Box Office Predictions: Weekend of December 10-12

**Blogger’s Note (12/09): National Champions is only being released on approximately 1100 screens. I am revising my projection from $3.2 million to $1.6 million. That puts it outside the top five. Eternals moves to the 5 spot.

After a sluggish post Thanksgiving weekend, theater owners are hoping that Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story provides pleasing numbers in the frame before Spider-Man: No Way Home looks to set pandemic era records. We also have the sports drama National Champions looking to make a play. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both newcomers here:

West Side Story Box Office Prediction

National Champions Box Office Prediction

After a year long delay, the West Side remake has generated mostly glowing reviews and Oscar buzz. It should easily open in first place. That said, December pics (especially those with awards chatter) often start a little slow and hope to leg out during the holidays and January. A debut over $20 million would be fantastic, but I’ll project low to mid teens is more plausible.

As for Champions, I’m not anticipating much and it may find itself at the bottom of the top five.

Holdovers should fill the rest of the chart with EncantoGhostbusters: Afterlife and House of Gucci sliding down a spot.

Here’s how I see it:

1. West Side Story

Predicted Gross: $14.8 million

2. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $8.5 million

3. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

4. House of Gucci

Predicted Gross: $4 million

5. Eternals

Predicted Gross: $2.8 million

Box Office Results (December 3-5)

Holiday leftovers filled with the top 3 slots as December kicked off. A pic I didn’t factor in nabbed the 4 position. Nearly all the returnees fell a tad short of my projections.

As expected, Disney’s Encanto stayed at #1 with $13.1 million, a shade below my $14.1 million take. Two-week total is $58 million with $100 million firmly in its sights.

Crossing the nine digit milestone was Ghostbusters: Afterlife in second with $10.3 million (I went with more at $12 million). After three weeks, the ‘Busters have crossed that milestone with $102 million.

House of Gucci was third in its sophomore frame with $7 million (I said $7.8 million). Tally is $33 million.

I had a blind spot in fourth courtesy of Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers. The limited release event featuring inspirational holiday music released on 1700 screens and made $4.1 million. I simply didn’t have it on my Yuletide radar.

Eternals closed out the high five with $4 million. My prediction? $4 million!! It’s the second weekend in a row where I correctly called the MCU adventure and it’s made $156 million.

Back at it next week as Spider-Man and Nightmare Alley debut!

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of December 3-5

While the COVID era has altered the release patterns of movies in significant ways, the first weekend of December is not that unique from what we’ve seen in pre pandemic times. It will be a quieter frame filled with the holiday leftovers and no newbies out in wide release. That could mean the top five will stay the same with one probable exception.

Disney has made a habit out of releasing their animated titles over the Thanksgiving frame and that resulted in Encanto topping the holiday charts. Looking at previous Mouse Factory premieres over the past several years, Coco dropped 46% in its second frame in 2017 while Moana fell 50% the year prior. I will basically split the difference with Encanto and that means a low teens gross.

That should be enough to keep it #1 over Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which may lose about half its audience in weekend #3. House of Gucci, after a solid start, might see a drop in the mid 40s and that should easily keep it in third. Eternals looks to hold the four spot.

The only change could be Clifford the Big Red Dog going back in the top five. While I have it experiencing a decline of over 50%, I suspect Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (after a disappointing debut) could plummet in the mid 60s and that would remove it from the high five.

Here’s how I see it going down:

1. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $14.1 million

2. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $12 million

3. House of Gucci

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million

4. Eternals

Predicted Gross: $4 million

5. Clifford the Big Red Dog

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

Box Office Results (November 26-28)

It wasn’t the bountiful harvest of Thanksgivings past, but audiences managed to turn up for two newcomers while mostly ignoring a third.

Encanto took in $27.2 million over the traditional Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend and $40.5 million since its Wednesday start. That didn’t reach my projections of $31.2 million and $46.5 million, respectively. The debut is only about half of what previous Disney animated features like the aforementioned Moana and Coco achieved. Yet it’s still the best animated opening in COVID times.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife held up well in second with $24.2 million, a bit shy of my $27 million prediction. The two-week total is $87 million as it looks to hit $100 million in the coming days.

Adult crowds finally turned up for something and they went gaga for House of Gucci. The Ridley Scott pic fashioned a third place showing with $14.2 million from Friday to Sunday and $22 million since Wednesday. That tops my estimates of $12.3 million and $19.8 million.

Eternals was fourth with $7.9 million. My guess? $7.9 million! The MCU adventure stands at $150 million.

The reboot Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City was badgered at the box office with just $5.3 million for the weekend and $8.8 million for the five-day. That falls well under my takes of $7.7 million and $11.7 million.

Holdovers outside the top five also couldn’t match my projections. Clifford the Big Red Dog was sixth at $5 million (I said $6.9 million). Total is $43 million. Will Smith’s Oscar hopeful King Richard is a bonafide disappointment theatrically. I thought it might have a meager decline in its sophomore outing, but it earned $3.2 million for seventh place. I said $4.8 million and the ten-day tally is a mere $11 million.

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

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of November 26-28

Hollywood is hoping for a bountiful harvest over the long Turkey Day weekend. We have three newbies premiering: Disney’s animated Encanto, Ridley Scott’s murderous melodrama House of Gucci with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, and franchise reboot Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Encanto Box Office Prediction

House of Gucci Box Office Prediction

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Box Office Prediction

The Mouse Factory, as it has over numerous Thanksgiving frames in recent years, should top the charts… should. While I don’t have Encanto nearing the grosses that titles like Moana and Coco have accomplished for the holiday, my low 30s Friday to Sunday estimate has it edging out the sophomore weekend of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. 

The latter had a start at the higher end of projections (more on that below) and if it falls in the high 30s, it could challenge Encanto for box office supremacy.

Gucci is a big question mark. I have it comfortably in third with a lower double digits take for the traditional weekend and close to $20 million for the five-day (all newcomers hit theaters on Wednesday). Gaga’s fans in particular could vault it to better numbers. On the other hand, mixed buzz could put it lower.

Resident Evil is a series that experienced its smallest opening weekend with its previous sixth installment The Final Chapter in 2016. It made just shy of $14 million. I’m not optimistic with Raccoon and I believe it could find itself in a close battle with Eternals for the four spot.

As for leftovers, Clifford the Big Red Dog and King Richard (after a disappointing premiere) are likely to post minimal declines. Yet both could fall outside the top five.

And with that, let’s do a top 7 this time around:

1. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $31.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $46.5 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

2. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $27 million

3. House of Gucci

Predicted Gross: $12.3 million (Friday to Sunday); $19.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

4. Eternals

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

5. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $11.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

6. Clifford the Big Red Dog

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million

7. King Richard

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

Box Office Results (November 19-21)

Ghostbustin’ made audiences feel good as the long in development sequel took in $44 million. As mentioned, that’s toward the top of prognostications and bodes well for a healthy run ahead. The sci-fi comedy drove past my $38.1 million estimate.

Eternals dropped to second after two weeks in first with $11 million (a touch below my $12.6 million take). The MCU fantasy stands at $136 million.

In third, Clifford the Big Red Dog slid a bit more than I figured in weekend #2 with $8.1 million (I went with $10.5 million). Total is $33 million.

I have to think Warner Bros. is questioning their choice to simultaneously release Will Smith’s sports drama King Richard on HBO Max. Serving up a weak fourth place debut, it made just $5.4 million. Not approaching my $9.2 million projection, it will hope for minimal declines ahead (and boffo HBO numbers).

Dune rounded out the top five with $3.1 million, below my $4.2 million prediction as it’s approaching the nine figure mark with $98 million.

And that’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

Encanto Box Office Prediction

Disney has a history opening their animated product over the long Thanksgiving holiday and they’re back at it with Encanto. The Columbian themed musical fantasy comes from directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, the creative team behind Zootopia. Featuring music from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the voice cast includes Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama.

Reviews are where they need to be with 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Mouse Factory rolled out their hits over the same five-day period from 2015-2018. Six years ago, the strategy produced the lowest premiere of the bunch with The Good Dinosaur. It made $39 million for the traditional Turkey Day weekend and $55 million when factoring in Wednesday and Thursday. The high point came a year later when Moana did $56 million and $82 million respectively. 2017’s Coco took in $50 million from Friday to Sunday and $72 million for the five-day. Ralph Breaks the Internet posted $56 million and $84 million the following Thanksgiving.

The Dinosaur haul was considered a disappointment, but that was during a pre-COVID era. If Encanto accomplishes what that pic did, it would be considered more than satisfactory. Family audiences have proven they’re up for a trip to the theater and have done so in the past few days. Clifford the Big Red Dog was a good boy at the box office when it lapped up $16 million last weekend from Friday to Sunday and $22 million overall as it started on Wednesday as well. If Clifford can do that, I imagine Encanto could double those grosses.

Encanto opening weekend prediction: $31.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $46.5 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my House of Gucci prediction, click here:

House of Gucci Box Office Prediction

For my Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City prediction, click here:

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Box Office Prediction

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of November 19-21

**Blogger’s Note (11/18): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising my King Richard estimate down from $11.2M to $9.2M

Ghostbusters: Afterlife looks to spook up a healthy #1 debut and Will Smith’s Oscar hopeful King Richard debuts in theaters and HBO Max. They’re the newbies out on the pre Thanksgiving frame and you can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Box Office Prediction

King Richard Box Office Prediction

I’m on the lower end of estimates with Afterlife (high 30s) as I’m unsure how much anticipation is truly built up for the newest iteration of the franchise (just five years after a reboot failed to meet expectations). It’ll certainly open atop the charts and hope for a leggy run with the holidays almost underway.

King Richard could open anywhere from 2nd to 4th. The HBO Max simultaneous premiere will siphon away some viewers, but I’m actually on the higher end of the range here and think it could surpass double digits (placing it third behind the third frame of Eternals).

Clifford the Big Red Dog had a much better than anticipated start and its sophomore decline could be around 35-40% as it should experience a much smaller drop over Turkey Day. Dune should take the five spot.

Here’s how I see it going down:

1. Ghostbusters: Afterlife 

Predicted Gross: $38.1 million

2. Eternals

Predicted Gross: $12.6 million

3. Clifford the Big Red Dog

Predicted Gross: $10.5 million

4. King Richard

Predicted Gross: $9.2 million

5. Dune

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

Box Office Results (November 12-14)

The sophomore fall for Eternals wasn’t quite as pronounced as I thought it might be. The MCU title, which has drawn mixed audience and critical notices, dropped 62% (not abnormal for its franchise) to $26.8 million. That’s ahead of my $23.2 million estimate. The ten-day gross is $118 million.

Clifford the Big Red Dog had a terrific start in second with $16.6 million from Friday to Sunday and $22.2 million since its Wednesday premiere – dwarfing my respective takes of $11.8 million and $17.6 million. With an A Cinemascore grade, look for Dog to leg out commendably with the holiday season nearly upon us.

Dune was third with $5.5 million compared to my $4.9 million prediction and it stands at $93 million.

No Time to Die took the four spot at $4.5 million (I said $4.3 million) to bring it to $150 million.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage rounded out the top five with $3.9 million, a bit ahead of my $3.4 million projection. The sequel hit a milestone as it’s up to $202 million.

Finally, Oscar hopeful Belfast (out on 580 screens) debuted in seventh with $1.7 million. I was a bit more generous with $2.3 million. Kenneth Branagh’s coming-of-age drama will look to stick around with awards season approaching.

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

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of November 12-14

The eyes of box office prognosticators will be focused on the second frame for Marvel’s Eternals. It should have no trouble repeating in the top spot, but its drop could be significant following mixed audience and critical reactions. We do have some newcomers: Clifford the Big Red Dog and potential Oscar favorite Belfast from Kenneth Branagh (debuting on roughly 600 screens). You can find peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Clifford the Big Red Dog Box Office Prediction

Belfast Box Office Prediction

Clifford is getting a jump on the weekend by opening Wednesday (with early previews Tuesday). That could be a shrewd move considering kiddos are off on Thursday for Veterans Day. It should firmly plant itself in the #2 spot after Eternals. 

As for Belfast, the awards chatter should help it achieve a decent per theater average. It will look to play steadily for weeks over the Oscar season. My $2.3 million estimate leaves it outside the top five.

Back to Eternals. The B Cinemascore grade is rather troubling for its sophomore outing (most MCU titles get an A). With audiences clearly not digging it in the way they typically greet the studio’s material, a drop in the low to even high 60s seems where this is headed.

Holdovers Dune, No Time to Die, and Venom: Let There Be Carnage should fill the rest of the top five and here’s how I see it going down:

1. Eternals

Predicted Gross: $23.2 million

2. Clifford the Big Red Dog

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $17.6 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. Dune

Predicted Gross: $4.9 million

4. No Time to Die

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

5. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

Box Office Results (November 5-7)

The shaky WOM for Eternals undoubtedly impacted its earnings as the Chloe Zhao effort took in $71.2 million, under my $77.8 million projection. That would be a fantastic debut for almost anything not MCU related. However, Eternals premiere is the smallest for Marvel since 2015’s Ant-Man. As mentioned, it could be headed for a precipitous drop in weekend #2.

Dune slipped to second after two weeks on top with $7.7 million (I said $7.2 million). The sci-fi epic has amassed $84 million in three weeks.

No Time to Die held up very well for third in its fifth go-round at $6 million – higher than my $4.8 million take. Total is $143 million.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage hit the four spot at $4.4 million compared to my $3.8 million projection. It’s nearing the double century mark with $197 million.

Ron’s Gone Wrong, which I was wrong about staying in the top five, was fifth at $3.5 million for a two-week total of $17 million.

The French Dispatch from Wes Anderson expanded its screen count and made $2.5 million for sixth place with $8 million overall.

Halloween Kills fell hard with its namesake holiday having passed. The $2.3 million gross for seventh (I was more generous at $3 million) brought the earnings to $84 million.

Finally, the Princess Diana biopic Spencer with Kristen Stewart couldn’t reach my prognosis. Starting out in nearly 1000 venues, the $2.1 million haul was just over half of my $4.1 million prediction. It will hope that Oscar buzz for its lead will contribute to small declines in coming days.

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

Clifford the Big Red Dog Box Office Prediction

Arriving in theaters on Wednesday, November 10th, Clifford the Big Red Dog hopes to take a bite out of the family box office. Based on the 1963 bestseller by Norman Bridwell, Walt Becker directs. He’s no stranger to pictures about creatures or with animals in the title (Wild Hogs, Old Dogs, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip). Actors on screen or voicing our furry friends include David Alan Grier (providing Clifford’s words), Darby Camp, Jack Whitehall, John Cleese, Russell Wong, Paul Rodriguez, Tony Hale, Russell Peters, Sienna Guillory, Kenan Thompson, and Rosie Perez.

Originally slated for November 2020 before its COVID delay, this giant good boy will premiere simultaneously in multiplexes and Paramount+. That could cause some parents and kids to view at home (though this streamer doesn’t yet have the reach of others). I do question how much clamoring there is for a Clifford pic in general and I don’t foresee a big red-hot start.

With the midweek debut, I look for this to hover around low double digits for the traditional Friday to Sunday frame with low to mid teens for the five-day rollout.

Clifford the Big Red Dog opening weekend prediction: $11.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $17.6 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Belfast prediction, click here:

Belfast Box Office Prediction