Blogger’s Update (01/11): Considering its meager 1500 screen count and scant buzz, I’m revising my House Party prediction down from $6 million to $3 million. That puts it outside of the top 6.
The 2023 box office got off to an impressive start as studios hope the momentum continues over the four-day MLK weekend. A Man Called Otto expands and we have the Gerard Butler action flick Plane and comedy remake House Party landing. You can peruse my individual prediction posts on the trio here:
Otto, while technically not a newcomer, should perform the best of the newbies. It over performed in limited release this past weekend (more on that below) and could even make a run for #2 depending on the sophomore drop for M3GAN.
Speaking of that demented AI doll, a robust and clever marketing campaign propelled the PG-13 flick to a terrific start. Horror titles often experience hefty declines after their opening, but the holiday could mean a high teens (maybe even low 20s) gross is possible.
Neither M3GAN or Otto will prevent Avatar: The Way of Water from making it five in a row atop the charts. I’m thinking it manages high 30s to low 40s as it builds on the already half billion domestic haul.
As for Plane and House Party, I have both falling under double digits and that would leave them in 5th and 6th behind the fourth outing for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.
Here’s how I see it playing out and remember that these forecasts are for Friday through Monday:
1. Avatar: The Way of Water
Predicted Gross: $41.2 million
Predicted Gross: $18.7 million
3. A Man Called Otto
Predicted Gross: $15.9 million
4. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Predicted Gross: $13 million
Predicted Gross: $7.2 million
Box Office Results (January 6-8)
As mentioned, it was a healthy kickoff to the new year as Avatar: The Way of Water maintained first position with only a -32 decrease. That’s good for a fourth weekend collection of $45.8 million (beyond my $38.3 million prediction) as it’s amassed $517 million stateside.
M3GAN translated great buzz and sterling reviews to a $30.4 million premiere, dancing past my $24.8 million take. Universal ran a campaign that included memorable trailers and Tik Tok type vids of M3GAN’s crashing Times Square and media interviews. It paid off handsomely.
Universal had the third spot with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish earning $13.5 million, ahead of my $10.2 million projection. The animated sequel is up to $88 million with nine figures on deck.
Maybe grown-ups are ready to return to multiplexes! After plenty of awards bait adult features have disappointed in recent months, A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks bucked the trend on a still limited 637 screens. The gross was $4.2 million and I incorrectly had it outside my top five.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was fifth with $3.5 million (I said $3.4 million) for $445 million total.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody was sixth with $2.4 million compared to my $2.1 million call. It’s at a ho-hum $19 million.
And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…