Halloween Ends Box Office Prediction

The culmination of this iteration of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) battling  Michael Myers arrives on October 14th with Halloween Ends. Said to be Curtis’s final appearance in the 44-year-old franchise (though I’m sure Myers will manage to return in some form), David Gordon Green is back directing along with cowriter Danny McBride. It comes a year after Halloween Kills and four years behind Halloween which began the trilogy. It’s the 13th overall entry in the series overall. Costars include James Jude Courtney and OG Nick Castle doubling up again as the iconic slasher, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, and Kyle Richards.

2018’s Halloween was a juggernaut with a $76 million opening and $159 million eventual domestic haul. Kills still killed, but to a lesser degree with a $49 million start and $92 million overall take. Like its predecessor, Ends will be simultaneously available on Peacock.

In addition to the streaming option that could siphon away viewers, horror fans have had plenty to enjoy lately (Barbarian and Smile for example). That said, there’s obviously a built-in base here.

I do expect diminishing returns though not close to the disparity between 2018 and 2021. High 30s to low 40s is where I see it and considering the reported $20 million budget, that’s a profitable cut for Universal.

Halloween Ends opening weekend prediction: $40.7 million

Barbarian Review

Zach Cregger’s Barbarian is really three movies in its 100 minutes and you won’t see two of them coming. You won’t find this Blu-Ray laying around at  an Airbnb for your viewing enjoyment (I realize there’s probably not many Blu-Rays laying around anyway). Your viewing enjoyment may depend on your tolerance for gross out scares and if that’s up your alley, this offers some genuine surprises.

Tess (Georgina Campbell) pulls up to a bad Detroit neighborhood to stay at the aforementioned company’s property. She has a job interview the next morning and is shocked to find someone else trying to catch some shuteye. Keith (Bill Skarsgard) is just as confused until they discover the property has been double booked.

For a little while, we’re led to think this could be a meet cute heading down rom com territory. Not so much. It’s hard to forget that Mr. Skarsgard donned creepy makeup recently as Pennywise in the It parts. The couple is instead heading down to the basement where there’s plenty of dank discoveries to uncover.

This is about where spoilers come into play and I do suggest watching Barbarian cold. We do have Justin Long in the mix as a sitcom actor going through a Me Too moment and other cast members whose house appearances shall remain a secret.

I give credit to Cregger, a sitcom actor himself and comedian, for a screenplay that veers into unexpected places. It also tackles some dark subjects while keeping the primary objective in focus. That’s to provide a frightening stay at this setting that wouldn’t merit many stars. On that note, just how were the previous reviews of previous guests? This creation does merit a referral for horror fans.

September 30-October 2 Box Office Predictions

Horror pic Smile and Bros, the first gay rom com from a major studio, look to lead the end of September/early October box office. Both are getting solid notices with respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 79% and 95%. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newbies here:

Smile Box Office Prediction

Bros Box Office Prediction

Smile has had a shrewd marketing campaign with a creepy teaser trailer that played in front Top Gun: Maverick all summer (so a lot of moviegoers saw it). My mid to high teens projection should put it in first place.

That’s unless Bros with Billy Eichner exceeds forecasts. However, my low teens estimate would give it runner-up status. I would not be surprised if it legs out well in subsequent weekends (I suspect word-of-mouth will be strong). **Speaking of forecasts, as of this writing, it remains to be seen if Hurricane Ian could negatively impact the weekend ahead.

With a B- Cinemascore, current champ Don’t Worry Darling could be headed towards a hefty sophomore drop after its solid premiere (more on that below). A mid to high 50s fall is possible. It should hold the 3 spot though The Woman King could give it a run for its money.

King and the Avatar re-release should fill out the rest of the top five and here’s how I envision it panning out:

1. Smile

Predicted Gross: $18.7 million

2. Bros

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

3. Don’t Worry Darling

Predicted Gross: $8 million

4. The Woman King

Predicted Gross: $7.4 million

5. Avatar

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million

Box Office Results (September 23-25)

Don’t Worry Darling, the much publicized thriller from Olivia Wilde and starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, started out strong and diminished throughout the weekend. Taking in $19.3 million, it just outdid my $18.9 million projection. It looked like $20 million plus was likely with a $3 million Thursday night start until it dwindled. With a reported $35 million budget, it’s a pleasing debut regardless.

The Woman King fell to second with $11 million, under my $13.2 million take. The acclaimed historical epic with Viola Davis has made $36 million in its first ten days.

Three months ahead of its long in development sequel, James Cameron’s Avatar was re-released and earned $10.5 million for third (surging beyond my $8.5 million projection). The fourth highest grossing domestic earner of all time is now at $771 million with that extra coin.

Barbarian continued its meager declines with a fourth place showing of $4.8 million. I was right on target with $4.9 million as the critically appreciated horror flick has made $28 million.

See How They Run was fifth in its sophomore outing and I incorrectly had it outside of the quintet. With $1.9 million, the weak two-week tally is $6 million.

Pearl was sixth as it also made $1.9 million. My guess? $1.9 million! Like Run, $6 million is its the total.

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

Smile Box Office Prediction

Paramount Pictures is hoping that horror fans are ready to Smile on September 30th. The supernatural fright fest marks the directorial debut of Parker Finn with a cast including Sosie Bacon (daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick), Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Kal Penn, and Rob Morgan.

This is a genre that’s been well served in September with Barbarian and Pearl (and The Invitation in late August). The trend will continue with Halloweens Ends in mid-October. There could be a bit of fatigue, but Smile may have a feather in its cap. The mysterious and creepy teaser spot played all summer long in front of a little film called Top Gun: Maverick… the one that’s made over $700 million domestically.

A premiere in the $20 million range is certainly possible. However, I’ll say high teens is where this lands.

Smile opening weekend prediction: $18.7 million

For my Bros prediction, click here:

Bros Box Office Prediction

September 23-25 Box Office Predictions

Olivia Wilde’s psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling with Florence Pugh and Harry Styles will test the “all publicity is good publicity” theory when it opens this weekend. We also have the re-release of James Cameron’s 2009 phenomenon Avatar ahead of the December debut of sequel Avatar: The Way of Water. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

Don’t Worry Darling Box Office Prediction

Avatar Box Office Prediction

Darling, with my projected high teens start, should manage a first place showing. Yet it may need to worry a little about the sophomore hold of The Woman King (more on its opening below). I still think the former should edge the latter fairly easily.

Avatar is a little tricky to project (the reported 1800 screen count is lower than I would’ve thought). $10 million could be a reach and my estimate is in higher single digits. Either way, it’s looking at 3rd place.

As for the rest of the top 5, it should be filled with horror holdovers Barbarian and Pearl. 

Here’s how I see it:

1. Don’t Worry Darling

Predicted Gross: $18.9 million

2. The Woman King

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

3. Avatar

Predicted Gross: $8.5 million

4. Barbarian

Predicted Gross: $4.9 million

5. Pearl

Predicted Gross: $1.9 million

Box Office Results (September 16-18)

Viola Davis and company were crowned box office champions as The Woman King made $19 million. That’s better than my $14.7 million prediction as the historical action tale opened on the north end of its anticipated range. There’s better news still as it’s only the second 2022 release to nab an A+ Cinemascore grade (the other is Top Gun: Maverick). That should mean minimal drops in coming weekends and I only have it falling about 15% in weekend #2.

Barbarian held up well in its follow-up frame (especially for a horror pic) with $6.5 million (I was lower at $5 million). The critically heralded scary movie has made $21 million in ten days.

The fright fest competition may have hurt Pearl, which opened in third with $3.1 million (in line with my $3.4 million take). That’s more than a million under what its spring predecessor did out of the gate.

Audiences weren’t into solving the mystery of See How They Run as the Saoirse Ronan/Sam Rockwell caper posted a fourth place debut with $3 million (I was close with $3.2 million).

Finally, Bullet Train rounded out the top five with $2.5 million. This is on track with my $2.3 million estimate and the total is $96 million.

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

September 16-18 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Update (09/14): Two changes to discuss as I’ve revised my See How They Run estimate down from $4.8M to $3.2M and my Pearl estimate up from $2.4M to $3.4M. That changes the dynamic of the top five from what I discussed below.

The Viola Davis led historical action epic The Woman King, Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell in the comedic murder mystery See How They Run, and Ti West’s horror prequel Pearl are the new offerings coming our way this weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The Woman King Box Office Prediction

See How They Run Box Office Prediction

Pearl Box Office Prediction

The Woman King should have no trouble debuting in first place as it’s the only pic that should top double digits. Reviews are solid and this could manage a gross close to $20 million, but I’m hedging and projecting a low teens start.

I’m not anticipating much of the other newcomers. Run has been flying under the radar. Assuming Barbarian has a typically hefty horror sophomore dip (more on its opening below), the crime caper should still manage a second place showing thought it could be awfully close.

As for Pearl, its predecessor made $4.3 million in its March premiere. I’m thinking the prequel won’t match that. However, even if it snatches $2-3 million, that should be enough to make top five.

Here’s how I see this rather ho-hum mid-September frame playing out:

1. The Woman King

Predicted Gross: $14.7 million

2. Barbarian

Predicted Gross: $5 million

3. Pearl

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

4. See How They Run

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

5. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $2.3 million

Box Office Results (September 9-11)

Critics enjoyed Barbarian more than audiences though the scary movie landed on the higher end of its range. It opened in first with $10.5 million and that’s ahead of my $7.1 million prediction. The C+ Cinemascore grade doesn’t approach that 92% RT score. Note that its opening weekend matches it reported budget. This’ll be a profitable little venture for 20th Century Studios.

The Indian adventure Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva had a second place opening with $4.5 million, managing to top my $3.2 million estimate. I would expect the debut to be front loaded and for it to drop out of the top five this weekend.

Bullet Train was third with $3.3 million (I said $3.4 million) as it inches closer to nine figures with $92 million.

Top Gun: Maverick (after rising back to first place over Labor Day) was fourth with $3.1 million, under my $4.2 million take. The gargantuan gross is $705 million.

The Invitation rounded out the top five and I incorrectly didn’t have it there. With $2.6 million, it’s up to $18 million after three weeks.

DC League of Super-Pets was sixth with $2.6 million (I went with $3 million) to bring its tally to $85 million.

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

September 9-11 Box Office Predictions

Despite some encouraging early word-of-mouth, horror flick Barbarian could be fairly quiet out of the gate as the only wide release this weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on it here:

Barbarian Box Office Prediction

My estimate easily puts it in the top spot, but that’s cold comfort considering I’m projecting a second weekend in a row with no title topping $10 million.

On the more limited front is the Indian adventure Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva. I didn’t do an individual post for it, but the reported 750 venues should limit its potential. With a caveat that this may over perform, I’ll say it manages a fourth place start (though it could just as easily be 2nd or 3rd).

Holdovers Top Gun: Maverick, Bullet Train, and DC League of Super-Pets should fill out the remainder of the high five. Here’s how I see it:

1. Barbarian

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

4. Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $3 million

Box Office Results (September 2-5)

On its 102nd day of release, Top Gun: Maverick returned to the top spot over a desolate Labor Day weekend with $7.9 million (surpassing my $6.2 million prediction). Tom Cruise’s sequel surpassed Black Panther to become the 5th largest domestic grosser of all time. The total is $701 million. Fifth place is likely where it will stay as #4 is Avatar ($760 million) and it’s got a re-release coming in two weeks before the December sequel.

Bullet Train was second with $7.5 million, ahead of my $6 million projection as it has pulled in $88 million over five weeks. Now might be a good time to mention that National Cinema Day, which priced films for $3 at major chains, probably helped push the numbers up a bit over the holiday.

DC League of Super-Pets was third with $6.7 million (I underplayed it at $4.3 million). The National Cinema Day bump got it to $82 million.

Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition added 11 minutes of extra footage and $6.5 million to its considerable coffers. That’s in range with my $7 million guesstimate. Spidey has swung $811 million in the bank.

The Invitation rounded out the top five at $6.1 million (besting my $4.6 million take) for a two-week total of $15 million.

Beast was sixth with $5 million compared to my call of $4.1 million for $26 million overall.

Minions: The Rise of Gru was seventh with $4.5 million and I did not project it. The franchise blockbuster sits at $360 million.

The Jaws re-release was 8th with $3.3 million, on target with my prediction of $3.1 million.

Finally, the Regina Hall/Sterling K. Brown satire Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. found no love with $1.7 million for 14th place. I said $2.4 million.

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

Barbarian Box Office Prediction

The fall movie season kicks off in horrific fashion with Barbarian, Zach Cregger’s directorial debut which premiered at Comic-Con in July to solid buzz. Whether its festival reaction translates to positive box office numbers is questionable.

Georgina Campbell, Bill Skargard (who’s had huge success in the genre with It and its sequel), and Justin Long star in a pic whose plot is being kept rather secretive. Early word-of-mouth suggests horror fans might be best served by entering this one cold.

September is not looking overly encouraging for blockbuster possibilities. It is, however, filled with scary flicks. Barbarian starts the trend with Pearl out a week later and Smile arriving at month’s end. Barbarian needs that chatter from its screenings to seep into the mainstream and I’m not sure it has. One comp could be Malignant, which premiered on the same post Labor Day weekend last year. It made just over $5 million though it was simultaneously streaming on HBO Max.

This should benefit a little from being theatrical only. I’ll say Barbarian will be lucky to make close to double digits, but may to settle for $6-8 million.

Barbarian opening weekend prediction: $7.1 million