Box Office Predictions: August 19-21

As the summer movie season beings to close out, three new titles open Friday and they could all experience similar grosses. They are the big-budget Ben-Hur remake, animated fantasy Kubo and the Two Strings, and Jonah Hill/Miles Teller action comedy War Dogs. You can peruse my detailed individual predictions on each here:

The difference in predictions between the trio of newcomers is a scant $3.6 million. I have Kubo edging out the others with Ben-Hur closely behind and War Dogs a bit further down.

As for where my loyal blog readers see my predictions: 53% currently feel my Kubo estimate is Just About Right with 30% saying Too High and 17% saying Too Low. 43% say Just About Right on Ben-Hur with 30% saying Too High and 27% saying Too Low. Those numbers for Hur show the unpredictability as to what it might accomplish or not accomplish. As for War Dogs, a whopping 61% think I’m Too Low with 39% saying Just About Right. A whole ZERO percent think I’m Too High on it.

Suicide Squad experienced a hefty decline in its sophomore frame. It shouldn’t be quite as big in its third weekend, but I still estimate it losing in the mid-50s. That should still keep at #1, unless one of the newcomers tops my forecast (which is certainly possible).

The story of this past weekend was the huge opening of Sausage Party (more on that below). I have it losing just over half its audience in weekend #2. Then there’s Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, which experienced a disappointing debut. Its “A” Cinemascore grade could mean a fairly soft decline, unless Kubo takes a nice portion of its family audience away (also possible). If it drops 40% or more, that would put Pete and his green friend in sixth place.

Bottom line: this is one unpredictable weekend where the grosses could be tightly bunched together. Here’s my top 6 predictions on how I believe it will play out:

  1. Suicide Squad

Predicted Gross: $19.8 million (representing a drop of 54%)

2. Kubo and the Two Strings

Predicted Gross: $17 million

3. Sausage Party

Predicted Gross: $16.7 million (representing a drop of 51%)

4. Ben-Hur

Predicted Gross: $16.3 million

5. War Dogs

Predicted Gross: $13.4 million

6. Pete’s Dragon

Predicted Gross: $12.3 million (representing a drop of 43%)

Box Office Results (August 12-14)

As expected, Suicide Squad dropped precipitously in its second weekend but managed to stay atop the box office rather easily with $43.5 million (a touch below my $45.7M prediction) for a total of $222 million. Its 67% dip isn’t quite as pronounced as Batman v Superman‘s 69%, but consider that the Caped Crusader/Man of Steel battle earned $33M more out of the gate than Harley Quinn and company.

The real fiesta was happening over at Columbia Pictures as Seth Rogen’s critically acclaimed raunchy animated Sausage Party produced a gross of $34.2 million. This was on the absolute highest end of expectations (as I totally underestimated it with $19.4M). Making its $30 million budget back in one weekend, expect a sequel to this and some other R rated ‘toons heading your way in the future.

Pete’s Dragon did not bring (or breathe, if you will) the kind of fire normally reserved for Disney live-action remakes. It opened in third with a muted $21.5 million (under my $29.8M estimate), despite solid reviews and its studio pedigree. Family audiences have had plenty to see this summer and the fact that this property was based on one of Disney’s lesser known properties clearly hurt.

Jason Bourne held nicely in weekend 3 with $13.8 million (ahead of my $11.4M forecast) for a total of $127M. Holding even better was Bad Moms in its third frame with $11.3 million (above my $9.3M prognosis) for a very good $71M.

Finally, Meryl Streep’s Florence Foster Jenkins debuted in 8th place with a quiet $6.6 million (I went a bit higher with $8.2M). Interestingly, that’s the exact same figure that Streep’s Ricki and the Flash opened with a year ago.

And that will do it for now, folks! Until next time…

1 thought on “Box Office Predictions: August 19-21

  1. Yo Todd!

    The popcorn is slowly getting stale and the summer season winds down, and I can see why this weekend’s 3 new flicks are being released when they are.

    War Dogs – $14.2
    Kubo and the Two Strings – $14.4M
    Bomb, I mean Ben-Hur – $11.8M

    Good lord, I can’t wait for Awards’ season!

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