Box Office Predictions: November 24-26

It’s Thanksgiving week at the box office as Disney/Pixar’s Coco looks to reign supreme over the leftovers and Denzel Washington’s courtroom drama Roman J. Israel Esq. also expands nationwide. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them right here:

My Coco estimate is likely to put it in the #1 spot over Justice League, due to the latter’s rather disappointing debut (more on that below). The #3 position should easily go to Wonder, which opened with great results this past weekend (more on that below as well).

The Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally one where holdovers experience smallish declines and I see that holding true for titles such as Thor: Ragnarok, Daddy’s Home 2, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Star. 

As for Denzel’s Roman, my $5 million prediction for it over the Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend puts it outside the top 7 I’m estimating today. And here they are…

1. Coco

Predicted Gross: $54.1 million (Friday to Sunday), $74.6 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

2. Justice League

Predicted Gross: $41.6 million (representing a drop of 55%)

3. Wonder

Predicted Gross: $25.4 million (representing a drop of 8%)

4. Thor: Ragnarok

Predicted Gross: $16.2 million (representing a drop of 25%)

5. Daddy’s Home 2

Predicted Gross: $11.9 million (representing a drop of 18%)

6. Murder on the Orient Express

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million (representing a drop of 22%)

7. The Star

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (representing a drop of 12%)

Box Office Results (November 17-19)

Warner Bros. is dealing with some disappointment this weekend as Justice League suffered a lackluster opening. I had DC’s version of The Avengers nabbing the third highest premiere of 2017 with $128.4 million. However, it grossed well under forecasts with $93.8 million.

That debut is good for just the 8th largest of the year, about $10 million behind Wonder Woman, which wasn’t expected to make the bank that it did. It serves as the DC Cinematic Universe’s smallest opening thus far. That Wonder Woman sequel can’t come soon enough…

The other story of the weekend was the terrific debut of Wonder in second, which defied all expectations with $27.5 million (way above my meager $12.9 million forecast). With great word-of-mouth, expect the drama to perform well over the holiday weekend and for the next several weeks.

Thor: Ragnarok dropped to third after two weeks on top with $21.6 million (under my $25 million estimate) to bring its total to $247 million.

Daddy’s Home 2 was fourth in weekend #2 with $14.4 million (shy of my $15.9 million projection) for a $50 million overall tally.

In its sophomore weekend, Murder on the Orient Express was fifth with $13.8 million (I said $14.5 million) for $51 million total.

Debuting in sixth place was the faith-based animated pic The Star, which pretty much met expectations with $9.8 million (in line with $10.3 million prediction). It could benefit from low declines over Thanksgiving.

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


Roman J. Israel, Esq. Box Office Prediction

Denzel Washington headlines Roman J. Israel, Esq., which expands nationwide over the Thanksgiving weekend. From Nightcrawler director Tony Gilroy, the legal drama hopes to appeal to the star’s fans and adult moviegoers looking for alternatives over the Turkey Day frame. Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo costar.

Israel has some issues that could block it from achieving solid grosses. While Washington can be a draw, this isn’t an action pic which are often his highest earners. Additionally, there is little awards buzz and reviews have been mixed (it sits at 55% currently on Rotten Tomatoes).

I’ll estimate that this won’t even reach double digits over the full five-day holiday weekend.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. opening weekend prediction: $5 million (Friday to Sunday), $6.9 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Coco prediction, click here:

Coco Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (11/21): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising my estimate up a bit from $50.5 million in the three-day to $54.1 million and $74.6 million for the five-day.

Disney/Pixar looks to brings hordes of family audiences in over the Thanksgiving holiday once again when Coco debuts next Wednesday. The musical fantasy centers around the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead and features the voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, and Edward James Olmos. It’s directed by Lee Unkrich, who last made Toy Story 3 for the studio.

The animated flick is already setting box office records in Mexico, which should be no major surprise given its setting. Reviews (as they typically are for Pixar) are solid with a current 96% Rotten Tomatoes score.

So how well will Coco perform stateside? Looking over the history of Disney’s Thanksgiving releases, there are several models to choose from. On the high-end, 2013’s Frozen took in $67.3 million for the three-day traditional Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend and $93.9 million for the five-day Wednesday to Sunday gross. On the low-end, 2015’s The Good Dinosaur only managed $39.1 million from Friday to Sunday and $55.4 million for the five-day. I don’t believe Coco will achieve the Frozen peak or the Dinosaur low.

Going back to just last year, Moana earned $56.6 million for the three-day and $82 million from Wednesday-Sunday. That would be on the higher end of expectations here, but it’s certainly feasible. Like Moana, our 2017 Disney offering has good buzz and looks to be the front-runner for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

Yet I believe it may fall a bit below that and the best model I see goes back seven years to Tangled, which took in $48.7 million for the three-day and $68.7 million for the five-day. I’ll estimate Coco gets just above that.

Coco opening weekend prediction: $54.1 million (Friday to Sunday), $74.6 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Roman J. Israel, Esq. prediction, click here:

Box Office Predictions: November 17-19

Superheroes will rule the box office this weekend as DC’s Justice League looks to dominate the competition with Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok sliding to second in its third frame. We also have the debuts of Wonder with Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay and the animated The Star. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newbies here:

My Justice League estimate gives it the third highest opening of 2017 behind Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – and about $6 million above what Thor achieved just two weeks ago. Figuring in the Ragnarok gross this weekend, the DC/Marvel Cinematic Universes should account for about $150-$160 million of this pre-Thanksgiving weekend.

The 3-6 slots could get interesting. Daddy’s Home 2 rose above expectations, as did Murder on the Orient Express. I’m projecting that their sophomore frames should find them in third and fourth with Wonder rounding out the top 5 and The Star in sixth. Yet it could be close and that could change if either of the newcomers surpass expectations. Both of them stand decent shots at over performing.

And with that, my top 6 predictions for the weekend:

1. Justice League

Predicted Gross: $128.4 million

2. Thor: Ragnarok

Predicted Gross: $25 million (representing a drop of 56%)

3. Daddy’s Home 2

Predicted Gross: $15.9 million (representing a drop of 46%)

4. Murder on the Orient Express

Predicted Gross: $14.5 million (representing a drop of 49%)

5. Wonder

Predicted Gross: $12.9 million

6. The Star

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

Box Office Results (November 10-12)

Thor: Ragnarok hammered all competition and set some franchise records as well. The threequel earned $57 million in weekend #2 (above my $53.8 million take) to brings its total to $212 million. In ten days, it’s already outdone both of its predecessors.

Just as the original did in December 2015, Daddy’s Home 2 surpassed forecasts. While it didn’t open with the $38 million achieved by the first Daddy’s, the sequel took in a pleasing $29.6 million. That’s well ahead of my $21.8 million prediction and on the highest end of expectations. The Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg follow-up hopes to continue its nice run over the next few weeks.

Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express also came in high with $28.6 million compared to my $24.6 million estimate. The murder mystery remake did receive a middling B Cinemascore average, but it could still play well with an adult audience for the remainder of November.

After a so-so opening that couldn’t match its predecessor from summer 2016, the second weekend of A Bad Moms Christmas delivered good news for the comedy sequel. It dropped just 32% to earn $11.4 million (topping my $8.6M estimate) to bring its two-week total to $39 million. If it continues to play well through the holidays, it may not be a disappointment after all.

Jigsaw rounded out the top five with $3.4 million (I said $2.9 million) to brings it tally to $34 million.

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


The Star Box Office Prediction

Sony Pictures is hoping family and faith-based audiences make the journey to The Star next weekend. The animated tale is centered around some talking animals and their adventures as the first Christmas is occurring. Some familiar faces in both the film and music world provide voices including Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Keegan-Michael Key, Tyler Perry, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi, Tracy Morgan, Anthony Anderson, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Plummer, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, and even Oprah Winfrey.

Made for a small reported budget of just $18 million, The Star will hope to shine brightly with its intended audience before Pixar’s Coco arrives just five days later for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Prognosticating for this one is a little tricky. I could certainly see it exceeding expectations with a gross high in the teens. However, I believe a more likely scenario is an opening weekend in the lower double digits to maybe lower teens with hope that it holds over well the following holiday weekend (even with the Coco competition).

The Star opening weekend prediction: $10.3 million

For my Justice League prediction, click here:

For my Wonder prediction, click here:

Wonder Box Office Prediction

Jacob Tremblay made quite an impression on audiences and critics two years ago as an abducted child in the Oscar nominated Room. Next weekend, he headlines the drama Wonder, portraying a child with a facial deformity trying to fit into a new school. The film is based on a 2012 novel by R.J. Palacio and is directed by Stephen Chbosky, best known for making the adaptation of his own novel – 2012’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson are cast as Tremblay’s parents.

Wonder will attempt to bring in both female and family audiences. For family audiences, there is the animated The Star opening against it (though that should skewer younger) and a little something called Justice League that lots of kids may want to see (though that should skewer more to younger males).

As I see it, I don’t look for Wonder to necessarily have an impressive opening. Low double digits to possibly lower teens seems about right. That said, if audiences like it and if it achieves solid word-of-mouth, it could play well into the Thanksgiving weekend that follows and beyond.

Wonder opening weekend prediction: $12.9 million

For my Justice League prediction, click here:

For my The Star prediction, click here:

Justice League Box Office Prediction

The DC Cinematic Universe has reached Marvel Cinematic Universe territory as Justice League debuts next weekend. The reported $300 million production brings many of the company’s comic book creations together as it hopes to have the largest opening of the fourth quarter of 2017 until Star Wars hits next month.

In March of 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice brought Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (Ben Affleck) together for the first time. Now they’re joined by Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Miller). And, oh yes, there’s Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who just happened to star in her own summer 2017 pic that surprisingly turned out to the season’s biggest blockbuster ($412 million). Man of Steel and BvS director Zack Snyder is behind the camera once again. Other costars include series returnees Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, and the introduction of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. Expect some other familiar faces to pop up too.

Batman v Superman opened to a terrific $166 million a year and a half ago. However, poor reviews and mixed word-of-mouth meant a heavily front loaded gross. It ended up with $330 million. If nothing had happened in the interim, it may be a legitimate question as to whether some moviegoers are primed to see these characters again. The fantastic reception earned by Wonder Woman should help (there could be a sizable female audience who go to this simply to see Gadot’s character so quickly again).

That said, I don’t expect League to get close to that BvS number in its first three days. In fact, it could compete for biggest comic book adaptation debut of the month since Thor: Ragnarok posted $122 million this past weekend.

I believe it will just get there and probably post a premiere in line with another DC property – summer 2016’s Suicide Squad, which made $133 million for its start. I’ll put it just a bit under that.

Justice League opening weekend prediction: $128.4 million

For my Wonder prediction, click here:

For my The Star prediction, click here:

Box Office Predictions: November 10-12

Two notable entries enter the box office derby this weekend as comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2 with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg and Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adapted remake Murder on the Orient Express. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

Neither newbie is likely to come anywhere near dislodging Thor: Ragnarok from a second weekend atop the charts. The critically acclaimed threequel is probably looking at a drop in the mid to possibly high 50s, which is par for the course for most MCU sequels.

The biggest question of the weekend is whether Home or Express nabs the #2 spot. Knowing that comedy sequels often under perform their predecessors (that happened just this past weekend), I’ve got Murder edging out Daddy’s for the runner-up position.

A Bad Moms Christmas should drop to fourth with Jigsaw rounding out the top five.

And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend ahead:

1. Thor: Ragnarok

Predicted Gross: $53.8 million (representing a drop of 56%)

2. Murder on the Orient Express

Predicted Gross: $24.6 million

3. Daddy’s Home 2

Predicted Gross: $21.8 million

4. A Bad Moms Christmas

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (representing a drop of 48%)

5. Jigsaw

Predicted Gross: $2.9 million (representing a drop of 57%)

Box Office Results (November 3-5)

Thor: Rangarok easily posted the highest debut in its particular franchise and the 7th largest Marvel Cinematic Universe opening with $122.7 million, topping my $107.6M forecast. Terrific word-of-mouth certainly contributed to it opening nearly $40 million above its predecessor Thor: The Dark World. 

A Bad Moms Christmas had an unimpressive debut in second with $16.7 million over the traditional three-day weekend. I was a bit higher at $18.7 million. The sequel opened on Wednesday and has taken in $21.2 million since then. Again, that’s below my projection of $26.2 million. It failed in five days to earn the $23.8 million accomplished by its predecessor in summer 2016. 

Jigsaw dropped to third with $6.5 million compared to my $5.9 million estimate. The horror pic has grossed $28 million so far.

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween was fourth with $4.5 million (I said $4.1 million) for a $42 million overall tally.

Geostorm rounded out the top five with $3.1 million (I went with $2.7 million) for $28 million total.

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

Murder on the Orient Express Box Office Prediction

43 years ago, Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of the Agatha Christie murder mystery novel Murder on the Orient Express received six Oscar nods and winning box office results. This time around, it’s Kenneth Branagh both directing and starring in the new version, playing super sleuth Hercule Poirot (portrayed in 1974 by Albert Finney). Just like in the original, an all-star cast surrounds including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, and Leslie Odom Jr.

Orient will look to cash in with adult moviegoers and hope that competition doesn’t get in the way. Thor: Ragnarok (by the way, the first Thor was directed by Branagh) will be in its second weekend. Daddy’s Home 2 opens directly against it.

Even though this is a remake based on a well-known property, Murder could stand out among the sequels it’s pitted against. If reviews and word-of-mouth are encouraging, it could additionally play well throughout subsequent weekends.

I’ll predict Express chugs along to a mid 20s opening and it could well compete for the #2 slot with Daddy’s Home 2 as Thor should retain top position in its sophomore frame.

Murder on the Orient Express opening weekend prediction: $24.6 million

For my Daddy’s Home 2 prediction, click here:

Daddy’s Home 2 Box Office Prediction

Nearly two years after its predecessor was a major holiday hit, Daddy’s Home 2 looks to replicate that success next weekend. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are back, but this time instead of concentrating on their rival dad scenario – it’s their dads joining the mix in the form of John Lithgow and Mel Gibson. Sean Anders returns as director. Other costars include Linda Cardellini and John Cena.

When the original Daddy’s opened on Christmas Day in 2015, it exceeded expectations with a $38 million opening weekend and $150 million eventual gross. Many comedic sequels don’t match the performance of the original. I suspect that will be the case here. For one thing, the Christmas weekend is a huge one but this sequel chose a November release date. A Bad Moms Christmas will be in its second weekend for humorous sequel competition, as well as other heavy hitters like the sophomore frame of Thor: Ragnarok and the premiere of Murder on the Orient Express.

My estimate has part 2 opening with a low to possibly 20s gross. That may actually put it in third behind Thor and Murder.

Daddy’s Home 2 opening weekend prediction: $21.8 million

For my Murder on the Orient Express prediction, click here: