Box Office Predictions: January 1-3

2016 should come in just as 2015 went out with Star Wars: The Force Awakens continuing its historic record breaking run all over the globe. As I see it, I look for its third weekend to hover right around the $100M mark as it blasts forward with becoming the highest grossing domestic earner of all time.

The big opening this weekend is Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which debuted in limited release to scorching results. I look for it to come close to $30M over the three day weekend and reach mid 30s for its five day haul (it premieres wide on Wednesday), which should be enough to edge out the second weekend of Daddy’s Home. You can read my detailed prediction post on it here:

There are a host of Christmas holdovers in their second and third frames which should dominate the rest of the Top Ten (without November’s Hunger Games likely rounding out the list). The New Year’s weekend usually sees Christmas products experiencing smallish declines and this year should be no different. Point Break is likely to see the heftiest fall while I anticipate good holds for Joy, Concussion, and The Big Short.

And with that, my top ten predictions for the weekend:

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted Gross: $98.7 million (representing a drop of 33%)

2. The Hateful Eight

Predicted Gross: $29.2 million

3. Daddy’s Home

Predicted Gross: $25.9 million (representing a drop of 33%)

4. Joy

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million (representing a drop of 37%)

5. Sisters

Predicted Gross: $9.2 million (representing a drop of 35%)

6. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Predicted Gross: $9.1 million (representing a drop of 30%)

7. Concussion 

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (representing a drop of 22%)

8. The Big Short

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million (representing a drop of 26%)

9. Point Break 

Predicted Gross: $5.4 million (representing a drop of 47%)

10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million (representing a drop of 30%)

Box Office Results (December 25-27)

The Christmas holiday produced great results (and mediocre ones) for some newbies while Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued its domination and became the fastest pic to gross a billion dollars worldwide. Awakens took in $149.2 million, in line with my $151.6M estimate for a ten day domestic total of $540M. It looks to extend its #1 streak next weekend and beyond.

While the billion $ Star Wars action deservedly got the most press, the other big story of the weekend is the terrific performance of the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home. Despite lackluster reviews, Home scored with $38.7 million, more than doubling my meager $16.5M prediction.

Jennifer Lawrence and her go to director David O. Russell scored a decent opening with Joy. It placed third with $17 million, above my $14.9M projection. The comedic drama, which got mixed reviews, is highly unlikely to reach the grosses of the star and director’s previous outings, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.

The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters actually increased its gross during its sophomore weekend with $14.1 million for fourth, ahead of my $10.4M projection for a nice total of $37M. The other flick in its second weekend, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip placed fifth with $13.1 million, not matching my $16.7M estimate. It’s earned an OK $39M and looks to come in well below its three predecessors in the animated rodent franchise.

Will Smith experienced the worst wide opening of his career with the NFL themed Concussion at $11 million for sixth place, under my $13.8M projection. However, an A Cinemascore grade could portend low declines in coming weekends.

Adam McKay’s critically acclaimed Oscar hopeful The Big Short got off to a robust start at seventh place in wide release with $10.5 million over the three day weekend and $14.5 million since its Wednesday roll out (outshining my projections of $8.1M and $10.6M, respectively).

In eighth, action remake Point Break posted the lowest of the newbies with just $10.2 million, a bit under my $11M prediction. Look for it to fade fast.

Ninth place belonged to the sixth weekend of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 with $5.2 million (under my $6.5M estimate) for a total of $264M.

I didn’t post a prediction for the limited release of The Hateful Eight, but it managed to crack the top ten with $4.6 million for an explosive per screen average of $46K on just 100 screens. That bodes well for its wide release on Wednesday.

The emergence of Tarantino’s latest pushed Creed and The Good Dinosaur to 11th and 12th place showings. Creed took in $4.6 million (I said $5.8M) for earnings of $96M. Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur made $3.7 million (I predicted $4.9M) for a total of just $105M. To put that in perspective, Dinosaur has made just $105M at press time. The current lowest overall grosser of Pixar’s 16 offerings is 1998’s A Bug’s Life at $162M at that was 17 years ago when ticket prices were considerably less. Dinosaur will be lucky to reach $120M. Ouch.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time and next year with brand spanking new 2016 box office predictions…

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