March 22-24 Box Office Predictions

This weekend at the box office, it’s all about Us – as in Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed and eagerly awaited follow-up to his breakthrough hit Get Out. It’s the only new wide release before us and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

I have the horror pic slated for a mid to high 50s debut and that should easily nab it the top spot, knocking Captain Marvel off after two weeks in first. The rest of the top five should be populated by holdovers Wonder Park and Five Feet Apart, which both exceeded expectations in their premieres, as well as How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Us

Predicted Gross: $56.8 million

2. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $36.4 million

3. Wonder Park

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million

4. Five Feet Apart

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million

5. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million

Box Office Results (March 1517)

Captain Marvel easily held onto first in its sophomore frame with $67.9 million, a touch below my $71.3 million projection. The Marvel blockbuster has amassed $264 million in its first ten days of release.

Animated Wonder Park placed second with $15.8 million, well beyond my $10.3 million prediction. Considering its reported $100 million budget, that’s still nothing spectacular, but it is definitely on the highest end of estimates.

Romantic drama Five Feet Apart was third with $13.1 million, ahead of my $10.7 million forecast. Unlike Wonder Park, the price tag here was a measly $7 million and it nearly doubled that out of the gate.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was fourth with $9.2 million (I said $9.4 million) for $135 million overall.

I didn’t give Mr. Perry enough credit as A Madea Family Funeral rounded out the top five with $7.8 million compared to my $5.6 million take. The three-week tally is $58 million.

Spanish comedy sequel No Manches Frida 2 was sixth, opening with $3.8 million on under 500 screens. I was close at $3.4 million.

In seventh, the barely publicized alien invasion thriller Captive State took in just $3.1 million (I said $2.8 million).

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

Us Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (03/19/19): The upgrade has happened from $48.8 million to $56.8 million

Next weekend we will find out if lightning strikes again for director Jordan Peele with the release of Us. The horror pic is Peele’s eagerly awaited sophomore effort and follow-up to his 2017 debut Get Out. That film rode a cultural wave of excitement and critical raves that resulted in a Best Picture nomination and an Oscar for Peele for his original screenplay.

Perhaps not since M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (his feature after The Sixth Sense) have we seen a movie that can sold mostly on “from the director of…”. Us centers on a family being terrorized by a brood that appears to be different versions of themselves. The cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker.

Any fears of a sophomore slump were eliminated this past weekend when Us screened at South by Southwest. Reviews are strong with 100% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. Get Out exceeded opening weekend projections two years ago when it made $33 million for its start and legged out considerably to $176 million.

Us doesn’t have the benefit of unknown expectations. Peele’s name and some seriously effective trailers have prognosticators thinking this will exceed the first weekend of Get Out. Whether it experiences the smallish declines from weekend to weekend is a better question as Us should be more front-loaded with its earnings.

I’ll say mid to high 40s is where this lands with $50 million certainly being a possibility.

Us opening weekend prediction: $56.8 million

Oscar Watch: Us

The South by Southwest festival is in full swing this weekend and the most eagerly awaited film premiere has occurred. That would be Us, Jordan Peele’s follow-up to 2017’s Get Out.  The horror thriller is out domestically on March 22.

Early reviews are quite encouraging as it currently stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Could this follow in the footsteps of Peele’s debut effort? As you may recall, Get Out premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017 to red-hot buzz. It would end up grossing $176 million stateside and garnering four Oscar nods, including Best Picture. Peele won the gold statue for Original Screenplay.

Initial consensus for Us suggests it’s scarier than Get Out, though some reviews don’t quite put it at the level of Peele’s first pic. I’ll say that if Us can resonate with audiences in a manner similar to Out, it could find itself in the Oscar conversation (especially Original Screenplay). And it might be worth keeping an eye on Lupita Nyong’o in lead actress as an outside possibility.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…