Violent Night Box Office Prediction

If Mel Gibson in 2020’s Fatman didn’t satiate your desire to see Kris Kringle toting semiautomatic weapons, we’ve got Violent Night sliding into theaters on December 2nd. David Harbour of Stranger Things fame is Santa in the satiric action pic from director Tommy Wirkola. Supporting players include John Leguizamo (currently appearing in The Menu), Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, and Beverly D’Angelo (already a holiday silver screen staple thanks to Christmas Vacation).

Universal is hoping audiences want a little comedic savagery in their Yuletide viewing plans. Harbour hasn’t had a big screen breakout. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as 2019’s Hellboy was a dud (he did turn up in last year’s MCU blockbuster Black Widow).

The best case scenario would be a premiere approaching 2015’s Krampus, which rolled out on the same December weekend. It made just over $16 million and eventually topped out at $42 million domestically. I don’t anticipate that kind of showing for Violent Night. There’s a chance it won’t even reach double digits. I’ll put it a hair under.

Violent Night opening weekend prediction: $9.4 million

Krampus Movie Review

Michael Dougherty’s Krampus begins with a stampede at a mall set to “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”. These are the Black Friday throw downs we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. In some ways, it is scarier and more amusing that what follows for the rest of the film. That said, this anti-Christmas tale is not without its occasional charms and pleasingly out there moments.

For those unfamiliar, Krampus is a centuries old European legend (you can Google) of a ghoulish monster that preys on families who’ve lost their faith in Santa Claus. The yuppie suburbanite Engel family (led by parents Adam Scott and Toni Collette) has almost attained that status, with their young son Max (Emjay Anthony) being the holdout. That changes when their relatives come to visit – they’re a not so well to do clan that consists of David Koechner (think Cousin Eddie with more firearms), his wife and their four children. There’s also aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell), whose solution to the non family fun consists of plenty of Schnapps to keep warm and slightly zoned out.

Speaking of warm, when an out of the blue blizzard hits, the house loses power and connection to the outside world. Adam Scott’s mother called Omi (an effectively creepy Krista Stadler) makes certain a constant hot fire is burning and it’s not just to keep the group comfrotable and aunt Dorothy even more toasted. She knows the story of Krampus first hand and that backstory is relayed in a nifty stop motion animation sequence and she’s trying to keep the anti-Claus from coming down the chimney for more than milk and cookies.

Krampus has his set of little helpers to wreak havoc on the family and this allows for gingerbread menaces and more. It also allows for some knowingly chintzy CG effects and some genuinely impressive ones, too. The title character does look pretty imposing. In fact, when we move into the third act, I really wanted to hang out with him a little more.

Dougherty is known most for his screenplays for superhero tales like X2 and Superman Returns. This is his second directorial feature after 2007’s Trick ‘r’ Treat, a Halloween themed horror anthology which became a cult favorite. That also had some demented and funny moments and was a little overrated in some circles. Krampus may attain that same status. The PG-13 vibe is actually welcome here and this does often feel like it could have been made 30 years ago when that rating was churning out similar genre titles like Gremlins or Critters. It’s a picture when a swear word (spoken by our kid protagonist) feels pleasingly well placed and kind of retro cool.

Yet I can’t deny that Krampus isn’t too frightening and that some of the hoped for laughs grow tiresome. It has plenty of spirit, but never attains the level of Xmas horror classic that it wishes to be. Dougherty has now done two fright fests built around the holidays to moderate success. Perhaps his Arbor or Columbus Day take will be that third charm.

**1/2 (out of four)


Box Office Predictions: December 25-27

This year, Christmas falls on a Friday and there are five new presents to potentially unwrap at the theater: Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home, David O. Russell/Jennifer Lawrence collaboration Joy, Oscar hopeful The Big Short with Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, action remake Point Break, and Will Smith NFL centered drama Concussion. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

As I see it, all five are likely to gross somewhere from the high single digits to mid to high teens. I have Daddy’s Home managing to come in first among the newbies, but it could be a close competition for sure.

As for holdovers, both Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Sisters will be entering their sophomore frames after sturdy debuts (especially considering the competition). The Christmas weekend usually means that holdovers often increase their gross from the previous weekend and I believe this will hold true for Alvin (and Hunger Games and The Good Dinosaur and Creed for that matter). Sisters should experience a fairly small decline.

And that, of course, brings us to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will be entering weekend #2 after its historic opening (more on that below). Audiences and critics have taken to it and it has quickly become a cultural phenomenon. Its next record could be highest second weekend total of all time and in order to do so, it would need to top the six month long record of Jurassic World‘s $106.6 million. As I see it, Force shouldn’t have much of a problem accomplishing that feat and I envision a drop of around 40% for the holiday weekend.

And with that, I’ll expand beyond my usual number and do a Top 11 predictions for an extraordinarily packed Christmas weekend:

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted Gross: $151.6 million (representing a drop of 38%)

2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Predicted Gross: $16.7 million (representing an increase of 17%)

3. Daddy’s Home

Predicted Gross: $16.5 million

4. Joy

Predicted Gross: $14.9 million

5. Concussion

Predicted Gross: $13.8 million

6. Point Break

Predicted Gross: $11 million

7. Sisters

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million (representing a drop of 25%)

8. The Big Short

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million (Friday to Sunday prediction), $10.6 million (Wednesday to Sunday prediction)

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Predicted Gross: $6.5 million (representing an increase of 11%)

10. Creed

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million (representing an increase of 14%)

11. The Good Dinosaur

Predicted Gross: $4.9 million (representing an increase of 14%)

Box Office Results (December 18-20)

Slip in any cliche you like. The Force was with it. It moved at warp speed past the record. Star Wars: The Force Awakens easily set the high for largest domestic opening of all time with an otherworldly $247.9 million, topping my projection of $234.7M. This blasted past the record of Jurassic World, which made $208.8M this summer by nearly $40M. With universal acclaim, Awakens has given Disney a mega franchise to work with for years and crowds were clearly clamoring for a return to that galaxy far, far away.

Two titles dared to open against this juggernaut and both fared decently. Alvin and the Chipmunks took the runner-up spot with $14.2 million, right on par with my $14.3M estimate. While this fourth entry in the series easily had the smallest debut of the bunch, it’s still not bad considering it was up against Luke and company. I’m predicting it’ll see a bounce and stay #2 next weekend.

The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters was third with $13.9 million for a commendable beginning. My prediction? $13.9M… boom!

Holdovers fell a bit further than my predictions. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 fell to fourth after four weeks at #1 with $5.8 million (I said $7M). Its total stands at $254M.

Creed rounded out the top five with $5 million compared to my $6.3M estimate for an overall gross of $87M.

Pixar disappointment The Good Dinosaur was sixth with $4.3 million, under my $6.8M projection. It has yet to reach $100M after 4 weeks at $96M.

I incorrectly had Krampus outside my top seven and it took that number with $4.1 million for a tidy gross of $35M. That’s because I had the Ron Howard/Chris Hemsworth dud In the Heart of the Sea in seventh. It plummeted to 8th in weekend #2 with a gross of just $3.4 million (compared to my $5.6M estimate) and ten days earnings of just $18M. Ouch.

And that’ll do it for now, ladies and gents! Be sure to check back next week for all the Merry results…



Box Office Predictions: December 18-20

It’s a weekend that box office prognosticators like myself have been waiting for all year long! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the fourth Alvin and the Chipmunks film has arrived!!!

OK… in all seriousness, you may have heard of the big picture arriving this weekend called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The seventh episode of the beloved franchise has been breathlessly awaited and it stands a shot at breaking pretty much every box office record there is. I truly feel it could gross anywhere from $170-$275 million out of the gate so I basically split the difference. That means my prediction does have it devouring the all time opening weekend record posted by Jurassic World this summer. It is worth noting that other estimators are saying this will come under what Jurassic accomplished, but we shall see. You can read my detailed prediction post on it here:

Somewhat surprisingly, other studios are premiering new product in hopes of serving as counter programming to The Force. We have the aforementioned Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters. I look for them to have fairly soft openings and have a close competition for second place. On the bright side, both titles could continue to play well and experience small declines into further holiday weekends. My prediction posts on both of them can be found here:

As for holdovers, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will finally fall from its four week perch atop the charts. In the Heart of the Sea got off to a lackluster start (more on that below) and I actually expect it to drop farther percentage wise than The Good Dinosaur and Creed.

And with that, my top seven predictions for what could be a historic weekend:

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted Gross: $234.7 million

2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

3. Sisters

Predicted Gross: $13.9 million

4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Predicted Gross: $7 million (representing a drop of 38%)

5. The Good Dinosaur

Predicted Gross: $6.8 million (representing a drop of 36%)

6. Creed

Predicted Gross: $6.3 million (representing a drop of 37%)

7. In the Heart of the Sea

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 49%)

Box Office Results: December 11-13

Ron Howard’s $100 million whale tale In the Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth was crushed by a wave of audience ambivalence with a gross of just $11 million, well under my $18.4M estimate. The pic, which received mixed reviews, simply didn’t capture the attention of adventure fans who may be biding their time until this weekend.

That allowed The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 to stay #1 for the fourth weekend in a row with $11.3 million, just topping my $10.5M projection. The franchise finale has taken in $244 million.

Pixar’s disappointing The Good Dinosaur was third with $10.5 million, ahead of my $9.4M prediction for a total of $89 million. This is well below the standards of what its studio is accustomed to and it remains on track to be Pixar’s smallest earner. On the bright side for parent company Disney, they’ve got a pretty high profile release out this weekend…

Creed took fourth with $10.1 million, a bit higher than my $9.1M estimate for an overall tally of $79 million. This looks to be the first Rocky flick to top $100M since Rocky IV some thirty years ago.

Krampus was fifth in its second weekend with $8.4 million, topping my $7.3M projection. Its taken in a tidy $28 million at press time and is performing solidly for a relatively low budget horror comedy.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time… May The Force Be With You…

Box Office Predictions: December 11-13

Call it the call before an intergalactic storm as the second week of December brings just one new entry: Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth. The film has picked up decent reviews (65% on Rotten Tomatoes) yet it seems to be flying a bit under the radar and it posted disappointing results in its overseas debut over the weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Even with my predicted mediocre opening for Sea, it shouldn’t have much trouble premiering at #1 as the rest of the top five should consist of holdovers The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Krampus, Creed, and The Good Dinosaur. Comedic holiday horror fest Krampus had a better than anticipated opening (more on that below), but it should suffer the largest drop-off as that genre usually does.

All in all, it should be a pretty quiet weekend before the box office juggernaut Star Wars: The Force Awakens looks to demolish records the following week. And I’ll have my individual prediction post on that pic up later this week!

With that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

  1. In the Heart of the Sea

Predicted Gross: $18.4 million

2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Predicted Gross: $10.5 million (representing a drop of 44%)

3. The Good Dinosaur

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million (representing a drop of 39%)

4. Creed

Predicted Gross: $9.1 million (representing a drop of 39%)

5. Krampus

Predicted Gross: $7.3 million (representing a drop of 54%)

Box Office Results (December 4-6)

As expected, it was a quiet post Thanksgiving weekend at the box office as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 managed to stay on top for the third weekend in a row. The bright spot was Krampus, which exceeded the expectations of prognosticators by a nice margin.

Katniss and company ruled the charts with $18.8 million, right in line with my $18.5M estimate and the final chapter in the franchise has taken in $227M.

Krampus soared past my $7.1 million projection to earn $16.2 million for a solid runner-up showing. The mostly well reviewed horror comedy, as mentioned, surpassed nearly all estimates.

Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur continued to show disappointing results with $15.3 million in weekend #2, below my $18.7M prediction. It stands at $75 million at press time and is in very real danger of being Pixar’s lowest domestic grosser of all time.

The critically hailed Creed made $14.9 million in its sophomore frame, a bit below my $16.4M estimate for an overall haul of $64M. A gross of over $100M seems within reach.

Finally, Spectre rounded out the top five with $5.5 million, in range with my $6M projection for a total of $184M.

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

Box Office Predictions: December 4-6

The first week of December is traditionally a weak frame at the box office as the month’s heavy hitters have yet to roll out and moviegoers are mostly nibbling on Thanksgiving leftovers. This year figures to follow suit as only the Christmas themed horror comedy Krampus opens wide and I don’t see it performing too well. You can read my detailed prediction post on it here:

The post holiday weekend also usually means big drop offs for existing pics. The last two Hunger Games entries have fallen more than 60% on this weekend and current champ Mockingjay – Part 2 should do the same.

Disney’s animated features that debuted on Turkey Day weekend have typically fallen over 50% and that could true here with The Good Dinosaur.

And that could create a serious photo finish for the top spot. To add to the mystery: Creed opened to better than expected results and I foresee it having the smallest decline due to very positive word of mouth.

Krampus should land in the four spot with Spectre rounding out the top five. And here are those top five estimates for a fairly sleepy weekend:

  1. The Good Dinosaur

Predicted Gross: $18.7 million (representing a drop of 52%)

2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Predicted Gross: $18.5 million (representing a drop of 64%)

3. Creed

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million (representing a drop of 44%)

4. Krampus

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

5. Spectre

Predicted Gross: $6 million (representing a drop of 52%)

Box Office Results (November 25-29)

Katniss and crew maintained their dominance as Mockingjay – Part 2 ruled Thanksgiving with $52 million over the Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend and $75.9 million for the five day holiday frame. This was in line with my respective projections of $48.4M and $75.5M. The franchise finale stands at $198 million so far.

Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur had a so so premiere compared to what the company is used to with $39.1 million over the three day and $55.4 million for the long weekend. This is well under my predictions of $56.6M and $78.9M. It will need meager drop offs over the holidays to avoid potentially being Pixar’s smallest earner in its storied two decade existence.

With legitimate Oscar buzz, Creed tapped into Rocky nostalgia and made a magnificent $29.6 million (three day) and $42.1 million (five day), knocking out my estimates of $19.6M and $27.4M. The red hot word of mouth clearly brought this to heights that were unimaginable just weeks ago.

Spectre was fourth with $12.8 million (three day) and a five day tally of $18.2 million for a $176M overall gross. I was close with $13.1M and $17.7M.

The Peanuts Movie came in a bit below my forecast at fifth with $9.7 million and $13.6 million compared to my predictions of $11.1M and $15.3M. It’s made $116M.

The Night Before was sixth in its sophomore frame with $8.3 million and $10.7 million – right in line with my estimates of $8M and (bingo!) $10.7M.

Last and majorly least, critically drubbed Victor Frankenstein tanked with an embarrassing $2.4 million and $3.5 million since its Wednesday start. This put it in just 12th place and way below my generous $10.8 and $14.8M projections.

That’s all for now folks! Until next time…

Krampus Box Office Prediction

A whole different kind of Christmas comedy hits theaters next weekend when Krampus debuts. This ain’t Love the Coopers, folks. Michael Dougherty, known best for his screenplays for superhero pics X2 and Superman Returns, is behind the camera. This isn’t his first holiday themed horror comedy though. He made the Halloween centric cult favorite Trick r Treat years ago.

Krampus focuses on what may be a very bad Santa with a cast featuring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner. The trailers do inspire some hope. Having said that, the first week of December is not fertile ground for new releases as audiences are mostly preoccupied with Thanksgiving leftovers. Additionally, while movie geeks may be looking forward to this, general audiences will probably stay away.

I believe Krampus will be lucky to reach double digits and will predict that it won’t.

Krampus opening weekend prediction: $7.1 million