headlining and Michael Mann directed cyber thriller Blackhat. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each here:

It’s Sniper that I anticipate ruling the box office weekend with Ringer and Paddington debuting solidly and in the runner up positions. As for Blackhat, it may settle for a weak fifth place premiere, behind current champ Taken 3 in its second weekend. The Liam Neeson sequel should fall hard in its sophomore frame like its predecessor, but its better than anticipated debut makes that a non story.

Finally, Oscar contender Selma opened to less than expected results. Yet I look for it to gain audience in its second frame considering the weekend is named for its subject, Dr. Martin Luther King.

With that, a top six projection for the weekend:

1. American Sniper

Predicted Gross: $40.6 million

2. The Wedding Ringer

Predicted Gross: $29.4 million

3. Paddington

Predicted Gross: $22.3 million

4. Taken 3

Predicted Gross: $17.1 million (representing a drop of 56%)

5. Blackhat

Predicted Gross: $13.6 million

6. Selma

Predicted Gross: $12.5 million (representing an increase of 12%)


As widely expected, Taken 3 easily knocked The Hobbit off its three week reign at #1. The critically drubbed sequel took in an impressive $39.2 million – besting my $32.8M prediction. Neeson says this is the finale of the franchise but something tells me the studio will figure out a way otherwise.

Selma opened second. As previously mentioned, the $11.3 million it earned is underwhelming (I said $17.2M). Yet it should experience low drop offs in subsequent weekends.

2014 holdovers rounded out the top five and all held up a bit worse than my estimates. Into the Woods placed third with $9.5 million ($11.8M prediction). The Hobbit was fourth with $9.3 million ($12.1M prediction). Unbroken was fifth with $8.1 million ($11.7M prediction). Their respective totals stand at $105, $236, and $101 million.

Lastly, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice expanded to over 400 screens and did just OK. Its $2.7 million 11th place roll out did manage to top my $1.8M projection.

And that’s all for now, folks!



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