The DisneyNature brand marches into theaters next week with the release of Penguins. It continues the franchise’s environmentally conscious documentaries timed for release just prior to Earth Day. As the title suggests, this Antarctic set coming of age tale focuses on a young penguin finding his way in the frozen tundra. Ed Helms narrates with Alastair Fothergill (who co-directed 2014’s Bears) and Jeff Wilson sharing filming duties.
Over the past decade, opening weekend grosses for DisneyNature has been quite consistent. The aforementioned Bears took in $4.7 million. The following year’s Monkey Kingdom made $4.5 million. In 2017, Born in China earned $4.7 million. That’s well under the studio’s high mark in 2012 achieved by Chimpanzee at $10.6 million.
Penguins is the first in the series since 2010’s Oceans to premiere on a Wednesday. Based on recent performances, that could mean it makes less than $4 million over the traditional weekend since it gets a two-day jump-start. I’ll predict that happens.
Penguins opening weekend prediction: $3.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $5 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
For my The Curse of La Llorona prediction, click here:
For my Breakthrough prediction, click here: