Next Friday, the makers of the animated Ferdinand hope to siphon some youngsters and their parents away from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The 20th Century Fox title (which happens to be the former studio of Luke Skywalker and company) is based on the 1936 children’s novel The Story of Ferdinand, which tells the tale of a kindly bull. John Cena provides the voice of said bull with Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Gina Rodriguez, and Peyton Manning also lending their sounds. Carlos Saldanha, who made some of the Ice Age and Rio features, directs.
Competition is significant. Many kids should be preoccupied with Disney’s franchise juggernaut that opens the same day. And there’s also Coco, which should still be pulling in some coin in weekend #4.
That said, Fox employed a similar strategy two years ago when Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip opened directly opposite Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That gamble resulted in an OK $14.2 million debut yet it experienced small declines over the following holiday weekends.
Ferdinand has the benefit of not being at the tail end of a waning franchise, as Chipmunks was. That might cause it to make a bit more out of the gate and probably hold better in future frames. I’ll go high teens for its start.
Ferdinand opening weekend prediction: $18.6 million
For my Star Wars: The Last Jedi prediction, click here: