February 14-17 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (02/12): My Sonic the Hedgehog estimate has risen significantly from $38.7 million to $51.8 million

It’s a four-day weekend at the box office with four new titles premiering: video game adaptation Sonic the Hedgehog, low-budget Blumhouse horror pic Fantasy Island, romantic drama The Photograph with Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield,and the Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Will Ferrell comedic drama Downhill. You can peruse my detailed individual prediction posts on the quartet here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/06/sonic-the-hedgehog-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/06/fantasy-island-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/08/the-photograph-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/09/downhill-box-office-prediction/

Let’s start with Downhill, which screened last month at Sundance to middling reviews. With a small 1500 theater count, my $4.1 projection leaves it outside of the top five.

As for the rest of the newbie trio, I expect them to be in the high five. Sonic should easily be the leader with my high 30s forecast, dropping the underwhelming Birds of Prey (more on that below) to #2.

The Photograph has breakout potential and my low teens estimate puts it in third. I’m skeptical that Fantasy Island finishes higher than fourth in the low double digits. The five spot could be a contest between holdovers Bad Boys for Life and 1917, which could dip a bit more than I originally anticipated since it lost Best Picture to Parasite.

And with that, my take on the long weekend:

1. Sonic the Hedgehog

Predicted Gross: $51.8 million

2. Birds of Prey

Predicted Gross: $19.5 million

3. The Photograph

Predicted Gross: $17.4 million

4. Fantasy Island

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

5. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $10 million

Box Office Results (February 7-9)

As mentioned, it was a lackluster start for DC Extended Universe spin-off Birds of Prey with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character. Expected to gross around $50 million, the pic got its wings clipped with only $33 million, way under my $55.6 million prediction. Despite solid reviews, viewers weren’t as keen to see it as anticipated.

With Birds as the only new release over the weekend, holdovers all held better than I assumed. Bad Boys for Life dropped to second after three weeks in first with $12 million compared to my $9.8 million take. Total is $166 million.

1917 was third with $9.2 million, above my $7.1 million projection as it has reached $132 million thus far.

Dolittle was fourth at $6.5 million (I said $4.8 million) for $63 million overall as the flop will fail to make the century club.

Jumanji: The Next Level rounded out the top five at $5.5 million (I went with $4.5 million). The sequel is about to hit the triple century mark at $298 million.

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

Sonic the Hedgehog Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (02/12): My estimate has gone up significantly from $38.7 million to $51.8 million

Based on the Sega video game franchise that dates back nearly three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog premieres over the four-day Presidents Day frame next weekend. From first time director Jeff Fowler, the reported $95 million adventure comedy stars James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, and Ben Schwartz doing the motion capture work as the title character.

Movies based on video games have had a checkered box office history. This is a genre littered with disappointments from Super Mario Bros. to Double Dragon to Street Fighter to Assassin’s Creed. On the other hand, last summer’s Pokemon entry Detective Pikachu set a best ever opening for such pics with $54 million.

Sonic is certainly a known entity and family audiences could gravitate towards it now that Jumanji: The Next Level and (to a lesser extent) Dolittle are winding down. This is not expected to reach Pikachu levels, but a Friday to Monday haul in the high 30s to low 40s range is anticipated and likely.

Sonic the Hedgehog opening weekend prediction: $51.8 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Fantasy Island prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/06/fantasy-island-box-office-prediction/

For my The Photograph prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/08/the-photograph-box-office-prediction/

For my Downhill prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/09/downhill-box-office-prediction/

February 7-9 Box Office Predictions

The first full weekend of February features the Oscars on Sunday evening and an Academy nominee will certainly have the #1 picture domestically. Margot Robbie (nominated in Supporting Actress for Bombshell) headlines the only newcomer – her DC Comics spin-off Birds of Prey, featuring her demented Harley Quinn character. You can peruse my detailed prediction post here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/29/birds-of-prey-box-office-prediction/

My mid 50s estimate puts it in first by a mile. The rest of the top five should consist of holdover action fare (Bad Boys for Life and potential Best Picture winner 1917) and family friendly material (Dolittle and Jumanji: The Next Level).

Here’s how I think that top 5 will look:

1. Birds of Prey

Predicted Gross: $55.6 million

2. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

3. 1917

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

4. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

5. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million

Box Office Results (January 31-February 2)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence spent a third frame at #1 as Bad Boys for Life took in $17.6 million, a bit under my $19.8 million projection. The tally is up to $148 million.

1917 was second with $9.4 million compared to my $11 million take. The multiple Oscar nominee stands at $119 million.

Dolittle was third with $7.5 million (I said $6.9 million) as the troubled production has made $55 million.

The highest newcomer of the weekend (somewhat unexpectedly) is the horror flick Gretel & Hansel, opening in fourth with $6.1 million. That’s ahead of my $5.1 million forecast.

Jumanji: The Next Level was right behind in fifth with $6 million (I went with $5.6 million) for $291 million total.

In sixth was the second outing for Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen with $5.6 million. My guess? $5.6 million! $20 million is the overall gross.

Finally, the Blake Lively thriller The Rhythm Section tanked with $2.7 million in 10th place. I was way higher at $6.5 million.

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

January 31-February 2 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/29): Revising my The Rhythm Section projection from $8 million down to $6.5 million and that means I’m taking it from 3rd to 4th place

Super Bowl weekend at the box office is usually a sluggish one and this year should be no different. Two titles premiere with the Blake Lively spy thriller The Rhythm Section and Brothers Grimm horror reimagining Gretel & Hansel. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the pair here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/23/the-rhythm-section-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/23/gretel-hansel-box-office-prediction/

Let’s start with Gretel & Hansel. It’s been a rough year already for horror flicks (see The Turning below) and I don’t expect this to change that. My $5.1 million estimate puts it outside of the top five.

As for Rhythm, I believe it will fail to reach double digits and that probably means a third place showing behind two-week champ Bad Boys for Life and Oscar front runner 1917. In its third frame, the disappointing Dolittle should drop to fourth and I’m actually predicting a tie for fifth between holiday holdover Jumanji: The Next Level and The Gentlemen in its sophomore outing.

And with that, my top 6 forecast for a weekend where grosses should be really soft in Kansas City and San Francisco (and Miami) on Sunday:

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $19.8 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $11 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million

4. The Rhythm Section

Predicted Gross: $6.5 million

5. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

6. The Gentlemen 

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

Box Office Results (January 24-26)

Bad Boys for Life easily held the top spot in its second weekend with a robust $34 million, topping my $31.1 million prediction. The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence threequel has amassed $120 million in its first ten days. For context, the second Boys in 2003 took in $138 million for its whole domestic run.

1917 was second with $15.9 million, in line with my $16.4 million take. The WWI epic has crossed the century mark at $103 million at it continues to build awards momentum for the following weekend.

Dolittle was third with $12.1 million (I was right there at $12.4 million) for an underwhelming two-week tally of $44 million.

Guy Ritchie’s crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey had the best debut in fourth at $10.6 million, just ahead of my $9.6 million projection. That’s pretty much right in line with expectations.

Jumanji: The Next Level rounded out the top five with $7.7 million and I incorrectly had it outside the high five. Total is $283 million as the triple century mark looks achievable.

Finally, critically drubbed horror pic The Turning was sixth with a weak $6.9 million showing. I was higher at $9 million. To add insult to injury, audiences hated it as it was marked with a rare F Cinemascore grade. That’s the second this year after The Grudge.

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

January 24-26 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/22): Revising my The Turning estimate down from to $12.2 million to $9 million

Two new titles open wide this weekend, but the Bad Boys ain’t going nowhere from the #1 spot after a scorching debut. We have the supernatural horror pic The Turning and Guy Ritchie comedic crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey premiering. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/16/the-turning-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/16/the-gentlemen-box-office-prediction/

I question whether either newcomer can hit the teens. I have The Turning almost getting there and placing fourth just behind the second weekend of Dolittle. As for The Gentlemen, I’m forecasting that it struggles to reach double digits and that should put it in the five spot.

Bad Boys for Life should lose about half its Friday to Sunday opening weekend haul and that would put it in the low 30s and far ahead of the pack. As for potential Best Picture winner 1917, look for it to jump up a spot to second as its drop shouldn’t be as pronounced as the Dolittle one.

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

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $31.1 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

4. The Gentlemen

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

5. The Turning

Predicted Gross: $9 million

Box Office Results (January 17-20)

Sporting the second best MLK long weekend gross of all time, sequelitis certainly was no issue for the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life. The action comedy exploded beyond expectations (with good reviews to boot) for $73 million over the four-day frame. That dwarfs my measly $45.6 million projection. Surprise surprise! A fourth edition has already been announced.

Don’t expect to see Dolittle 2. The Robert Downey Jr. family adventure made $28.3 million and that did top my $22.3 million estimate. However, with poor critical reaction and a bloated $175 million budget, it’s still a subpar result.

1917 dropped to third with $26.9 million, under my $34.4 million forecast. The Oscar hopeful is up to $81 million and it should hit the century club by this weekend.

Jumanji: The Next Level was fourth with $12.6 million (I said $11.8 million) for $273 million overall.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker rounded out the top five with $10.5 million compared to my $9.6 million prediction. Total is $494 million.

I incorrectly had Little Women outside of my top six projections, but it was 6th with $8.2 million. The Best Picture nominee is at $86 million.

Finally, I had Just Mercy holding better in its second weekend of wide release. It earned $7.5 million, below my $10.2 million take for a middling $21 million.

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

January 17-20 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/15): Revision time! Taking Bad Boys for Life up to $45.6 million and 1917 down a bit at $34.4 million.

The four-day MLK weekend is upon us with two high profile titles competing with 2019 holdovers. We have Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back in action with Bad Boys for Life and Robert Downey Jr. headlining the family fantasy adventure Dolittle. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/08/bad-boys-for-life-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/09/dolittle-box-office-prediction/

I do not see the box office battle occurring between the two newcomers. That’s because current champ 1917 is fresh off 10 Oscar nominations, great buzz, and a better than expected debut. This holiday weekend often sees holdovers experience very small drops. When you combine the Academy having just released their nominees, that bodes well for the Sam Mendes World War I epic. I’m projecting that it has a slight increase over its opening three day wide rollout.

That puts it in a dogfight with Bad Boys. I’ve got the threequel (coming nearly 25 after the original) in the high 30s and I’m giving it an ever so slight edge over the Academy contender.

Dolittle seems headed for trouble considering its reported $175 million budget. It has already premiered in overseas markets and struggled. Family audiences have had plenty to choose from lately and many may skip this one. My low to mid 20s forecast puts it at a distant third.

I do expect Just Mercy to have a slight increase despite Oscar voters ignoring it. It could feasibly vault over Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker in the five spot with Jumanji dropping from third to fourth.

And with that, my take on the frame ahead:

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $45.6 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $34.4 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $22.3 million

4. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million

5. Just Mercy

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

Box Office Results (January 10-12)

It was a terrific weekend for 1917 ahead of its double digits Oscar haul Monday morning. The pic took in $37 million, topping my $31.2 million prediction. As described above, its outlook ahead looks rosy.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fell to second after three weeks at #1 with $15.1 million compared to my $16.9 million estimate. The ninth official episode of the franchise stands at $478 million.

Jumanji: The Next Level was third with $14 million, under my $17 million take. Total is $257 million as it looks for a small slide this weekend.

Like a Boss with Tiffany Haddish had a muted start in fourth with $10 million. I was a bit higher at $12.4 million.

Just Mercy expanded nationwide in fifth with $9.7 million, right on target with my $9.8 million projection. With an A+ Cinemascore grade, it should play well over the next few weeks.

Little Women was sixth with $7.8 million and was unable to match my forecast of $10.3 million. The newly minted Best Picture nominee has grossed $74 million with the century mark within reach.

Finally, Kristen Stewart had her second big budget flop in a row (after Charlie’s Angels) as Underwater was seventh with $7 million. It did manage to outdo my prediction of $5.4 million.

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

Dolittle Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (01/15): Revising prediction down to $22.3 million

Robert Downey Jr. can speak to animals in Dolittle, but will the film speak to family audiences when it opens next weekend? The pic takes the well known character (previously played by Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy) and places him in a pricey $175 million budgeted adventure. Stephen Gaghan, known for directing the 2005 political thriller Syriana, is the rather surprising choice for behind the camera duties. Our marvelous cinematic Iron Man leads the human cast that also includes Harry Collett, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley, and Jim Broadbent. Many familiar faces are responsible for voicing the animal cast. That list includes Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard (four Oscar winners among them!).

Dolittle was slated to be released last spring before it underwent reportedly extensive reshoots. The release of a property like this with its budget and leading man in late January is a bit curious and perhaps concerning.

Opening over the long MLK weekend, Dolittle will be in a battle for first place with Bad Boys for Life. Gauging the box office prowess of Downey is tricky nowadays since he’s pretty much only been Tony Stark over the past several years (those movies sell themselves).

Family audiences have had plenty of titles to choose from in the past month including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Spies in Disguise, and Jumanji: The Next Level. All three should bring in decent amounts of cash over the long frame. However, even with shaky buzz, Dolittle should hit mid to high 20s over the four days and north of $30 million is feasible. That puts it in second position based on my Bad Boys forecast or perhaps even third behind the second frame of 1917.

Dolittle opening weekend prediction: $22.3 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Bad Boys for Life prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/08/bad-boys-for-life-box-office-prediction/

January 10-12 Box Office Predictions

Fresh off its surprising Best Drama win last night at the Golden Globes, World War I epic 1917 appears to have the benefit of great timing as it opens wide Friday. We have three other newcomers in the mix with the Michael B. Jordan/Jamie Foxx legal drama Just Mercy, Tiffany Haddish/Rose Byrne comedy Like a Boss, and Kristen Stewart led sci-fi horror pic Underwater. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the quartet here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/1917-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/just-mercy-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/like-a-boss-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/02/underwater-box-office-prediction/

1917 has performed impressively in two weeks of limited release and the awards cred should only help. My projection last week put in the mid 20s and I’ve revised up to low 30s. That would easily put it in first, ending the three-week reign of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 

Both Mercy and Boss could see grosses in the low double digits to low teens. I do feel both have the potential to over perform. That said, Mercy has lacked the Oscar buzz that 1917 has and Haddish’s previous comedic starring vehicle Nobody’s Fool did so-so with $14 million for its start. As for Underwater, despite a considerable reported budget of $80 million, this looks like a massive flop. My measly $5.4 million estimate leaves it well outside the top five and marks the second costly flop for Stewart in a row after Charlie’s Angels. 

There might be shades of January 2018 happening with two particular holdovers. That’s when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle experienced much smaller declines than Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the two films switched positions. I expect that to occur now with The Next Level staying in second and Skywalker falling to third (though I have it about as close as can be).

And with that, my top 6 outlook:

1. 1917

Predicted Gross: $31.8 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $17 million

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million

4. Like a Boss

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

5. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

6. Just Mercy

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

Box Office Results (January 3-5)

2020 started off as 2019 closed with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in first. The ninth official episode of the franchise fell over 50% to $34.5 million, right on pace with my $34.4 million prediction. The total stands at $451 million.

Jumanji: The Next Level remained second with a considerably smaller dip at $26.2 million, a bit ahead of my $23.8 million projection. It’s up to $235 million and has another week of non threatening competition until Dolittle arrives.

Little Women had a terrific sophomore hold in third with $13.6 million (I said $12.1 million). The two week tally is $60 million as it seems destined to hit the century mark.

Frozen II was fourth with $11.8 million, in range with my $11.6 million forecast. The Disney behemoth is now at $450 million.

Finally, the year’s first wide release was The Grudge. The horror reboot was a dud with critics and audiences. The latter gave it an unprecedented F Cinemascore grade. Opening in fifth and making $11.4 million, it did manage to top my $10.2 million take. And considering it only cost a reported $10 million to produce, don’t feel too bad for Sony. Based on word of mouth, I expect it to fall off a cliff next weekend.

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

January 3-5 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/02): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising my Grudge estimate down to $10.2 million for a fifth place showing.

As 2020 comes before us on the box office front, the year should begin as 2019 ended with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level topping the charts. There is only one newcomer this weekend as horror reboot The Grudge debuts and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/26/the-grudge-box-office-prediction/

We have seen scary movies perform very well in this weekend in recent history. However, I’m skeptical that The Grudge gets to the teens. That could put it in a battle for third place with the sophomore frame of Little Women and Disney’s Frozen II. I’m giving the newbie a slight edge.

For the returning sequels in the 1-2 positions, it will fascinating to see the drop of Skywalker in weekend #3. It didn’t match my Christmas expectations and a dip of over 50% seems quite feasible. The fall for Jumanji shouldn’t be near as pronounced as it should continue to leg out admirably like its 2017 predecessor did.

And with that, my vision for 2020’s first weekend:

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $34.4 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $23.8 million

3. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

4. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

5. The Grudge

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

Box Office Results (December 27-29)

There was no question that Star Wars would maintain its #1 perch atop the charts, but the ninth episode (with mixed reaction from critics and crowds) certainly didn’t hit my numbers. Skywalker made $72.3 million and that’s considerably below my $92 million estimate. In two weeks, it’s running just behind where The Last Jedi was at two years ago. However, I expect that to change this weekend when it loses more than half its audience.

Jumanji: The Next Level was second with $35.3 million, in line with my $37.5 million projection. The total is $175 million.

Frozen II was third with $16.8 million, a tad under my $18 million prediction as its gargantuan gross has hit $421 million.

Little Women had the honor of being the best performing Christmas opener in fourth place. The Greta Gerwig directed Oscar contender made $16.7 million over the traditional weekend and $29.2 million since its Wednesday start. That’s pretty close to respective estimates of $14.8 million and $28.7 million. Look for this one to hold well with solid word-of-mouth.

The animated Spies in Disguise opened in fifth with $13.3 million from Friday to Sunday and I was on target with a projection of $13.6 million. Since Wednesday, it’s made $22.2 million and I was more generous at $27.4 million.

Finally, Adam Sandler’s critically acclaimed Uncut Gems shone brightly in seventh with a better than expected $9.5 million over the regular weekend and $18.8 million since Wednesday. That’s well over my takes of $5.7 million and $11 million. Factoring in its limited release dollars, it’s up to $21 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Happy New Year and until next time…

December 27-29 Box Office Predictions

It is Christmastime at the box office and multiplexes are offering three new debuts: Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, animated action comedy Spies in Disguise with Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the nationwide expansion of Adam Sandler’s critically heralded crime thriller Uncut Gems. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all three here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/little-women-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/spies-in-disguise-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/22/uncut-gems-box-office-prediction/

The holiday falling on a Wednesday makes things quite interesting. For the newbies, you can generally assume the Wednesday and Thursday combined numbers (they all open on Christmas) will roughly equal the Friday to Sunday earnings. I have Women and Spies each in the low teens for the traditional weekend and that means high 20s for the five-day rollouts. I wouldn’t be shocked to see either of them take in a bit more. As for Gems, I believe it could struggle a bit in its wide berth even though it’s posted impressive grosses in limited fashion. My $5.7 million Friday to Sunday projection and $11 million Wednesday to Sunday estimate puts it outside the top five. The other premieres are slated for the four and five spots.

That’s because the current top three may just stay the same. The question isn’t whether Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stays #1 (it will), but how much it falls in the sophomore frame. Predecessor The Last Jedi plummeted a steep 67% two years ago, but the days of the week for this holiday makes a difference. I’ll project it loses less than half its audience and manages to be in the low 90s range.

Other holdovers around this time of year see increases and I expect that to be the case with family flicks Jumanji: The Next Level and Frozen II. And with that, my Yuletide take on what I expect:

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $92 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $37.5 million

3. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $18 million

4. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $14.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $28.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. Spies in Disguise 

Predicted Gross: $13.6 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.4 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (December 20-22)

Rare is the picture that can take in more than $175 million out of the gate and be considered somewhat of a letdown. Such is the case with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Suffering a very mixed reaction from critics and even audiences, the ninth official episode in the massive franchise made $177.3 million. That’s under my forecast of $191.4 million and 19% less than what The Last Jedi achieved in 2017. It’s $80 million lower than the haul of The Force Awakens four years ago. As mentioned above, I do anticipate its hold to be sturdier than Jedi. For the weekends that follow, it may not be so lucky.

Jumanji: The Next Level dropped to second with $26.5 million, right on target with my $26.8 million prediction. The sequel crossed the century mark after ten days with $102 million. Expect an uptick as family crowds continue to turn out.

Frozen II was third with $12.9 million (I said $11 million) as the Disney sequel has amassed a hot $387 million.

Use whatever bad pun you wish as Cats had an embarrassing opening in fourth. Reviled by critics and with a rank Cinemascore C+ grade, the musical earned just $6.6 million. That’s well under my $14.5 million projection. This is truly an example where word-of-mouth made a difference.

Knives Out was fifth and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It earned $6.5 million and is up to $89 million.

Finally, the Fox News expose opened wide and came in below estimates with $5.1 million (I was higher at $6.9 million). Despite some Oscar chatter, this didn’t break out. It will hope for meager declines as the awards season continues.

And that does it for now, folks! Wishing you a Happy Holidays and until next time…