Box Office Predictions: December 18-20

It’s a weekend that box office prognosticators like myself have been waiting for all year long! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the fourth Alvin and the Chipmunks film has arrived!!!

OK… in all seriousness, you may have heard of the big picture arriving this weekend called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The seventh episode of the beloved franchise has been breathlessly awaited and it stands a shot at breaking pretty much every box office record there is. I truly feel it could gross anywhere from $170-$275 million out of the gate so I basically split the difference. That means my prediction does have it devouring the all time opening weekend record posted by Jurassic World this summer. It is worth noting that other estimators are saying this will come under what Jurassic accomplished, but we shall see. You can read my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/12/08/star-wars-the-force-awakens-box-office-prediction/

Somewhat surprisingly, other studios are premiering new product in hopes of serving as counter programming to The Force. We have the aforementioned Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters. I look for them to have fairly soft openings and have a close competition for second place. On the bright side, both titles could continue to play well and experience small declines into further holiday weekends. My prediction posts on both of them can be found here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/12/10/sisters-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/12/10/alvin-and-the-chipmunks-the-road-chip-box-office-prediction/

As for holdovers, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will finally fall from its four week perch atop the charts. In the Heart of the Sea got off to a lackluster start (more on that below) and I actually expect it to drop farther percentage wise than The Good Dinosaur and Creed.

And with that, my top seven predictions for what could be a historic weekend:

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted Gross: $234.7 million

2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

3. Sisters

Predicted Gross: $13.9 million

4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Predicted Gross: $7 million (representing a drop of 38%)

5. The Good Dinosaur

Predicted Gross: $6.8 million (representing a drop of 36%)

6. Creed

Predicted Gross: $6.3 million (representing a drop of 37%)

7. In the Heart of the Sea

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 49%)

Box Office Results: December 11-13

Ron Howard’s $100 million whale tale In the Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth was crushed by a wave of audience ambivalence with a gross of just $11 million, well under my $18.4M estimate. The pic, which received mixed reviews, simply didn’t capture the attention of adventure fans who may be biding their time until this weekend.

That allowed The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 to stay #1 for the fourth weekend in a row with $11.3 million, just topping my $10.5M projection. The franchise finale has taken in $244 million.

Pixar’s disappointing The Good Dinosaur was third with $10.5 million, ahead of my $9.4M prediction for a total of $89 million. This is well below the standards of what its studio is accustomed to and it remains on track to be Pixar’s smallest earner. On the bright side for parent company Disney, they’ve got a pretty high profile release out this weekend…

Creed took fourth with $10.1 million, a bit higher than my $9.1M estimate for an overall tally of $79 million. This looks to be the first Rocky flick to top $100M since Rocky IV some thirty years ago.

Krampus was fifth in its second weekend with $8.4 million, topping my $7.3M projection. Its taken in a tidy $28 million at press time and is performing solidly for a relatively low budget horror comedy.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time… May The Force Be With You…

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