WWE Studios hope to get fans out of the arena and into the multiplexes next weekend with the release of FightingwithMyFamily. The comedic drama is a biopic of female English wrestler Paige and her quirky brood. She’s played by Florence Pugh. Stephen Merchant (best known for his acting and collaborations with Ricky Gervais) directs with a supporting cast including Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, and Vince Vaughn. The world’s most famous brawler turned thespian Dwayne Johnson executive produces and plays himself.
Family premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rather strong reviews. It stands at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. With a reported budget of just $11 million, this should have no trouble turning a profit.
It’s a little tricky to figure out how this sport’s fans will turn out. The film is being released on a very limited basis tomorrow in four venues and it will be worth keeping an eye on its per theater average. Some may choose to simply wait for the On Demand release and watch this tale like they typically view wrestling itself. The participation of Johnson only helps, however. I’ll estimate that this basically grosses its budget out of the gate.
FightingwithMyFamily opening weekend prediction: $10.8 million
For my HowtoTrainYourDragon: The Hidden World prediction, click here:
Dreamworks Animation closes out its animated trilogy next weekend with the release of HowtoTrainYourDragon: TheHiddenWorld. The critically acclaimed franchise began in 2010 with a sequel that followed four years later. Dean DeBlois, maker of the first two, returns to direct the third installment that comes with a reported budget of nearly $130 million. Actors providing voices include Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, Gerard Butler, F. Murray Abraham, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Kristin Wiig.
Nearly a decade ago, the original Dragon debuted to $43 million and legged out nicely to an overall $217 domestic gross. The 2014 follow-up topped the opening of part 1 with $49 million. However, it ended up taking in $177 million total. While the studio certainly hopes for robust stateside sales, the series has been a juggernaut overseas (Dragon2 made $621 million worldwide). TheHiddenWorld is out in numerous foreign markets already and taken in $85 million thus far.
I’ll project this threequel gets in the range of what preceded it and put it in the middle of what they accomplished.
HowtoTrainYourDragon: TheHiddenWorld opening weekend prediction: $45.9 million
For my FightingwithMyFamily prediction, click here:
It’s the four-day President’s Day weekend at the box office with Valentines Day falling on Thursday. That means the trio of newcomers out are hitting screens during the week. They are Blumhouse horror sequel HappyDeathDay2U, James Cameron penned sci-fi graphic novel adaptation Alita: Battle Angel, and romantic comedy satire Isn’tItRomantic. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
Before the weekend began, it was pretty much a given that TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart would repeat rather easily at #1 over this long frame. Now with it’s much less than forecasted debut (more on that below), there’s some uncertainty. What should help is that both DeathDay and Romantic come out on Wednesday with Alita following on Thursday. This particular weekend typically sees small declines for holdovers considering the extra day involved. In 2014, the first LegoMovie dipped a scant 9%. I’ve got the sequel dropping more than that, but I’ve still topping the charts.
That is, of course, if none of the newbies over perform and that’s certainly possible (especially with DeathDay part deux in my opinion). Yet the Wednesday premiere still leads me to think it could be a tad front loaded.
That means I have slots 2-4 reserved for the debuts with WhatMenWant rounding out the top five in its sophomore frame.
Here’s how I have the high-five shaking out and keep in mind these projections are for Friday through Monday.
1. TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart
Predicted Gross: $27.8 million
Predicted Gross: $22 million (Friday to Monday); $28.6 million (Wednesday to Monday)
3. Alita: BattleAngel
Predicted Gross: $19.7 million (Friday to Monday); $24.8 million (Thursday to Monday)
Predicted Gross: $14.3 million (Friday to Monday); $20.7 million (Wednesday to Monday)
Predicted Gross: $13 million
It was a weekend with four newcomers and they all came in under my expectations and none more so than TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart. The animated sequel had no problem nabbing the top spot, but it was a hollow victory as it earned $34.1 million. That’s less than half of what its predecessor started with five years ago and well below my $48.6 million prediction. Warner Bros may be forced to rethink the future of the franchise while they cross their fingers for a minimal drop this weekend.
WhatMenWant opened in so-so fashion in second with $18.2 million, below my forecast of $26.4 million. The comedic remake with Taraji P. Henson came in on the low-end of its range.
Same story for ColdPursuit as the Liam Neeson action thriller was third with $11 million (I was higher at $12.8 million). Neeson received all the wrong kinds of publicity in the lead up to the release and it certainly didn’t help.
On a rare positive note for this weekend, TheUpside continued its remarkable hold in fourth with $7 million compared to my $5.8 million take. The gross is currently $85 million as the century club appears assured.
Glass, after two weeks in first, slid to fifth with $6.2 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five and it’s scratching the $100 million mark at $98 million.
Horror flick TheProdigy was sixth with just $5.8 million, in line with my $6.1 million prediction. Look for it to disappear quickly.
This was a weekend where TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart was expected to easily nab the #1 spot at the box office. That mission was accomplished, but it did so with much less money than any prognosticator figured. The sequel to the 2014 original took in $34 million and that was about $20 million less than expected. I had a feeling it would under perform and forecasted a $48 million debut. However, I never figured a mid 30s premiere.
For some context, the first Lego experience five years ago made $69 million out of the gate and eventually earned $257 million domestically. In 2017, first franchise spin-off TheLegoBatmanMovie debuted to $53 million ($175 million total). The first sign of trouble came a few months later when TheLegoNinjagoMovie came in far under estimates with $20 million in its opening weekend and a lowly $59 million stateside. Yet some attributed the poor Ninjago performance to its limited niche audience.
TheSecondPart marked a hopeful return to form for Warner Bros considering it was a direct sequel to a picture that made over $250 million. There is no doubt that the number produced this weekend could block future plans for the series. Its best hope ahead could be the President’s Day weekend as the studio hopes it will have a small decline. Any way you cut it, though, part two will seriously come in under its predecessor. We now have two LegoMovie collapses in a row and it will be interesting to see how Warner handles it.
It might be a satire of romantic comedies, but Warner Bros is hoping Isn’tItRomantic brings in a Valentine’s and President’s Day crowd when it opens this Wednesday. Rebel Wilson plays a lovey dovey denier who finds herself in a rom com cinematic universe after being knocked out. Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, and Priyanka Chopra are in the supporting cast. Todd Strauss-Schulson directs.
As mentioned, Romantic will look for a female crowd that hopefully bring their dates. Wilson is no stranger to this holiday frame. Three years ago, she costarred in HowtoBeSingle and it grossed nearly $20 million for its long weekend start (Valentine’s Day fell on Sunday that year).
With Wednesday and Thursday (the 14th) factored in, this will likely make under that figure for the four-day frame and could even struggle to top $20 million for the six-day earnings. I’ll say it manages to just top it.
Isn’tItRomantic opening weekend prediction: $14.3 million (Friday to Monday); $20.7 million (Wednesday to Monday)
Based on a popular Japanese graphic novel, the sci-fi action spectacle Alita: BattleAngel is finally ready for release next Thursday. Robert Rodriguez serves as director with a screenplay from another well-known auteur by the name of James Cameron (as well as Laeta Kalogridis). Rosa Salazar provides the voice and motion capture work for the title character and other cast members include Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley.
Alita was originally slated for release last summer before being pushed back to December. The folks at 20th Century Fox moved it from that crowded marketplace to Valentine’s Day. However, other movies should still be a factor. TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart will likely top the charts in its second frame while horror sequel HappyDeathDay2U opens and provides some direct audience competition.
The reported budget here is rumored to be possibly $200 million. The visuals have been praised while the film itself has had a mixed critical reaction (57% currently on Rotten Tomatoes). Alita is tracking to be a disappointment stateside considering the price tag and I agree with that assessment. I’ll say it manages high teens to low 20s for the traditional Friday to Monday portion of the Presidents Day frame, which should mean mid 20s when factoring in the Thursday gross.
Alita: BattleAngel opening weekend prediction: $19.7 million (Friday to Monday); $24.8 million (Thursday to Monday)
Blumhouse looks to continue its impressive streak of low-budget slasher pics that turn hefty profits with the release of sequel HappyDeathDay2U next Wednesday. Christopher Landon is back in the director’s chair along with returning cast members Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, and Ruby Modine, in addition to LifeofPi star Suraj Sharma.
In October 2017, HappyDeathDay took its GroundhogDay meets the horror genre to solid box office results. It made $26 million for the opening weekend as its overall haul was front loaded (final gross was $55 million).
Part 2 might premiere with less for the traditional weekend, but the Wednesday debut and following four-day President’s Day frame could boost the six-day to a high 20s overall take.
HappyDeathDay2U opening weekend prediction: $22 million (Friday to Monday); $28.6 million (Wednesday to Monday)