Blogger’s Note (01/02): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising my number down to $10.2 million
2020 begins at multiplexes in the same fashion as other recent years with a horror offering. This time around, it’s a remake of the 2004 supernatural pic The Grudge. And that Sarah Michelle Gellar hit was itself an update of a 2002 Japanese title in which Takashi Shimizu directed both. Nicolas Pesce is behind the camera now with a cast including Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye, Frankie Faison, William Sadler, and Jacki Weaver.
As mentioned, this is the genre that has typically kicked off the cinematic calendar lately. In 2019, Escape Room surprised prognosticators with a debut north of $18 million. Two years ago, Insidious: The Last Key unlocked a gross just under $30 million.
The Grudge is not expected to approach those figures, but horror flicks always have the capacity to surprise. Yet this could also fall victim to the unasked for franchise fatigue that has plagued several titles recently. A decent comp could be 2017’s Rings, which was also a reboot of a Japanese series. It opened to $13 million and that sounds about right here (and perhaps a tad under).
The Grudge opening weekend prediction: $10.2 million
Six strangers attempt to survive a deadly series of the title here in the horror pic EscapeRoom, out next Friday. It’s my first box office prediction for a 2019 feature and it comes from Adam Robitel, best known for directing 2018’s sequel Insidious: TheLastKey (which was my first projection for this current year). Cast members include Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nik Dodani.
The market could certainly be ready for a fright fest, but whether EscapeRoom hits that spot for genre fans is questionable (especially with Glass coming two weeks later). The aforementioned Insidious entry had the benefit of being part of a successful franchise. It opened to just over $29 million almost one year ago.
I’ll estimate that this achieves less than half of that number with the caveat that horror flicks can manage to outdo expectations in January.
EscapeRoom opening weekend prediction: $13.8 million
12 Strong could potentially make a play for the top spot, but I suspect Jumanji will continue its dominance in first place. Looking over the post MLK weekend from years past, it’s not rare for holdovers to experience smallish declines. I suspect that will hold true for Jumanji and ThePost.
Along those lines, TheGreatestShowman should drop to fourth with TheCommuter roundingoutthetop5. My $6.1 million estimate for DenofThieves puts it outside my high five.
And with that – here they are!
1. Jumanji: WelcometotheJungle
Predicted Gross: $19.6 million
Predicted Gross: $14 million
Predicted Gross: $13.9 million
Predicted Gross: $9.9 million
Predicted Gross: $7.6 million
Jumanji continued its remarkable run atop the charts over the four day MLK weekend with $35.1 million, edging past my prediction of $32.7 million. The smash sequel has amassed $291 million since its Christmas time debut.
There were plenty of new releases and expansions this weekend and Steven Spielberg’s Oscar hopeful ThePost fared best in second with $23 million, in line with my $22.3 million estimate.
TheGreatestShowman continued its stellar run with $16.1 million, singing beyond my $12.6 million prediction. It’s ready to join the century club as it stands at $98 million.
Liam Neeson took fourth with TheCommuter as it opened with a fairly solid $15.8 million (I was a touch lower at $14.6 million).
One of the surprises of the weekend was the disappointing performance for critically acclaimed kiddie sequel Paddington2, debuting in fifth with a mediocre $15 million. I had it pegged for a #2 premiere at $22.4 million. Oops.
StarWars: TheLastJedi was sixth with $14.6 million (I said $15.5 million) for $594 million total.
Insidious: TheLastKey fell from second to seventh with $14.3 million compared to my $13.2 million estimate. It’s earned $50 million in its two weeks of release.
In eighth place, ProudMary with Taraji P. Henson had a muted start with $11.7 million, well under my $18.5 million projection.
PitchPerfect3 was ninth with $7.3 million. My prediction? $7.3 million. Woot woot. The three-quel is also on the cusp of nine figures with $96 million.
I incorrectly had DarkestHour outside the top 10, but it placed 10th with $5.4 million and $36 million.
It’s our third four-day weekend in four frames as the MLK holiday is Monday and there’s four new pictures debuting wide. They are: family geared sequel Paddington2, Steven Spielberg Oscar hopeful ThePost, Liam Neeson thriller TheCommuter, and Taraji P. Henson action flick ProudMary. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
None are likely to dislodge Jumanji: WelcometotheJungle from its perch atop the charts. The MLK weekend typically sees minor drops from the previous one. As to which newbie garners the most cash… well, that’s an excellent question. I’m giving Paddington the slightest edge over ThePost for the two spot. I also anticipate a healthy debut for ProudMary over TheCommuter, which could open outside the top 5 depending on the StarWars hold.
As for the current #2, Insidious: TheLastKey, it could fall to 7th after an impressive premiere (more on that below). Horror pics historically suffer more precipitous drops than other genres. Lots to consider on this unpredictable weekend and here are my top ten estimates for Friday through Monday:
1. Jumanji: WelcometotheJungle
Predicted Gross: $32.7 million (representing a drop of 12%)
Predicted Gross: $22.4 million
Predicted Gross: $22.3 million
Predicted Gross: $18.5 million
5. StarWars: TheLastJedi
Predicted Gross: $15.5 million (representing a drop of 35%)
Predicted Gross: $14.6 million
7. Insidious: TheLastKey
Predicted Gross: $13.2 million (representing a drop of 55%)
Predicted Gross: $12.6 million (representing a drop of 8%)
Predicted Gross: $7.3 million (representing a drop of 28%)
Predicted Gross: $6.5 million (representing a drop of 15%)
As expected, Jumanji vaulted over StarWars in its third weekend to #1 with $37.2 million, easily outpacing my $29.1 million forecast for $245 million overall. The 90s reboot is performing fantastically and should continue its reign this weekend.
The other story of the weekend was the terrific performance of Insidious: TheLastKey, exceeding all expectations at $29.5 million in second compared to my meager $18.6 million estimate. It’s yet another success story for Blumhouse after a sizzling 2017.
TheLastKey dropped TheLastJedi to third with $23.7 million, in line with my $24.8 million projection. Episode VIII has taken in $572 million.
TheGreatestShowman continued its nice run in fourth with $13.7 million (I was lower at $10.6 million) for $76 million total.
Finally, PitchPerfect3 rounded out the top five with $10.2 million (I said $8 million) to bring its coffers to $86 million.
As I see it, the newbie looks poised for a third place showing. The top two should be held by Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. However, unlike the last two weekends, I don’t see it in that order.
Jumanji came within a half million dollars of unseating Jedi for the four-day New Year’s weekend. I’ll predict it has a smaller percentage drop and rises to the top spot in weekend #3.
I also see The Greatest Showman vaulting above Pitch Perfect 3 to stay in the #4 position.
Here’s my top 5 estimates for the weekend ahead:
1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Predicted Gross: $29.1 million (representing a drop of 41%)
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Predicted Gross: $24.8 million (representing a drop of 52%)
3. Insidious: The Last Key
Predicted Gross: $18.6 million
4. The Greatest Showman
Predicted Gross: $10.6 million (representing a drop of 32%)
5. Pitch Perfect 3
Predicted Gross: $8 million (representing a drop of 52%)
Box Office Results (December 29-January 1)
The year ended with a box office photo finish between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, adding some excitement as Luke Skywalker and company nearly were knocked off their #1 perch.
Jedi managed to take the top spot with $66.8 million (below my four-day estimate of $77.8 million) to bring its total to $531 million. While this is well below what Force Awakens earned, Jedi did become 2017’s highest grossing film over Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Jumanji was right behind with $66.3 million (topping my $58 million forecast) for a total of $185 million thus far. As mentioned above, look for this to vault to #1 this weekend.
Pitch Perfect 3 was third with $21.6 million compared to my $25.1 million prediction in its second weekend for a $68 million overall gross.
The Greatest Showman was close behind in fourth with $20.9 million, displaying great legs and easily eclipsing my $14.9 million projection. It’s at $54 million overall.
Ferdinand rounded out the top five with $14.8 million (I said $12.5 million) for $57 million total.
Coco was sixth with $10 million (I said $9.8 million) for a $182 million tally.
All the Money in the World took the seven spot with a solid $7.2 million compared to my $5.2 million prediction for $14 million thus far.
Darkest Hour was eighth with $7 million (I said $7.3 million) and $19 million total.
Downsizing was ninth at $6.2 million (I said $6.1 million) for $16 million overall while The Shape of Water was 11th at $4.7 million (I said $5.7 million) and it’s also made $16 million.
I incorrectly had Father Figures outside the top ten, but it was 10th with $4.9 million and $14 million overall.
The first new wide release of 2018 is out next Friday when Insidious: The Last Key enters theaters. This is the fourth chapter in the franchise that began in 2011. Like Chapter 3, it’s a prequel to the events of the first two. In other words, no Patrick Wilson or Rose Byrne (the stars of the originals). James Wan, director and 1 and 2, produces with Adam Robitel behind the camera. Leigh Whannell, who’s served as writer for all of them, costars along with Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Josh Stewart, and Bruce Davison.
One factor that could assist The Last Key is the absence of horror flicks in the marketplace at the moment. That said, this franchise has been losing its luster. The 2011 original debuted to $13 million but legged out very nicely for its genre with an eventual $54 million gross. The 2013 sequel was the pinnacle with a terrific $40 million opening weekend and $83 million total tally. Chapter 3 in 2015 premiered to $22 million, but ended up as the lowest earner of the series with $52 million.
I don’t see a compelling reason why part 4 will rebound. For comparison sake, I could see this performing similarly to 2014’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which opened in the first weekend of January to just over $18 million. Like this, that was an entry in a franchise whose steam had dissipated. That number seems to be where Key fits best.
Insidious: The Last Key opening weekend prediction: $18.6 million