December 24-26 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (12/21): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising down Resurrections prediction from $30.7 million for the three-day and $47.2 million for the five-day to $26.7 million and $40.3 million for the five-day. This puts Sing 2 in the 2 spot.

The Christmas box office weekend is nearly upon us as a quintet of newcomers are presented either Wednesday or Saturday. We have the return of Neo and Trinity in The Matrix Resurrections, animated sequel Sing 2, Kingsman prequel The King’s Man, true life gridiron tale American Underdog, and the Denzel Washington directed romantic drama A Journal for Jordan. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The Matrix Resurrections Box Office Prediction

Sing 2 Box Office Prediction

The King’s Man Box Office Prediction

American Underdog Box Office Prediction

A Journal for Jordan Box Office Prediction

None of the newcomers stand a chance at dethroning the reign of Spider-Man atop the charts after it achieved the second largest opening of all-time (more on that below). No Way Home should dominate yet again and the question is how much it falls in weekend #2. The MCU juggernaut scored a rare A+ Cinemascore average meaning audiences are loving what they see.

One potential comp could be Star Wars: The Force Awakens which dropped 40% in its sophomore holiday frame. I’ll say Spidey falls a bit more than that (more in the 50-55% percent range).

With the webslinger secure in first position, there could be a real fight for the runner-up spot. I have Matrix barely getting by Sing 2 (though the latter will almost certainly leg out stronger in subsequent weekends). I’m only forecasting a $400k difference between them.

The King’s Man could be the odd sequel/prequel out as far as interest in concerned. I have it falling under double digits for the traditional Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend. That should be good enough for fourth place.

Underdog and Journal both premiere on Christmas Day and will only have two days tallied toward their grosses. I have the former at just over $6 million and the latter a tad shy of $3 million.

Holdovers not named Spider-Man should experience declines in the 40s and up range (this appears to be case when Christmas falls on a Saturday and Christmas Eve is a somewhat smaller day for earnings). Encanto could be an outlier and probably suffers the smallest drop.

Finally, Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed awards contender Licorice Pizza expands and could deliver a $1-2 million showing (I’ll skew toward the middle of the range as it’s out on approximately 750 screens).

With all this Yuletide activity, I’m expanding my normal top 5 to a top 10 and here’s how I see it:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $125.2 million

2. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $31.3 million (Friday to Sunday); $46.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. The Matrix Resurrections

Predicted Gross: $26.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $40.3 million

4. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $13.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. American Underdog

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million

6. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

7. A Journal for Jordan

Predicted Gross: $2.9 million

8. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $2 million

9. West Side Story

Predicted Gross: $2 million

10. Licorice Pizza

Predicted Gross: $1.8 million

Box Office Results (December 17-19)

Spider-Man: No Way Home swung to unprecedented heights (regardless of pandemic times) as it demolished box office records and accomplished the #2 highest domestic opening of all-time (behind only the MCU’s Avengers: Endgame). Coming in just ahead of previous runner-up Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Spidey sequel made $260.1 million (laying my estimate of $213.7 million to waste). While other pics are struggling in the marketplace, audiences were clearly primed for the event flick.

Encanto took second with $6.4 million, in range with my $6 million for projection and the Disney toon is up to $81 million.

West Side Story plummeted a troubling 65% for third in its sophomore outing with $3.6 million (below my $5.5 million take). Steven Spielberg’s musical has managed only $18 million in its ten days of release.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was fourth with $3.4 million (I said $3.6 million) for $117 million overall.

Finally, Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley struggled to find a crowd preoccupied with Spider-Man. Despite star power and its Oscar winning filmmaker, the noir thriller debuted in fifth with a measly $2.8 million compared to my $3.3 million prediction.

And that does it for now, folks! Have a Happy Holidays!

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…

Oscar Predictions: The Summit of the Gods

The French language animated effort The Summit of the Gods premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this summer and is in limited release prior to its Netflix bow on November 30th. From director Patrick Imbert, Summit is based on a Japanese manga series and is receiving praise from critics across the board with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.

The mountaineering tale set around Mount Everest could be a trendy spoiler pick to make the five selections competing for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. It’s certainly doable, but it will need to climb past several other viable contenders. Disney has three potential hopefuls with Encanto, Luca, and Raya and the Last Dragon. Foreign competitors Flee and Belle may both make the cut and Netflix also has The Mitchells vs. the Machines. 

That competition makes it a challenge for Summit‘s inclusion, but the solid reviews could assist in nabbing it a spot. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Oscar Predictions: Sing 2

Sing 2 is likely to make loud box office noises when it’s released December 22nd. The sequel to the animated musical comedy arrives five years after the original took in $270 million domestically. From Illumination Entertainment, Garth Jennings returns to direct as do the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Nick Kroll, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, and Nick Offerman. Newbies include Bobby Cannavale, Halsey, Pharrell Williams, Letitia Wright, Eric Andre, and Bono.

Despite part one being a smash hit, it did not manage to nab a Best Animated Feature nod. The first Sing achieved a decent 71% Rotten Tomatoes rating. There’s just a handful of reviews out for the follow-up and it’s currently lower at 60%.

With a trio of Disney efforts (Encanto, Luca, Raya and the Last Dragon), two Netflix properties (The Mitchells vs. the Machines, The Summit of the Gods), and acclaimed foreign features Flee and Belle all in the mix, Animated Feature is already crowded. I don’t foresee a sequel to something that couldn’t get in the first time around being viable.

In Best Original Song, a band that Bono started that you might be familiar with (U2) has “Your Song Saved My Life”. This is another category with plenty of high profile contenders (Beyonce and Billie Eilish among them). Bono and his mates probably won’t make the cut. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

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

Oscar Predictions: Encanto

The Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars was established in 2001 and since then, Disney has won the race 14 out of 20 times (including 8 out of the past 9). It’s safe to say they have a distinct advantage in the competition and that’s why Encanto has long been seen as a frontrunner. From 2016 winner Zootopia makers Byron Howard and Jared Bush, it features the voices of Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama.

With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical fantasy opens over Thanksgiving and the review embargo lifted today. The current 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating is encouraging. The track “Dos Oruguitas” could put Miranda in the running for an EGOT. For the unfamiliar, that’s winning an Emmy, Tony, Oscar, and Grammy and only 16 people have done it. My guess is that Beyonce and her King Richard song “Be Alive” could prevent that from occurring.

I do believe Encanto stands the best chance of the 2021 Mouse Factory offerings to take the prize over Luca and Raya and the Last Dragon (which may miss the top five altogether). Yet there is a sturdy competitor with Flee, the Danish critically lauded effort that could make history with nods in Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, International Feature Film, and maybe even Best Picture. It’s a guessing game at the moment as to which of the first three it wins (if any). My best guess is that the animated competition is where it could do so and that could leave Encanto as runner-up.

That said, betting against Disney has been the correct call just 30% of the time. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Eternals Box Office Prediction

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been unleashing product at a furious pace following COVID delays and that continues November 5th with Eternals. Arriving four months after Black Widow, two months following Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and a month a half before Spider-Man: No Way Home, this is the 26th MCU superhero tale in the massive series. Chloe Zhao, fresh off a Best Picture and Director win for Nomadland, directs with a cast featuring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie.

Originally scheduled for November 2020 before the pandemic altered Disney’s plans, this is the long anticipated adaptation of Jack Kirby’s comics that debuted over half a century ago. Surprisingly, initial buzz is mixed in a way Marvel rarely sees. The Rotten Tomatoes meter currently sits at 63%. That’s the lowest score of any MCU offering to date (just below Thor: The Dark World‘s 66%).

If there’s any franchise that’s teflon, it would be this one. Reviews shouldn’t matter too much, but the word-of-mouth could keep Eternals from reaching COVID era records. Venom: Let There Be Carnage has the best three day start of the period with $90 million. In July, Black Widow took in $80 million out of the gate. Over Labor Day weekend, Shang-Chi surpassed projections with $75 million from Friday to Sunday and $94 million when adding the Monday haul.

Had Eternals achieved the glowing chatter of Shang-Chi, I might be discussing an opening weekend of over $100 million. Now I’m skeptical. I believe it’s more likely that Eternals could debut on pace with what its MCU predecessor did during the first three days. That’s just fine, but it’s an adjustment down from what I would’ve figured even a week or so ago.

Eternals opening weekend prediction: $77.8 million

For my Spencer prediction, click here:

Spencer Box Office Prediction

Ron’s Gone Wrong Box Office Prediction

After premiering to solid reviews at the London Film Festival last week, the sci-fi animated comedy Ron’s Gone Wrong hits multiplexes on October 22. From directors Jean-Philippe Vine and Sarah Smith, the voice cast includes Zach Galifianakis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Olivia Colman, Ed Helms, Justice Smith, and Rob Delaney.

Wrong is the first effort from Locksmith Animation, a British outlet. Distributed by 20th Century Studios (a subsidiary of Disney), future Locksmith titles will be handled by Warner Bros. This is a rare wide release animated work not based on existing IP that isn’t coming specifically from the Mouse Factory or Illumination or DreamWorks.

Reviews are decent with an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score. Yet I really question whether family audiences are even aware of its existence. There’s not much competition for kiddos (The Addams Family 2 will be in its fourth weekend). I still am skeptical that this reaches double digits for the start.

Ron’s Gone Wrong opening weekend prediction: $8.4 million

For my Dune prediction, click here:

Dune Box Office Prediction