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…

November 5-7 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (11/03): I’ve seen some unconfirmed data indicating Spencer will open on just under 1000 screens. If that holds true, I’m revising my estimate from $4.6M to $4.1M.

Blogger’s Update (11/02): Even though I don’t have a theater count at press time, I am factoring in the opening of Spencer to my estimates. My detailed prediction for it is here:

Spencer Box Office Prediction

My $4.6M projection puts it in the top five so it’s now a top 6 for the weekend ahead!

The third of four 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe titles hits this weekend (thanks to some COVID delays) with Chloe Zhao’s Eternals. It’s eagerly awaited, but it also faces some unusual challenges for the MCU. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Eternals Box Office Prediction

The buzz for Eternals is mixed in a way that its studio isn’t accustomed to. Sitting at 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, the pic has the lowest RT score of the 26 MCU entries dating back to 2008. That has caused me to revise my estimate down just a touch, but I still believe mid to high 70s is the probable haul.

Unsurprisingly, Eternals is the only wide release as November dawns. Dune, after two weeks on top, may lose around 50-55% of its audience for second place with No Time to Die, Halloween Kills, and Venom: Let There Be Carnage providing a sequel heavy presence in the rest of the top five.

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, after being the top newcomer this past weekend, should drop precipitously around 70% (like its predecessor) and fall outside the high five flicks.

With that, here’s how I see it looking:

1. Eternals

Predicted Gross: $77.8 million

2. Dune

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million

3. No Time to Die

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

4. Spencer

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

5. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

6. Halloween Kills

Predicted Gross: $3 million

Box Office Results (October 29-31)

I supersized my normal estimates with a top ten due to the prevalence of newbies over the Halloween frame. All but one, as I predicted, fell outside the top five.

As anticipated, Dune reigned supreme in its sophomore outing. However, it fell more than I figured. The $15.4 million take didn’t match my $18.5 million and the two-week tally is $69 million.

Other holdovers held a bit sturdier than I thought they would. Halloween Kills was second with $8.7 million compared to my $6.1 million projection and it’s up to $85 million with the century mark in view.

No Time to Die was third with $7.7 million (I said $6.3 million) and Mr. Bond has reached $133 million.

My Heroes Academia: World Heroes’ Mission was the best performing newbie at $6.4 million, on pace with my $6.1 million prediction.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage rounded out the top five with $5.7 million, on pace with my forecast of $5.6 million. Total is $190 million as it approaches double century territory.

Antlers debuted in sixth with a mediocre $4.2 million. It did surpass my take of $3.2 million.

Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho started out in seventh with just $4.1 million, not matching my $5.2 million estimate.

Ron’s Gone Wrong was eighth in weekend #2 at $3.7 million (I went with $4.1 million) as the animated feature has drawn in only $12 million.

The Addams Family 2 followed in ninth with $3 million and I was close at $3.3 million for $52 million overall.

Finally, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch expanded to nearly 800 screens and took tenth at $2.6 million. I was more hopeful with $3.8 million.

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

October 29-31 Box Office Predictions

Halloween weekend brings five (yes five) pictures either debuting or expanding nationally. Some of them may not treat theirselves to a top 5 finish. The contenders are Edgar Wright’s 60s set psychological horror pic Last Night in Soho, Scott Cooper’s creature feature Antlers, Wes Anderson’s latest comedy The French Dispatch, Japanese animated sequel My Heroes Academia: World Heroes’ Mission, and Amanda Seyfried in the drama A Mouthful of Air. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the quintet at these links:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

Antlers Box Office Prediction

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

I’ll begin with the low hanging fruit. Mouthful is only opening in 800 theaters and has barely been advertised. My tiny $846,000 estimate leaves it outside of the top ten.

Of all the premieres, I suspect Academia could actually make the most and it might be the only one in the top 5. This is based on the assumption that Soho and Antlers will both struggle.

The French Dispatch is more of a question mark. It debuted in 52 venues this weekend and its $1.3 million take (good for ninth place) represents the highest per screen average in the COVID era. However, that could be misleading as it expands across the nation and non-Anderson fanatics may not turn out.

As for holdovers, Dune met expectations in its start (more on that below) and seemed to garner the audience stamp of approval with an A- Cinemascore. It should easily maintain the top spot and I’ll say a 50-55% dip is most feasible. Halloween Kills, No Time to Die, Academia, and maybe even Venom (or Soho or Antlers or Dispatch if they exceed my forecasts) could battle it out for the runner-up position.

With all the new product, my typical top 5 expands to a top 10 as we close out October. Here’s how I see it:

1. Dune

Predicted Gross: $18.5 million

2. No Time to Die

Predicted Gross: $6.3 million

3. Halloween Kills

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million

4. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million

5. Venom: Let There Be Carnage 

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

6. Last Night in Soho

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

7. Ron’s Gone Wrong

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

8. The French Dispatch

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

9. The Addams Family 2

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

10. Antlers

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

Box Office Results (October 22-24)

Despite its simultaneous availability on HBO Max, Denis Villeneuve’s long awaited sci-fi epic Dune performed in the range of anticipation with $41 million, just under my $42.8 million prediction. Considering its streaming dollars, that should certainly be enough for the expected part II.

Halloween Kills was slashed steeply in weekend #2 with $14.4 million. I was a tad higher at $15.4 million. The middle pic in the trilogy is up to a solid $73 million.

No Time to Die was third with $12.2 million, right on pace with my $12.1 million take. The 25th Bond adventure sits at $120 million.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage took fourth with $9.3 million (I said $9.5 million) for $182 million overall.

Finally, the animated Ron’s Gone Wrong didn’t connect with family audiences. Despite complimentary critical reaction, it opened in the five spot with $7.3 million (not matching my $8.4 million projection).

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

Antlers Box Office Prediction

With a production assist from the king of creature features Guillermo del Toro, the supernatural horror tale Antlers crosses into theaters October 29th. From Black Widow and Hostiles director Scott Cooper, the pic is finally hitting screens a year and a half after its COVID postponement. Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, and Amy Madigan star.

The Searchlight pictures production has scored decent reviews and it stands at 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Coming out Halloween weekend, Antlers is genre material in a market that’s been saturated with it. Last Night in Soho opens against it while Halloween Kills will be in its third frame.

Despite the mostly positive critical reaction, I don’t really see this registering with mainstream audiences. The competition won’t help and there’s no star power to draw crowds in. Furthermore the trailers and TV spots may make it look simply too strange to have widespread appeal. I could see this earning about as much as The Night House, which opened in August to a mere $2.9 million. If so, Antlers won’t approach the top five during its scary weekend.

Antlers opening weekend prediction: $3.2 million

For my Last Night in Soho prediction, click here:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

For my The French Dispatch prediction, click here:

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

Edgar Wright’s latest vehicle Last Night in Soho zooms into theaters October 29th, four years after his massive success Baby Driver. The psychological horror thriller, set in mid 60s London, features Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp, and Diana Rigg in her final role.

Soho premiered at the Venice Film Festival in early September and garnered  mixed buzz. The Rotten Tomatoes meter is parked at 70%. The overseas reaction took the pic out of awards contention but Focus Features is hoping horror fans turn out on Halloween weekend.

That could be a challenge. This doesn’t look like your average genre fare and that could keep younger viewers away. It also has Antlers debuting against it and, perhaps most notably, Halloween Kills will be in its third frame. We have seen time and again that original material hoping for an adult crowd has struggled at multiplexes in recent times.

I assume that struggle will apply here. The studio is probably hoping for a $10 million start. Soho may be lucky to reach half of that figure.

Last Night in Soho opening weekend prediction: $5.2 million

For my Antlers prediction, click here:

Antlers Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

For my The French Dispatch prediction, click here:

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

October 22-24 Box Office Predictions

Arriving a year after its COVID delay is Denis Villeneuve’s version of the sci-fi epic Dune along with the animated Ron’s Gone Wrong. The latter will try to keep the October box office hot streak rolling along with the latter attempting to bring in family audiences. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Dune Box Office Prediction

Ron’s Gone Wrong Box Office Prediction

We have had three weekends in a row with newcomers premiering at over $50 million or darn close. Dune could fall right in that range. A potential drawback could be its simultaneous availability on HBO Max. However, I do believe enough viewers are aware that it should be seen on the biggest screen possible. I have it in the low 40s, but as Venom and Halloween Kills have shown us, the chance of over performing is certainly there for the taking.

As for Ron’s Gone Wrong, it has the disadvantage of not being based on known IP. Reviews are decent yet I have it placing fifth and under $10 million.

Halloween Kills exceeded most estimates (more on that below). Its 2018 predecessor fell 59% in its sophomore frame with a B+ Cinemascore average. The sequel has a B- and I envision it dropping in the high 60s range. No Time to Die could see around 50% decline in its third outing while Venom: Let There Be Carnage may see only a dip in the low 40s to mid 40s.

And with that, my top 5 take on the weekend ahead:

1. Dune

Predicted Gross: $42.8 million

2. Halloween Kills

Predicted Gross: $15.4 million

3. No Time to Die

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

4. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million

5. Ron’s Gone Wrong

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million

Box Office Results (October 15-17)

Haddonfield wasn’t the only place where Michael Myers made a killing over the weekend as Halloween Kills premiered at the highest end of projections. The $49.4 million start slashed my $41.2 million prediction. Its simultaneous release on Peacock didn’t appear to make much of a difference. That’s no huge surprise considering the streamer’s membership is minuscule compared to Netflix, HBO Max, and others. While the Kills gross is far under the $76 million achieved by Halloween in 2018, this is still a big win for Universal.

No Time to Die slipped to second with $23.7 million, a bit below my $25.8 million take. The 25th Bond adventure stands at $99 million. While its overseas earnings are pleasing, Daniel Craig’s swan song isn’t quite hitting the anticipated target stateside.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage was third with $16.5 million (I said $14.1 million) and it’s up to $168 million.

The Addams Family 2 had the best hold of all in fourth with $7 million, in range with my $6.6 million projection for $42 million total.

Finally, despite mostly solid reviews, Ridley Scott’s medieval tale The Last Duel with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer, and Adam Driver received little good will from moviegoers. It bombed hard with only $4.7 million in fifth. That’s a far cry from my estimate of $10.4 million. Duel is further proof that adult themed product is having a difficult time getting the intended demographic to the multiplex.

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

Halloween Kills Review

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) spends the 12th Halloween experience laid up in a hospital bed after her near mortal injuries incurred from the 11th one. In that sense, Halloween Kills is quite similar to the first official sequel from 1981. The samesies comparisons don’t stop there as this is an inferior follow-up to what came before it. The difference is that the 1978 original was a slasher classic to which all followers have been judged. 2018’s Halloween was not and therefore the letdown isn’t as steep.

Kills takes place (like Halloween II) during the immediate events after its predecessor. Laurie, daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) had left Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) to burn at her tricked out house. Unsurprisingly, it turns out to be mission unaccomplished as the masked one escapes that space and leaves plenty of dead firefighters in his wake.

While Laurie is recovering from her own stabbing, Michael has his knives out for plenty of other townsfolk in Haddonfield. As you may recall, we are on our third iteration of the killer’s most famous prey reuniting with her predator. The 1981 sequel continued John Carpenter’s storyline and revealed that Laurie is Michael’s little sister. 1998’s Halloween: H20 set their sibling rivalry 20 years later.

By the time David Gordon Green and company came around and another two decades passed, 2018’s Halloween ignored all of that. The familial connection was slashed in favor of Laurie becoming a survivalist and waiting for escaped booby hatch patient Myers to find her. Kills allow for other figures in the ’78 pic to return – Tommy Doyle (who Laurie babysat) is now Anthony Michael Hall. Kyle Richards reprises her role as Lindsey, one of the other kids tormented that night. And we catch up with Sheriff Bracket (Charles Cyphers) and Nurse Chambers (Nancy Stephens). We also spend some unnecessary time with flashbacks to 40 years before that don’t add much (though if you want CG Donald Pleasance, you’re in luck).

The phrase “Evil Dies Tonight” is repeated ad nauseam as the denizens of our Illinois murder spot (led by Tommy) seek to end Michael’s return engagement. Of course, we know that ain’t happening. Halloween Kills is the second of a trilogy that will end (?) with next year’s ambitiously titled Halloween Ends. This has the feel of stopgap viewing with no real payoffs and our star player relegated to the sideline. There are a few garish highlights. I was entertained by the couple Big John (Scott MacArthur) and Little John (Michael McDonald… not that one) who live in Michael’s childhood house of horrors and probably should’ve upped their homeowners insurance. A hospital set scene where the residents chase down another of the escaped mental patients is shot effectively.

Ultimately Halloween Kills, for most of its running time, feels painfully average. It’s more violent than part one… which was actually part II if you ignore that other part II. So I suppose this is part III when ignoring nine other movies. The gimmick of Laurie coming back (again) had its pleasures in 2018. Tommy and Lindsey coming back in the mix doesn’t really cut the mustard. Michael cuts the tracheas and tendons with dutiful impassioned restraint. It seldom rises above the mediocrity where most of this series has dwelled since part one (the real one).

** (out of four)

October 15-17 Box Office Predictions

Jamie Lee Curtis is back battling Michael Myers in Halloween Kills while Ridley Scott’s medieval drama The Last Duel with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer, and Adam Driver also debuts. These are the new offerings in the mid October frame as No Time to Die enters its sophomore frame following a less than expected start. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the fresh offerings here:

Halloween Kills Box Office Prediction

The Last Duel Box Office Prediction

It has been two straight weeks of me either grossly underestimating (Venom) or significantly overestimating (Die) the newbies. So let’s see what happens with Halloween, shall we? I’m going with a low to mid 40s take and that would be well under the $70M+ that its 2018 predecessor made (Kills is curiously available for streaming on Peacock). Of course, given my October track record, watch it make $60 million or more. I gotta get something on the money in October though… right??

As for The Last Duel, the less than anticipated haul for 007 was further evidence that pictures geared toward older viewers continue to struggle. With scant awards buzz, I’m projecting Duel barely gets to double digits and that should mean a fourth place showing.

Back to Bond. 2015’s Spectre dropped 52% in its second frame and I see no reason why Craig’s finale wouldn’t dip about the same. Venom may fall in the mid 50s in weekend 3 with The Addams Family 2 rounding out the top five with the smallest decline (mid to high 30s) of the bunch.

Here’s how I see the top 5 looking:

1. Halloween Kills

Predicted Gross: $41.2 million

2. No Time to Die

Predicted Gross: $25.8 million

3. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Predicted Gross: $14.1 million

4. The Last Duel

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million

5. The Addams Family 2

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million

Box Office Results (October 8-10)

Well, we all get carried away sometimes. The fantastic premiere for Venom and the hoopla surrounding Craig’s swan song got me thinking No Time to Die was capable of achieving a COVID era best start of $94.1 million. I was dead wrong. Die managed just the fourth best output of its star’s five features. The $55.2 million debut didn’t approach the vicinity of Skyfall ($88 million), Spectre ($70 million), or Quantum of Solace ($67 million). Only Casino Royale‘s $40 million fell under it. Theories will abound. Was six years (COVID delays were abundant) too long a break? Perhaps. As mentioned, it likely didn’t help that older moviegoers are still seemingly reluctant for a multiplex engagement. Die‘s saving grace is overseas grosses in line with expectations. Yet it’s hard to spin the fact that the 25th 007 adventure came in at the absolute lowest range numbers that prognosticators foresaw.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage was second with $31.7 million, not quite hitting my $33.7 million estimate. The $141 million ten-day tally is very impressive as it looks to reach $200 million by the end of its domestic run.

The Addams Family 2 took in $10.1 million in its second weekend, ahead of my $9.2 million projection for $31 million overall.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was fourth with $4.3 million (I said $3.4 million) and it’s up to $212 million.

Finally, The Many Saints of Newark crumbled after its weak beginning. The $1.4 million gross (I went with $1.8 million) brought its puny earnings to $7 million.

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

The Last Duel Box Office Prediction

Had The Last Duel come out, say 15 years ago, it probably would be looking at a debut north of $20 million. That’s when director Ridley Scott was not far removed from his Oscar winning Gladiator and at a time when Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had more drawing power. In 2021, I’m not so sure. The 14th century set historical drama features the two Good Will Hunting stars as well as Jodie Comer and Adam Driver.

Originally slated for Christmas 2020 before its COVID delay, this is now the first of two Ridley Scott efforts hitting multiplexes this fall (the next being November’s House of Gucci). Early reviews indicate this will not be much of an awards player. With a 67% Rotten Tomatoes score, the bulk of the praise has come to Killing Eve actress Comer (who was recently widely seen in Free Guy). She could score a Best Actress nod, but don’t look for Duel to compete anywhere else.

The pic is hoping for an adult audience and many of those titles have struggled during this era. Additionally, competition is steep. Halloween Kills opens on the same day with No Time to Die in its sophomore frame. If it was garnering legit Oscar buzz, I might be more optimistic. However, I suspect Duel might arrive at a standstill next weekend. That could mean a premiere that just gets past double digits.

The Last Duel opening weekend prediction: $10.4 million

For my Halloween Kills prediction, click here:

Halloween Kills Box Office Prediction

Halloween Kills Box Office Prediction

Arriving one year after its COVID delay, Halloween Kills stalks theaters October 15th. The 12th film in the nearly 45-year-old franchise, it’s a direct sequel to 2018’s Halloween, which served as a follow-up to 1978’s original (therefore ignoring everything that came in between). Got all that? David Gordon Green returns to direct. So do Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, and, of course, Nick Castle as Michael Myers. Anthony Michael Hall, Thomas Mann, and Kyle Richards are newcomers.

Three Octobers ago, Halloween blew away expectations with a $76 million opening gross and $159 million overall domestically. The debut weekend alone made it the highest earning feature in the series.

Universal Pictures recently made the surprising choice to simultaneously release this in cinemas and on the Peacock streaming service. I’m not so sure how much that hurts its chances in multiplexes (Peacock still isn’t on the level of its better known competitors). However, it doesn’t help.

Reviews for Kills aren’t as laudatory as part 1… err part 2 (or part 11… I suppose). The 2018 effort nabbed 79% on Rotten Tomatoes while this sits at 57%. Critical reaction shouldn’t determine its fate either. I do think the buzz surrounding Curtis’s return has dissipated. This should contribute to a lower premiere and I suspect low to mid 40s is where this ends up.

Halloween Kills opening weekend prediction: $41.2 million

For my The Last Duel prediction, click here:

The Last Duel Box Office Prediction