Smile Box Office Prediction

Paramount Pictures is hoping that horror fans are ready to Smile on September 30th. The supernatural fright fest marks the directorial debut of Parker Finn with a cast including Sosie Bacon (daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick), Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Kal Penn, and Rob Morgan.

This is a genre that’s been well served in September with Barbarian and Pearl (and The Invitation in late August). The trend will continue with Halloweens Ends in mid-October. There could be a bit of fatigue, but Smile may have a feather in its cap. The mysterious and creepy teaser spot played all summer long in front of a little film called Top Gun: Maverick… the one that’s made over $700 million domestically.

A premiere in the $20 million range is certainly possible. However, I’ll say high teens is where this lands.

Smile opening weekend prediction: $18.7 million

For my Bros prediction, click here:

Bros Box Office Prediction

September 16-18 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Update (09/14): Two changes to discuss as I’ve revised my See How They Run estimate down from $4.8M to $3.2M and my Pearl estimate up from $2.4M to $3.4M. That changes the dynamic of the top five from what I discussed below.

The Viola Davis led historical action epic The Woman King, Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell in the comedic murder mystery See How They Run, and Ti West’s horror prequel Pearl are the new offerings coming our way this weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The Woman King Box Office Prediction

See How They Run Box Office Prediction

Pearl Box Office Prediction

The Woman King should have no trouble debuting in first place as it’s the only pic that should top double digits. Reviews are solid and this could manage a gross close to $20 million, but I’m hedging and projecting a low teens start.

I’m not anticipating much of the other newcomers. Run has been flying under the radar. Assuming Barbarian has a typically hefty horror sophomore dip (more on its opening below), the crime caper should still manage a second place showing thought it could be awfully close.

As for Pearl, its predecessor made $4.3 million in its March premiere. I’m thinking the prequel won’t match that. However, even if it snatches $2-3 million, that should be enough to make top five.

Here’s how I see this rather ho-hum mid-September frame playing out:

1. The Woman King

Predicted Gross: $14.7 million

2. Barbarian

Predicted Gross: $5 million

3. Pearl

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

4. See How They Run

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

5. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $2.3 million

Box Office Results (September 9-11)

Critics enjoyed Barbarian more than audiences though the scary movie landed on the higher end of its range. It opened in first with $10.5 million and that’s ahead of my $7.1 million prediction. The C+ Cinemascore grade doesn’t approach that 92% RT score. Note that its opening weekend matches it reported budget. This’ll be a profitable little venture for 20th Century Studios.

The Indian adventure Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva had a second place opening with $4.5 million, managing to top my $3.2 million estimate. I would expect the debut to be front loaded and for it to drop out of the top five this weekend.

Bullet Train was third with $3.3 million (I said $3.4 million) as it inches closer to nine figures with $92 million.

Top Gun: Maverick (after rising back to first place over Labor Day) was fourth with $3.1 million, under my $4.2 million take. The gargantuan gross is $705 million.

The Invitation rounded out the top five and I incorrectly didn’t have it there. With $2.6 million, it’s up to $18 million after three weeks.

DC League of Super-Pets was sixth with $2.6 million (I went with $3 million) to bring its tally to $85 million.

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

September 9-11 Box Office Predictions

Despite some encouraging early word-of-mouth, horror flick Barbarian could be fairly quiet out of the gate as the only wide release this weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on it here:

Barbarian Box Office Prediction

My estimate easily puts it in the top spot, but that’s cold comfort considering I’m projecting a second weekend in a row with no title topping $10 million.

On the more limited front is the Indian adventure Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva. I didn’t do an individual post for it, but the reported 750 venues should limit its potential. With a caveat that this may over perform, I’ll say it manages a fourth place start (though it could just as easily be 2nd or 3rd).

Holdovers Top Gun: Maverick, Bullet Train, and DC League of Super-Pets should fill out the remainder of the high five. Here’s how I see it:

1. Barbarian

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

4. Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $3 million

Box Office Results (September 2-5)

On its 102nd day of release, Top Gun: Maverick returned to the top spot over a desolate Labor Day weekend with $7.9 million (surpassing my $6.2 million prediction). Tom Cruise’s sequel surpassed Black Panther to become the 5th largest domestic grosser of all time. The total is $701 million. Fifth place is likely where it will stay as #4 is Avatar ($760 million) and it’s got a re-release coming in two weeks before the December sequel.

Bullet Train was second with $7.5 million, ahead of my $6 million projection as it has pulled in $88 million over five weeks. Now might be a good time to mention that National Cinema Day, which priced films for $3 at major chains, probably helped push the numbers up a bit over the holiday.

DC League of Super-Pets was third with $6.7 million (I underplayed it at $4.3 million). The National Cinema Day bump got it to $82 million.

Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition added 11 minutes of extra footage and $6.5 million to its considerable coffers. That’s in range with my $7 million guesstimate. Spidey has swung $811 million in the bank.

The Invitation rounded out the top five at $6.1 million (besting my $4.6 million take) for a two-week total of $15 million.

Beast was sixth with $5 million compared to my call of $4.1 million for $26 million overall.

Minions: The Rise of Gru was seventh with $4.5 million and I did not project it. The franchise blockbuster sits at $360 million.

The Jaws re-release was 8th with $3.3 million, on target with my prediction of $3.1 million.

Finally, the Regina Hall/Sterling K. Brown satire Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. found no love with $1.7 million for 14th place. I said $2.4 million.

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

September 2-5 Box Office Predictions

Just like last year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe may land atop the charts over Labor Day weekend. This time around, it’ll be with considerably less money… as in, less than one-tenth of what we witnessed in 2021. Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition (with 11 minutes of extra footage) is scheduled for the widest (re)release of the holiday frame.

Steven Spielberg’s OG summer blockbuster Jaws also returns to cinemas. The only true newcomer is the Regina Hall/Sterling K. Brown satire Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,, which is also available on streaming via Peacock.

My detailed prediction posts on each are accessible here:

Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition Box Office Prediction

Jaws Box Office Prediction

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Box Office Prediction

Let’s start with Jesus as I have its $2.4 million projected Friday-Monday offering potentially falling outside of the top ten. There’s a slight chance it could surprise, but I doubt it.

There’s been a narrative developing for awhile that Top Gun: Maverick could manage to return to first position in its 15th week. During Labor Day, popular holdovers do often expand their gross from the previous frame. I expect that will be the case here. However, I do believe Spidey’s 3000 screens (some IMAX) should allow it to swing back to #1 after it originally debuted last December. This should leave the runner-up spot for Maverick or Bullet Train (they should be close). That’s a far cry from this same period in 2021 when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings decimated the all-time Labor Day record with $94 million.

Jaws is only on a fraction of the webbed superhero’s venues (about 1200) so the possibilities are limited. My estimate of $3.1 million would probably put it in seventh place.

Current champ The Invitation hardly impressed in its premiere (more on that below). With a troubling C Cinemascore grade, expect it to be one of the only leftovers that does see diminished returns. It should drop to at least fourth while the five spot could be close between DC League of Super-Pets and Beast. 

And with that, let’s do a top 7 outlook and keep in mind these numbers are for the four-day holiday:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition

Predicted Gross: $7 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $6 million

4. The Invitation

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

6. Beast

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

7. Jaws

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (August 26-28)

I’ll go the obvious route… there weren’t many RSVP’s for YA horror tale The Invitation. This is the first time in 15 months that the #1 pic didn’t manage to make over $10 million. The Invitation stumbled with $6.8 million, below my $8.1 million forecast.

Bullet Train was second with $5.6 million (on target of my $5.5 million call) with an overall take of $78 million.

Top Gun: Maverick was third with $4.7 million (I went with $5.2 million) as the juggernaut has now gathered $691 million. The biggest hit of the year is on a glide path to topple Black Panther ($700 million) next and become the fifth largest domestic earner in history.

Beast had a hefty sophomore drop of 58% for $4.8 million and fourth place. That’s under my $5.7 million prediction. The subpar two-week tally is $20 million.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, as anticipated, plummeted in its second weekend (its genre is extremely front loaded). After a fantastic $21 million start, Hero fell 78% to fifth with $4.6 million (I was more generous at $5 million). After ten days, it’s taken in $30 million stateside.

DC League of Super-Pets was sixth with $4.1 million (I said $4.6 million) for $74 million in its 5 weeks of release.

Finally, George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing was a pricey dud for MGM. The Idris Elba/Tilda Swinton Djinn fantasy, with a reported $60 million budget, opened in 7th with a mere $2.9 million. I thought it could at least manage $4 million. The studio is certainly wishing they hadn’t spent what they did after that performance.

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

August 26-28 Box Office Predictions

For the first time since May of 2021, we may have  a box office outing where no picture tops $10 million. We’re in a bit of a late August spiral as the YA centered vampire tale The Invitation and George Miller’s genie saga Three Thousand Years of Longing debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The Invitation Box Office Prediction

Three Thousand Years of Longing Box Office Prediction

I’m not expecting much out of either. This isn’t a time when studios typically bring out heavy hitters (though it is worth noting that Universal impressed on this same weekend last year with Candyman‘s $22 million haul). I wouldn’t anticipate the newcomers coming anywhere close to that.

My Invitation estimate would give it to #1 spot while Longing could place anywhere from 2-7.  I’m thinking #7 is more probable than second as the Tilda Swinton/Idris Elba fantasy seems to be suffering from a quiet marketing campaign.

The runner-up position could be determined by the sophomore drop of current champ Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, which easily surpassed expectations (more on that below). It’s worth noting that its immediate predecessor Dragon Ball Super: Broly experienced a second frame plummet of nearly 70%. Broly actually premiered on a Wednesday before MLK weekend in 2018. In six days, it took in $22 million (similar to Hero‘s three-day mark). Broly only managed $3 million in weekend #2. I think Hero should surpass that, but don’t be surprised it drops in the low 70s.

If so, Beast could stay in second place if it only loses half its audience. While its B Cinemascore grade isn’t great, the lack of competition could mean it avoids a precipitous fall. Bullet Train, Top Gun: Maverick, and DC League of Super-Pets should all hold solidly and that could place them above Longing.

And with that, here’s how I envision the top 7 looking:

1. The Invitation 

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

2. Beast

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

5. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

Predicted Gross: $5 million

6. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

7. Three Thousand Years of Longing

Predicted Gross: $4 million

Box Office Results (August 20-22)

As mentioned, it was a bountiful harvest for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as the animated Japanese martial arts fantasy crunched an impressive $21 million. That’s well above my $13.2 million projection. These titles are extremely front loaded so expect a sharp downturn, but that’s a terrific gross and we can anticipate plenty more wide openings for these genre titles.

Idris Elba battled a Beast in the form of a lion and the picture opened in line with most estimates. At $11.5 million (I said $11.3 million), it will hope to match its $36 million budget stateside in coming weeks.

Bullet Train was third with $8 million, rising ahead of my $7 million call. The three-week total is $69 million as it hopes to reach nine figures domestically.

Top Gun: Maverick soared to new heights with $5.9 million, a little under my $6.7 million prediction. In its 13th (!) weekend, Maverick surpassed Avengers: Infinity War to become the 6th largest domestic earner of all time. The tally is $683 million as it looks to top Black Panther‘s $700 million next.

Finally, DC League of Super-Pets rounded out the top five with $5.6 million (I went with $5 million). The overall gross after 4 weeks is $67 million.

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

The Invitation Box Office Prediction

Sony is hoping that horror fans and perhaps a young female audience RSVP for The Invitation when it arrives in theaters August 26th. Taking influence from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel, Jessica M. Thompson directs. Nathalie Emmanuel, best known for her appearances in the latest Fast and Furious installments, headlines. Costars include Thomas Doherty, Stephanie Corneliussen, Alana Boden, and Hugh Skinner.

Horror flicks have been a bright spot in the COVID era and that includes 2022 (Scream and The Black Phone for example). This one faces challenges. It’s not based on existing IP other than the loose vampire connection. Most importantly, the late August release date is generally seen as a dumping ground for studios.

The Invitation may be fortunate to reach double digits (though that could be good enough for a #1 opening). I’ll say it falls a bit under that mark.

The Invitation opening weekend prediction: $8.1 million

For my Three Thousand Years of Longing prediction, click here:

Three Thousand Years of Longing Box Office Prediction