It’s Turkey Day weekend at the 2016 box office and there’s four new titles debuting in wide release: Disney’s latest animated creation Moana, Brad Pitt/Marion Cotillard WWII thriller Allied, raunchy sequel Bad Santa 2, and Warren Beatty’s long in the making Rules Don’t Apply. You can stuff yourself on my individual prediction posts on them here:
All 4 releases debut Wednesday to capitalize on the holiday weekend, so my estimates reflect both a three-day and five-day forecast on them.
Moana should rather easily debut on top, especially with the less than expected returns of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them over this past weekend (more on that below).
I’m slating Allied for a third place showing, but if it comes in with less than my estimate, it could battle both Doctor Strange and Trolls for the 3-5 spots. It’s worth noting that holdovers on Thanksgiving weekend typically experience smaller than usual declines. While I’ve got Beasts losing over half its audience in its sophomore frame, I have Strange, Trolls, and Arrival losing crowd shares in the low-high 20s percentile range.
That means I’ve got Bad Santa 2 premiering at #7 with Rules Don’t Apply in ninth place between Hacksaw Ridge and Almost Christmas.
Here’s how the blog readers view my predictions on the newbies:
Moana – 55% Too Low, 38% Just About Right, 7% Too High
Allied – 52% Just About Right, 30% Too Low, 18% Too High
Bad Santa 2 – 58% Too Low, 31% Just About Right, 11% Too High
Rules Don’t Apply – 64% Just About Right, 18% Too High, 18% Too Low
Any way you look at it… this will be one fascinating weekend to watch and here’s how my top ten looks:
Predicted Gross: $56.4 million (Friday to Sunday), $77.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Predicted Gross: $34.9 million (representing a drop of 53%)
Predicted Gross: $14.2 million (Friday to Sunday), $21.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
4. Doctor Strange
Predicted Gross: $14 million (representing a drop of 21%)
Predicted Gross: $12.7 million (representing a drop of 27%)
Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (representing a drop of 29%)
7. Bad Santa 2
Predicted Gross: $8.1 million (Friday to Sunday), $10.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
8. Hacksaw Ridge
Predicted Gross: $5.1 million (representing a drop of 23%)
9. Rules Don’t Apply
Predicted Gross: $4.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $6.3 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
10. Almost Christmas
Predicted Gross: $4.7 million (representing a drop of 35%)
Box Office Results (November 18-20)
It was a weekend where all four new releases came in below expectations… some far more drastically than others.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earned $74.4 million to begin a planned five film franchise. This number is on the lower end of expectations and under my $83.1M projection. This is certainly no disaster for Warner Bros, but a gross closer to $90M was probably their hope. That said, expect the J.K. Rowling series to keep rolling.
Doctor Strange fell to second with $17.7 million (below my $21.5M estimate) for a three-week tally of $181M.
Trolls was third with $17.4 million (I was a bit higher with $19.7M) for a gross of $116M thus far.
In its second weekend, Arrival was fourth with $12.1 million, a bit under my $13.6M estimate for a $43M total.
I incorrectly had Almost Christmas outside the top five, but it was fifth with $7.2 million for a $25M overall gross.
And… then there’s the other fresh product that came over the weekend. Audiences weren’t interested. Despite critical acclaim, the coming of age dramedy The Edge of Seventeen sputtered with $4.7 million in seventh place, less than half of my $10.9M prediction.
The news was worse for boxing drama Bleed for This, KO’d in 8th place with just $2.3 million (less than half my $5.8M prognosis).
Which brings us to Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Ugh. I somehow estimated it would make $9.2 million. Yet its lukewarm critical reaction and tampered down buzz (it was once thought of to be a potential awards factor) absolutely destroyed it. Walk was DOA in 14th place with an atrocious $901,000. So… oops!
And there you have it, my friends! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Until next time…