Box Office Predictions: December 22-25

Well, it’s Christmas week at the box office and that creates one busy time with FIVE new pictures debuting either Wednesday or Friday. They are: fantasy action reboot/sequel Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, musical comedy sequel Pitch Perfect 3, Hugh Jackman’s musically inclined The Greatest Showman, Matt Damon’s sci-fi dramedy Downsizing, and Owen Wilson/Ed Helms comedy Father Figures. You can read my detailed prediction posts on them all here:

It doesn’t end there. Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, the well-publicized crime drama due to its recasting of Kevin Spacey debuts on Christmas Day (Monday). Its grosses will only factor in for its one day earnings this weekend. I’ll predict $3.2 million, which should put it outside the top 10.

And there are awards hopefuls expanding their theater counts. Both The Shape of Water and Darkest Hour are expected to do so. Either of them (especially Water) could factor into the top 10 based on the number of screens. However, I’m not including either (yet) without theater counts. I’ll revise my top 10 if they creep in.

As I see it, Jumanji is riding a wave of good buzz and decent reviews and I have it placing second. Pitch Perfect 3 is its most serious competitor and part 2 did totally unexpected numbers a couple of years back. I still have it third.

The rest of the top five could be filled with other newbies The Greatest Showman and Downsizing. The Christmas weekend often sees meager drops for holdovers, especially for family fare. That could benefit both Ferdinand and Coco. The former could stay in the top 5 depending on how Downsizing performs.

And then we get to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which just had the 2nd highest domestic opening of all time (more on that below). Over the last two Christmas weekends, we’ve seen both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story enter their sophomore weekends and experience drops in the high 30s. It’s worth noting that the Awakens dip was over a three-day weekend and not 2017’s four-day frame. I still foresee Jedi dwindling about 39% for what should easily be a return weekend atop the charts.

Whew. OK… and with that, my top 10 predictions for the four-day holiday frame:

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Predicted Gross: $129 million (representing a drop of 41%)

2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Predicted Gross: $40.5 million (Friday to Monday), $55.1 million (Wednesday to Monday)

3. Pitch Perfect 3

Predicted Gross: $33.6 million

4. The Greatest Showman

Predicted Gross: $16.1 million (Friday to Monday), $22.4 million (Wednesday to Monday)

5. Downsizing

Predicted Gross: $11.7 million

6. Ferdinand

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million (representing a drop of 16%)

7. Coco 

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million (representing a drop of 12%)

8. Father Figures

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million

9. Wonder

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million (representing a drop of 14%)

10. Daddy’s Home 2

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million (representing a drop of 11%)

**The Shape of Water and Darkest Hour screen counts could alter top ten on Thursday (12/21)

Box Office Results (December 15-17)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi had no trouble landing the second biggest opening ever behind its predecessor The Force Awakens. The eighth episode in the vaunted franchise took in $220 million, right on target with $219.7 million prediction. Disney should be ecstatic with this result. Jedi should easily top the box office for the foreseeable future.

The Jedi effect caused some newcomers and holdovers to fall below my estimates. Animated Ferdinand debuted in second with $13.4 million, under my $18.6 million projection. The good news? As seen above, it should experience a nice hold entering this weekend.

Coco was third with $9.9 million (I was a bit higher at $11.2 million) for $150 million total.

Wonder was in the four spot with $5.2 million (I said $4.9 million) to bring its earnings to $109 million.

Justice League rounded out the top 5 with $4.3 million (I said $4.2 million) for $219 million overall.

Daddy’s Home 2 was sixth with $3.8 million. I incorrectly held it outside the top 6. The Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg sequel has made $96 million and should easily cross the century mark this weekend.

Finally, I incorrectly had The Disaster Artist in my top 6, but it suffered a hefty decline and placed 8th with $2.7 million compared to my more generous $4.3 million. The James Franco pic stands at $13 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time… and Merry Christmas from your trusty blogger!


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