Blogger’s Note (12/18/18): Some updates as Aquaman estimate have risen and Mary Poppins Returns has dwindled a bit.
Hollywood is hoping that Yuletide cheer is spread among a host of newcomers opening this weekend. We have superhero fish tale Aquaman, Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns arriving over a half century following its classic predecessor, Transformers franchise prequel Bumblebee, Jennifer Lopez rom com Second Act, and the Robert Zemeckis drama Welcome to Marwen starring Steve Carell. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all of them here:
Expectations for Aquaman have floated upwards in recent days with decent reviews and terrific numbers overseas. It seems destined to rule the charts with a mid 70s performance and the possibility of rising even higher.
Mary Poppins Returns gets an early start on Wednesday and the runner-up spot appears to be a given. It’s also benefiting from mostly strong critical reaction and some Oscar chatter.
Speaking of critics, we were all taken aback when Bumblebee achieved its own positive buzz with a current 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (that’s better than the last four movies in the series… combined). Having the best reviews of a Transformers pic should certainly help , but competition is seriously steep and the franchise has been on the downside. I’ve got it pegged for mid 20s, but don’t be surprised if it over performs.
With Second Act estimated at $6.5 million and Welcome to Marwen (which seems DOA) at $3.8 million, that would put both of them outside the top 5. Last weekend’s top two earners Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Mule should fill out the rest of high-five.
And with that, here’s those merry projections:
Predicted Gross: $77.3 million
2. Mary Poppins Returns
Predicted Gross: $34.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $52.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
Predicted Gross: $26.2 million
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Predicted Gross: $20.1 million
5. The Mule
Predicted Gross: $10.2 million
Box Office Results (December 14-16)
The Spider-Man character, through seven films this century, has never failed to open at #1. The streak held as the acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took in $35.3 million, not quite reaching my $43.4 million forecast. With an A+ Cinemascore grade, this should play well throughout the holiday season. I do expect a drop of just over 40% coming up considering the level of competition, but that should subside the following weekend.
Clint Eastwood’s The Mule got off to a solid start in second as a prime option for older moviegoers. The thriller took in $17.5 million and I was as close as can be with $17.6 million. Like Spidey, it may dip about 40% and then level off well in coming weekends.
The Grinch was third with $11.7 million (I said $10.8 million) to bring its total to a pleasing $239 million.
Ralph Breaks the Internet dropped to fourth after three weeks at #1 with $9.2 million, in line with my $9.7 million estimate. The Disney sequel has taken in $154 million.
Mortal Engines staked its claim for biggest flop of the year as the Peter Jackson penned sci-fi adventure stalled in fifth place with just $7.5 million. I was higher at $12.4 million. That doesn’t bode well when its reported budget was $100 million.
Finally, the PG-13 Once Upon a Deadpool failed to attract many eyeballs in 11th place with $2.6 million – under my $4.2 million prediction. The good news? The very R-rated sequel that preceded it this summer was already at about $315 million domestic.
And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…