April 19-21 Box Office Predictions

It’s Easter weekend at the box office and we have three new pictures opening. There’s The Darkness (The Curse of La Llorona), The Light (Breakthrough), and The Penguins (Penguins). Two of them will attempt to dislodge Shazam! from its two-week perch in the top spot. Yet this holiday frame will likely be known as “the one before Avengers: Endgame opened”. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newcomers here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/09/the-curse-of-la-llorona-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/09/breakthrough-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/10/penguins-box-office-prediction/

The Curse of La Llorona takes place in the Conjuring Cinematic Universe, but it hasn’t really been marketed heavily as such. Therefore I believe it will easily have the lowest debut of the franchise, but still manage to top the charts.

Breakthrough has the potential to do just that with faith-based crowds. I do question whether it can manage to achieve what Heaven Is for Real accomplished five Easter’s ago ($29 million for its five-day gross). Debuting on Wednesday, I’ll say mid teens for the traditional weekend and low 20s when factoring in the extra days.

Penguins is the latest DisneyNature venture. The latest efforts in the series have earned between $4-$5 million for their starts. This opens on Wednesday as well, so I’ll put it a touch under. My $3.5 million Friday to Sunday projection ($5 million five-day) puts this outside my top five.

Shazam! should slide to third after two weeks in first position with Little coming in fourth. As for the five-spot, I’m saying Captain Marvel. It should experience a smaller percentage decline than Hellboy and Dumbo. That could be good enough to take it from sixth to fifth before she joins her superhero pals next weekend in Endgame.

And with that, my take on the holiday weekend:

1. The Curse of La Llorona

Predicted Gross: $20.1 million

2. Breakthrough

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $22 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. Shazam!

Predicted Gross: $14 million

4. Little

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million

5. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $6 million

Box Office Results (April 1214)

As expected, Shazam! retained its perch on top with $24.4 million, a bit lower than my $28.2 million prediction. The DC tale is sniffing the century mark after ten days with $94 million.

The Regina Hall comedy Little led four newcomers in second with $15.4 million, managing to exceed my $14 million projection.

The story of the weekend was the pitiful performance of Hellboy. The comic book based reboot bombed with just $12 million in third, under my $17.4 million take. This potential franchise pretty much ended before it began.

Pet Sematary was fourth in its sophomore outing with $9.7 million (I said $10.5 million). Total is $40 million.

I incorrectly had Dumbo outside the top five and it made $9.4 million to bring its tally to $90 million.

College romance After was eighth and topped most estimates with $6 million. I was much lower at $3.7 million.

Finally, Laika Animation has its worst opening by a lot. Missing Link, despite positive reviews, couldn’t find an audience. It took in just $5.9 million for ninth. I was considerably higher at $11.7 million.

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

The Curse of La Llorona Box Office Prediction

Next weekend could provide an interesting answer to a question not posed before – how much can a Conjuring series picture gross if a lot of moviegoers may not be aware it’s actually part of the franchise? I give you The Curse of La Llorona, the sixth entry in this scary supernatural cinematic universe. The 1970s set ghost tale is directed by Michael Chaves in his feature-length debut (he’s slated to be behind the camera for the third official Conjuring flick next year). Linda Cardellini headlines a cast that includes Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velásquez, Tony Amendola (reprising his Annabelle role), and Sean Patrick Thomas.

Llorona premiered last month at the South by Southwest Festival. Early reviews are mixed to negative with a current 44% Rotten Tomatoes score. At the time of its unveiling, it was a bit of a surprise that this even existed in the billion dollar worldwide franchise. It’s a legitimate question as to whether the marketing campaign has had enough time to establish that fact.

In my view, that almost certainly means this will experience the lowest debut of the series so far. Horror fans have certainly had options lately with Us and Pet Sematary. That said, it’s a risky group of films to bet against. Just last fall, The Nun unexpectedly set the franchise opening weekend high mark at $53 million. The lowest start belongs to Annabelle: Creation at a still impressive $35 million. That creepy doll, by the way, is back this June with Annabelle Comes Home.

Tracking currently has this at $20 million and that sounds about right.

The Curse of La Llorona opening weekend prediction: $20.1 million

For my Breakthrough prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/09/breakthrough-box-office-prediction/

For my Penguins prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/10/penguins-box-office-prediction/

Breakthrough Box Office Prediction

Disney is putting their faith over the Easter weekend in Breakthrough, a Christian drama based on the 2017 novel The Impossible. Based on true events, the pic tells the story of a teenager who slips into a frozen lake and his miraculous recovery. Directed by Roxann Dawson in her feature debut, Breakthrough stars Chrissy Metz (of TV’s “This Is Us” fame), Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Marcel Ruiz, and Dennis Haysbert. NBA champion Stephen Curry has an exec producer credit.

This is actually the first 20th Century Fox production that its new owner Disney is distributing. That well publicized partnership could get off to a solid start if faith-based audiences turn out. The holiday timing should certainly work to its advantage.

An obvious comp is Heaven Is for Real from five Easter’s ago. Like Breakthrough, it also premiered on Wednesday. Taking in $22.5 million over the traditional weekend and $29.5 million over the five-day span, Heaven eventually soared to $91 million overall.

I’ll say this falls a bit lower with the caveat that it could achieve similar numbers. My five-day projection puts it a touch below the three-day of Heaven. That could put this at #2 behind The Curse of La Llorona, which deals with religious themes in a drastically different manner.

Breakthrough opening weekend prediction: $16.9 million (Friday to Sunday), $22 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my The Curse of La Llorona prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/09/the-curse-of-la-llorona-box-office-prediction/

For my Penguins prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/10/penguins-box-office-prediction/