One of the biggest box office successes of 2017 was that of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the reboot of the 1995 Robin Williams family adventure. Considered to be a bit of a gamble at the time, Jungle ended up developing amazing legs at multiplexes and grossing just over $400 million domestically. In doing so, it edged out Spider-Man as Sony’s highest grossing stateside effort.
The inevitable sequel finds Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Se’Darious Blain, and Madison Iseman reprising their roles. Newcomers to the game include Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, and Awkwafina. Jake Kasdan returns to the director’s chair.
Before Jungle went on its moneymaking run, it opened at #2 to the sophomore frame of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It opened over the long Christmas frame two years ago on a Wednesday, earning $36 million over the traditional Friday to Sunday portion with a six-day holiday haul of nearly $72 million.
In 2019, The Next Level gets the jump on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by a week. And while this hopes to develop minor week to week drops like its predecessor, the sequel looks to make more than mid to high 30s out of the gate for the regular weekend.
Some estimates put this at around $40 million while others have it inching towards $50 million or possibly a bit more. I’ll say a gross in the high 40s is my range as this hopes for positive word-of-mouth and smooth sailing ahead like Jungle before it.
Jumanji: The Next Level opening weekend prediction: $48.7 million
Hollywood had reason to be thankful over the holiday weekend as the box office saw a much needed rebound. More importantly, two original films (that’s right – not based on comics or bestsellers) aimed at adults exceeded expectations.
For this first full weekend of December, the studios are holding back as they wait closer to Christmas to unleash their blockbusters like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level. The only new wide release is the animated Playmobil: The Movie and you can peruse my prediction post on it here:
I don’t expect much from Playmobil, which has generated scant buzz and has Frozen II in its third frame as direct competition. My $2.8 million estimate leaves it outside of the top five.
There is also the expansion of the Mark Ruffalo drama Dark Waters, which had a so-so limited release this past weekend. My $3.7 million projection also leaves it beyond the high five.
That top five should remain the same pictures with perhaps some movement in the numbers placement. Frozen II may lose a bit more than half its Thanksgiving audience and it should have zero trouble getting a three-peat.
I expect all other titles to drop in the high 30s to mid 40s with the smallest drops going to Knives Out after its terrific debut and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Here’s how I have it all playing out:
1. Frozen II
Predicted Gross: $41.3 million
2. Knives Out
Predicted Gross: $16.4 million
3. Ford v Ferrari
Predicted Gross: $7.5 million
4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Predicted Gross: $7.2 million
5. Queen & Slim
Predicted Gross: $6.7 million
Box Office Results (November 29-December 1)
As mentioned, it was a bountiful Turkey Day weekend for Tinsel Town as Frozen II dominated the charts in its sophomore frame with $85.9 million, just over my $84.4 million take. The Disney sequel has amassed a cool $288 million thus far.
Rian Johnson’s acclaimed murder mystery Knives Out got off to a sharp start with $26.7 million from Friday to Sunday and $41.4 million since its Wednesday beginning. Those figures easily eclipse my respective predictions of $18.5 million and $27.7 million.
Ford v Ferrari was third with $13.1 million, in line with my $12.8 million estimate for $81 million total.
Queen & Slim was the other impressive debut as the romantic crime drama grossed $11.8 million for the traditional weekend and $16 million since Wednesday. That’s well over my projections of $6.9 million and $10.1 million.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood rounded out the top five with $11.7 million (I said $11 million) for a two-week tally of $34 million.
The post Thanksgiving box office weekend is usually a sluggish frame when studios avoid releasing hoped for hits. 2019 is no different as Playmobil: The Movie is the only new wide entry out. The animated comedic adventure is based on the line of German toys and it’s already been delayed from January to April to August to now. Not a positive sign. Neither is the 24% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Lino DiSalvo makes his directorial debut and he’s best known for his involvement in Disney’s Frozen. That film’s sequel should be making 10-15 times more in its third weekend than this will in its rollout. There are some recognizable faces providing voiceover work including Anya-Taylor Joy, Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Bateman, Adam Lambert, Kenan Thompson, Meghan Trainor, and Daniel Radcliffe.
There simply seems to be no discernible buzz going for this. As mentioned, there’s a much higher profile kids flick that should be raking in the bucks as Playmobil searches for young eyeballs. I believe it won’t get them and that even $5 million is probably out of reach.
Playmobil: The Movie opening weekend prediction: $2.8 million
Turkey Day weekend is upon us at the box office with two new pictures attempting to harvest some cash while Frozen II should gobble up the bulk of the bucks. We have Rian Johnson’s comedic murder mystery Knives Out and the romantic crime thriller Queen & Slim both rolling out on Wednesday. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
Knives is aiming for a second place showing behind the Disney juggernaut and it should get there. With solid reviews in its corner, I could foresee this topping my high teens Friday to Sunday and mid to high 20s five-day estimate. However, I believe it’s just as likely that this legs out well in subsequent weekends.
As for Queen, it too has critics in its corner. However, a lack of awards chatter and a smallish theater count of around 1500 could mean low double digits for its Wednesday through Sunday tally. That should mean a #5 premiere.
Holdovers Ford v Ferrari and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood appear poised for the kind of minor declines we often find over this holiday frame. That is especially welcome news for Neighborhood, which came in at the low end of its anticipated range this past weekend. I’m calling for mid teens drops for each.
Frozen II is a toughie. There simply aren’t many comps for how this should perform in its sophomore weekend. Most November blockbusters from the Mouse Factory open over Thanksgiving and not the weekend before. I’ll project a mid 30s dip for the Friday to Sunday portion. In all honesty, this is a bit of guesswork.
Here’s how I foresee the weekend playing out:
1. Frozen II
Predicted Gross: $84.4 million
2. Knives Out
Predicted Gross: $18.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
3. Ford v Ferrari
Predicted Gross: $12.8 million
4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Predicted Gross: $11 million
5. Queen & Slim
Predicted Gross: $6.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
Box Office Results (November 22-24)
Frozen II provided the scorching earnings that the month of November desperately needed. In doing so, it achieved the best traditionally animated (read: not Pixar) Disney start ever and highest ever November animated haul. The sequel took in $130.2 million, just over my $126.7 million projection.
Ford v Ferrari slid to second with $15.7 million with a larger than expected 50% drop. I predicted $18.2 million. It’s at $57 million through 10 days.
As mentioned, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was third with a so-so beginning at $13.2 million, well under my $18.6 million forecast. Its A Cinemscore rating should keep it humming for the next few weeks, however.
The Chadwick Boseman action thriller 21 Bridges underwhelmed with $9.2 million in fourth, on pace with my take of $9.8 million. It could hold decently over the holiday, but it should fade quickly after that.
Midway rounded out the top five and I incorrectly had it on the outside. The World War II pic made $4.6 million for $43 million overall.
Playing with Fire was sixth with $4.5 million (I said $4.9 million) for $31 million at press time.
In what’s being called a current take on Bonnie and Clyde, Universal is hoping that moviegoers take a trip with Queen & Slim over the long Thanksgiving weekend. The romantic thriller stars Daniel Kaluuya (of Get Out and Black Panther fame) and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith as a new couple on the run after a minor traffic stop goes wrong. Melina Matsoukas, who’s won Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards for her work with Beyonce and Rihanna, makes her feature film debut. Costars include Bokeem Woodbine, Chloe Sevigny, and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The pic debuted last week at the AFI Fest to very positive reviews. Yet despite the current 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, this has yet to achieve any significant awards chatter. That could hinder its box office potential. Queen is already being called a potential cult hit. However, cult hits often take some time to achieve that status.
Opening on Wednesday, I believe this will have a five-day take in the high single digits to low double digits as it hopes for word of mouth to carry it along.
Queen & Slim opening weekend prediction: $6.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
In his first feature since dividing audiences and critics with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has come up with a comedic whodunit in Knives Out. The pic debuted at the Toronto Film Festival back in September and critics have pointed it out as a winner. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 97%. Daniel Craig leads a cast of familiar faces including Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
Rolling out over the long Thanksgiving holiday (with previews scheduled for this Friday to build anticipated word of mouth as an audience pleaser), Knives hopes to generate a #2 debut behind the second weekend of Frozen II. It will likely compete with the sophomore frame of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and perhaps Ford v Ferrari for that distinction.
I believe this should serve as a solid option for adults over the Turkey Day period. A start in the mid to high teens for the traditional Friday to Sunday portion and mid 20s for the five-day looks probable. That doesn’t get it near the $28 million earned two years ago in November by Murder on the Orient Express. However, if moviegoers enjoy what they see, Knives should succeed in avoiding sharp declines in the weekends ahead.
Knives Out opening weekend prediction: $18.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
There’s no doubt that Disney will rule the box office in this pre Thanksgiving frame as Frozen II blasts into theaters along with Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Chadwick Boseman in the action thriller 21 Bridges. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
For the sequel to the 2013 billion dollar plus phenomenon, it’s all about the number and how high I’m willing to let it go (my apologies). Estimates are all over the map with some in the $150 million plus range. That wouldn’t exactly be a shock, but I’m a bit skeptical it reaches that vicinity. Some families may wait until the long holiday weekend. My forecast puts it about $6 million ahead of what Toy Story 4 accomplished over the summer.
The real battle could be for #2 between Neighborhood and the second frame of Ford v Ferrari. The latter debuted at the top of its anticipated range and scored a scorching A+ Cinemascore grade. The second weekend drop could be minimal and put it in the high teens range. That’s just where I expect the neighborhood for Beautiful to be and I’ll give it the slight edge.
Bridges is lacking buzz despite the presence of Black Panther and my high single digits projection puts it in fourth with Playing with Fire rounding out the top five in its third weekend.
Here’s my take on how I see it playing out:
1. Frozen II
Predicted Gross: $126.7 million
2. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Predicted Gross: $18.6 million
3. Ford v Ferrari
Predicted Gross: $18.2 million
4. 21 Bridges
Predicted Gross: $9.8 million
5. Playing with Fire
Predicted Gross: $4.9 million
Box Office Results (November 15-17)
As mentioned, Ford v Ferrari had a rock solid showing and gave Disney its first #1 opening for a Fox owned property. The Oscar hopeful zoomed off with $31.4 million, ahead of my $24.4 million prediction. Expect sturdy holds in the weeks ahead.
An unexpected pileup happened for second place as Midway edged competitors out with $8.5 million. It didn’t reach my $10.2 million forecast and has taken in $34 million in two weeks.
Third place went to perhaps the story of the weekend as Charlie’s Angels absolutely tanked with a paltry $8.3 million, well under my projection of $14.2 million. It’s yet another example of serious 2019 franchise fatigue.
Playing with Fire was fourth and it also made $8.3 million. My guess? $8.3 million! Hey, I got something right! It’s at $25 million after ten days.
Last Christmas was fifth with $6.4 million (I said $7 million) for $22 million overall.
Finally, newcomer The Good Liar was seventh with just $5.6 million, in range with my take of $6 million.