Malignant Box Office Prediction

**Blogger’s Note (09/09): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising from my prediction down from $10.2 million to $7.6 million**

The drawing power of director James Wan and a horror audience that’s had plenty to watch lately will be put to the test on September 10th with Malignant. The fright fest comes from a genre filmmaker who kickstarted the Saw, Conjuring, and Insidious franchises. Lately he’s been dabbling in other series as he helmed Furious 7 and Aquaman. The cast includes Annabelle Wallis (who starred in the Conjuring spin-off Annabelle), Maddie Hasson, George Young, and Mckenna Grace.

Originally slated for late summer 2020 before its COVID pause, the Warner Bros property will premiere simultaneously on HBO Max. As mentioned, moviegoers have been inundated with scare tactics in the last few months. This includes sequels to A Quiet Place, Escape Room and Don’t Breathe, a third Conjuring, another Purge, and the new Candyman. 

Malignant has a couple of disadvantages. It’s not based on a known property (though one could argue Wan’s original forays into his now well-known franchises weren’t either). The other is the over saturation of the market. My biggest concern is a lack of buzz and its availability at home. That said, horror fans continually demonstrate their willingness to show up.

The previous Conjuring experience also hit HBO when it landed at multiplexes and it took in $24 million. I have a feeling the prognosis for Malignant is that it may earn about half of that figure and maybe a little less.

Malignant opening weekend prediction: $7.6 million

Don’t Breathe 2 Box Office Prediction

Horror sequel summer continues next weekend on Friday the 13th. In addition to A Quiet Place Part II, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The Forever Purge, and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, we now have Don’t Breathe 2. Arriving five years after the Fede Alvarez directed original scored solid reviews and over performed at $89 million domestic, Rodo Sayagues takes over behind the camera (with Alvarez cowriting and producing). Stephen Lang is back as the blind vengeance seeker with Brendan Sexton III and Madelyn Grace among the supporting cast.

While part 1 made an impact with critics and audiences, a half decade is a surprisingly long time to wait to bring part 2 to light. The first Breathe kicked off with over $26 million at the tale end of summer 2016. I wouldn’t expect that here. The best comp could be The Forever Purge, which took in $12.7 million over its Friday to Sunday frame. That would give this about half of what its predecessor made out of the gate. I’ll go a bit below that due to the overabundance of scary sequels as of late.

Don’t Breathe 2 opening weekend prediction: $11.2 million

For my Free Guy prediction, click here:

Free Guy Box Office Prediction

For my Respect prediction, click here:

Respect Box Office Prediction

July 16-18 Box Office Predictions

The seemingly endless slew of summer sequels continues this weekend with Lebron James facing the Toon Squad in Space Jam: A New Legacy and the horror follow-up Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. You can peruse my detailed predictions on both part 2’s right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/07/07/space-jam-a-new-legacy-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/07/07/escape-room-tournament-of-champions-box-office-predictions/

Can either newbie manage to top Marvel’s Black Widow after its record setting opening? Quite unlikely. I look for #23 and his animated competitors to manage a low to mid 20s start (it will also be available on HBO Max streaming).

As for Tournament, the first Escape Room easily outpaced expectations with a near $20 million debut. However, I think low double digits to possibly low teens is the target here.

Black Widow brought us to new heights in the post COVID world (more on that below). A drop in the 60% would generally keep it in line with other MCU entries and that means it shouldn’t have much trouble staying atop the charts in its sophomore frame.

Holdovers F9 and The Boss Baby: Family Business should keep the top five sequel heavy as has been the case all season.

And with that, here’s how I think it all shakes out:

1. Black Widow

Predicted Gross: $32.1 million

2. Space Jam: A New Legacy

Predicted Gross: $22.7 million

3. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million

4. F9

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

5. The Boss Baby: Family Business

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

Box Office Results (July 9-11)

As anticipated, the two-week old record for F9 achieving the highest premiere in the COVID era was rather easily eclipsed by Scarlett Johansson’s stand-alone Black Widow saga. Yet its $80.3 million haul was on the lower end of projections. I forecasted slightly more at $83.3 million. Since The Avengers (2012) and the 18 MCU blockbusters that have followed, only Ant-Man and its sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp opened lower. However, we still are not in normal times and Widow is the first franchise entry to be simultaneously be available on Disney Plus (for a $30 fee). The studio was quick to point out that the streamer pulled in an additional $60 million through the distribution method.

Widow was the only fresh product in the marketplace as F9 dropped to second after two weeks parked in first. It made $11.4 million which was right on pace with my $11.3 million prediction. The three-week total is $141 million.

The Boss Baby: Family Business was third with $8.8 million (I said $8.6 million) for a ten-day tally of $34 million.

The Forever Purge held up better than I figured in weekend #2 with $7.1 million (I went with $5.1 million). It’s at $27 million overall.

Rounding out the top five was A Quiet Place Part II with $3.1 million compared to my $2.7 million projection. The horror sequel became the first COVID era title to reach $150 million domestically (something F9 and Black Widow will accomplish in short order).

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

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions Box Office Predictions

Horror fans have been conjured, purged, and (umm) quiet placed already this summer with their scary sequels. Now it’s time to escape with the release of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. The original $9 million budgeted effort took in a hefty $57 million back in January 2019 and Sony Pictures aspires to keep the gravy train rolling. The studio wished to capitalize on its momentum more quickly as this was originally slated for an April 2020 premiere before its COVID delay.

Taylor Russell and Logan Miller reprise their roles from part 1 as does director Adam Robitel. New cast members include Indya Moore, Holland Roden, Thomas Cocquerel, and Carlito Olivero. Two and a half years ago, Escape Room easily surpassed expectations with an $18.2 million domestic start. It even managed to only fall 51% in its sophomore frame and that’s quite solid for the genre.

Tournament of Champions could risk the weariness of moviegoers who’ve had plenty of fright fest follow-ups to choose from lately. I do think it will still manage low double digits.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions opening weekend prediction: $11.4 million

For my Space Jam: A New Legacy prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/07/07/space-jam-a-new-legacy-box-office-prediction/

July 9-11 Box Office Predictions

After an unexpected year and a half long break between their comic book blockbusters, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back in theaters with the release of Black Widow. The Scarlett Johansson stand-alone title looks to break the two-week old record of F9 by achieving the largest post COVID debut thus far. My detailed prediction post on it can be found here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/29/black-widow-box-office-prediction/

Despite also being available (for $30) on Disney Plus, I do believe Scarlett and company will reach a low to mid 80s number out of the gate. That easily surpasses the $70 million that F9 accelerated to in late June. Unsurprisingly, Widow is the only new wide release out on Friday.

The rest of the top five will consist of sequel holdovers with F9 slipping to second and probably losing at least 50% of its sophomore frame audience. The drop might be slightly lower for The Boss Baby: Family Business while a 55-60% dip for The Forever Purge seems likely. A Quiet Place Part II should spend its final frame in the top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend that lies ahead:

1. Black Widow

Predicted Gross: $83.3 million

2. F9

Predicted Gross: $11.3 million

3. The Boss Baby: Family Business

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million

4. The Forever Purge

Predicted Gross: $5.1 million

5. A Quiet Place Part II

Predicted Gross: $2.7 million

Box Office Results (July 2-5)

It may not have been your typical summer fireworks at the box office, but it was still booming for Hollywood considering what we’ve recently come out of. F9 easily took the top spot for the second weekend with $29.1 million over the four-day holiday frame. That’s just below my estimate of $30.1 million as the ninth saga in the series is up to $122 million.

The Boss Baby: Family Business started in second and in line with most projections at $19.6 million (a tad under my $21.7 million take). The animated follow-up (which was also streaming on Peacock) opened at a far cry from the $50 million of the original.

The Forever Purge showed some wear and tear to this franchise with $15.7 million in third. I was close at $16.1 million. That’s just over half of what 2016’s The Purge: Election Year made in the same July 4th period.

A Quiet Place Part II was fourth with $5.3 million (I said $5.5 million) as its loud total stands at $145 million.

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard rounded out the top five and I incorrectly didn’t have it spotted there. The $3.8 million earned in its third go-round brings it to $32 million.

Finally, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway was seventh and I wrongly had it pegged at fifth (Cruella was 6th). The bunny hopped to $2.8 million and an overall $35 million tally.

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

July 2-5 Box Office Predictions

The sequel heavy summer movie season thus far will become even more so over this holiday weekend with the release of The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge. Will either manage to topple the record setting F9 from its #1 perch? You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both follow-ups right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/22/the-boss-baby-family-business-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/23/the-forever-purge-box-office-prediction/

The short answer is probably not. F9 (as discussed below) expectedly generated the biggest opening weekend since 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Previous Fast franchise entries have dropped in the 60% range in their sophomore outings. I would anticipate the same here (especially since F9‘s B+ Cinemascore grade indicates audiences didn’t like quite it as much as previous pics). The four-day holiday could soften its drop a little, but I doubt by much.

I look for Boss Baby to debut in the low 20s over the long frame and that should easily mean the runner-up spot. The Forever Purge is a little tricky. This franchise has shown a commendable durability and the fifth flick could surprise. Yet my mid teens projection gives it a third place showing.

Holdovers A Quiet Place Part II and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway should fill out the remainder of the top five for an all sequel chart over this Independence Day. And with that, my estimates for Friday-Monday:

1. F9

Predicted Gross: $30.1 million

2. The Boss Baby: Family Business

Predicted Gross: $21.7 million

3. The Forever Purge

Predicted Gross: $16.1 million

4. A Quiet Place Part II

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

5. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

Box Office Results (June 25-27)

F9 garnered the sixth highest debut of the nine Fast flicks with $70 million, racing slightly beyond my $64.8 million estimate. That might have been a bit of a disappointment under normal circumstances, but it is music to the ears of theater owners. As mentioned, the action fest rose to starting heights that haven’t been seen since the Christmas season of 2019.

A Quiet Place Part II stayed put in second with $6.1 million (I said $6.2 million) as its impressive tally reached $136 million. It easily stands as the biggest grosser thus far during the pandemic, though F9 and the forthcoming Black Widow could certainly challenge that.

Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife dropped to third in its sophomore frame with $4.8 million, a bit below my $5.6 million projection for a ten-dally total of $25 million.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway was fourth with $4.7 million compared to my $4.1 million prediction. The kiddie sequel has taken in $28 million over three weeks.

Cruella rounded out the top five with $3.8 million (I went with $3.3 million) as the Disney live-action tale is up to $71 million.

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

The Forever Purge Box Office Prediction

Opening on July 2nd, The Forever Purge is billed as the final picture in the horror franchise that began in 2013 and has now spawned four sequels. It is a direct sequel to 2016’s The Purge: Election Year and follows the 2018 prequel The First Purge. Everardo Gout directs and James DeMonaco (who made the first three entries) serves as co-producer and screenwriter. The cast includes Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Josh Lucas, Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Alejandro Edda, and Will Patton.

Forever sports the highest production budget of the quintet at approximately $25 million (the rest were all in single or lower double digits). The series has been a hugely profitable and consistent venture for Universal with all four pics grossing between $64-$79 million domestically. The high mark came with Election Year while the lowest was actually the original.

We are still at a point pandemic wise where releases are not generating what they normally might under traditional summertime circumstances. The lowest three-day start for a Purge is from 2018 with The First Purge. The Friday to Sunday total was $17.3 million. However, the five-day holiday tally was just over $31 million.

While expectations should be tempered, this franchise has shown an ability to attract an audience. A start in the high teens range is feasible. There would be champagne bottles popping if it somehow manages to top $20 million. Yet I’ll project that this final (?) Purge ends up with the lowest premiere of the bloody bunch.

The Forever Purge opening weekend prediction: $16.1 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my The Boss Baby: Family Business prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/22/the-boss-baby-family-business-box-office-prediction/