Box Office Predictions: Weekend of December 17-19

**Blogger’s Note (12/14): After elevating my Spidey prediction from $193.7M to $223.7M – I’m reverting down to $188.7M… (12/16) – Spidey revised to $213.7M and Alley down to $3.3M

Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home looks to demolish pandemic era records and possibly double the opening weekend record of these COVID times and then some. We also have Guillermo del Toro’s noir thriller Nightmare Alley with Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and plenty of other Oscar winners and nominees out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newbies right here:

Spider-Man: No Way Home Box Office Prediction

Nightmare Alley Box Office Prediction

Spidey is poised for numbers not seen since 2019. Some prognostications have this as high as $250 million. I’m going with a $223.7 million haul, but I must say I do so with some trepidation due to these continuing uncertain times. If it achieves my mark, that would be good for the 4th largest domestic debut of all time (right behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and just ahead of its sequel The Last Jedi).

There’s obviously no question as to what will be #1. Home will do that by outgrossing the rest of the top five combined with possibly $200 million to spare. What’s #2 is a legitimate question. West Side Story had a disappointing debut and will hope to leg out well over the coming holiday frames. It may have a soft sophomore dip due to being counter programming to Spidey. Yet I’ll peg it for a 40% drop as it hopes to rebound over Christmas and with ongoing awards buzz. That could put it in a fierce battle for the runner-up position with Encanto.

Or… Nightmare Alley could open in second. I’m skeptical. Despite an all-star cast and coming from an acclaimed director, Alley is starting out at a distinct disadvantage with the web slinger siphoning away much of its intended crowd. I’ll say it kicks off with a subdued 4th place start. Ghostbusters: Afterlife should round out the top five.

And with that, my take on what should be a record breaking weekend:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $213.7 million

2. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $6 million

3. West Side Story

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million

5. Nightmare Alley

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

Box Office Results (December 10-12)

There likely wasn’t a whole lot of celebratory dancing at 20th Century Studios as West Side Story struggled out of the gate. Its $10.5 million barely managed a #1 showing and came in under my $14.8 million call. As mentioned, the story may not be over as audiences could find it over the holidays. Its studio is certainly hoping so.

Encanto slipped to second with $9.9 million, above my $8.5 million take for $71 million overall.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was third at $7.1 million (ahead of my $5.8 million prediction) for $112 million total.

Fourth place was House of Gucci with $4.1 million. My projection was on the money at $4 million. Tally is $41 million.

Eternals was in the five spot with $3.1 million (I said $2.8 million) as it’s up to $161 million.

Last and least, the football drama National Champions fumbled terribly. I thought it might manage $1.6 million. Not so much. It was an unlucky 13th with $321,000. Oof.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

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