February 21st, 2017
Did you know Oscars are being handed out next week? If you didn’t already know that, you would be able to figure that out, as there are five major Oscar nominees on this week’s list. Two of those, Jackie and Moana, are VOD releases, so that limits the choices for Pick of the Week. In fact, only Manchester by the Sea was a contender for Pick of the Week. Unfortunately for that film, I got to the review for Doctor Strange a week early and I’m awarding it the Pick of the Week this week. It is out on VOD right now, but I would wait a week for the Blu-ray Combo Pack.
February 13th, 2017
It is an interesting week with four top-notch releases. Unfortunately, two of those releases, Doctor Strange and Moonlight, are VOD only. This leaves just two contenders for Pick of the Week: Arrival and The Edge of Seventeen. Both are absolute must haves, but Arrival’s Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack have far more extras and it is the Pick of the Week.
December 9th, 2016
Office Christmas Party got off to a wild start last night with $950,000 during its previews. This is much better than the $350,000 Bad Santa 2 earned last month, but that was a Tuesday preview. The Night Before might be a better comparison and it earned $550,000 during its Thursday previews. If Office Christmas Party has the same legs, then it will earn $17 million over the weekend, but its weaker reviews will likely get in the way.
December 8th, 2016
There is only one wide release this week, Office Christmas Party. There are also two films expanding semi-wide, Miss Sloane and Nocturnal Animals. I doubt both of them will make the top ten, but I would be equally surprised if neither did. At the beginning of the month, I assumed Office Christmas Party would win this weekend, but it is looking like Moana has a shot at the threepeat. It could be a really close race with the two films changing positions on the daily chart. Meanwhile, this weekend last year, In the Heart of the Sea bombed earning just $11.05 million on a $100 million budget. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 earned first place with $11.41 million. Both Office Christmas Party and Moana will top that with ease. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them might also beat that. On the other hand, last year there were four films that earned more than $10 million, while this year there will be no more than 3. I still think 2016 will win, but it could be close.
December 6th, 2016
As expected, Moana dominated the weekend box office chart with a $10 million lead over its nearest competitor earning $28.27 million. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also did well with $18.12 million. Unfortunately, those were the only two films to earn more than $10 million over the weekend and this left the overall box office down a massive 48% from last weekend to just $95 million. Worse still, this is 2.8% lower than the same weekend last year. I’m actually surprised it’s that close, because there were four films that earned more than $10 million last year, including the biggest new release, Krampus. 2016 was able to crack $10 billion before the weekend and has a very substantial lead at $10.12 billion to $9.66 billion for 2015.
November 29th, 2016
As expected, Moana earned first place over the Thanksgiving weekend and became the biggest true opener in the holiday’s history. (Technically Frozen opened in limited release the week before and as we learned from Futurama, technically correct is the best kind of correct.) The film was a little more front-loaded than expected and nearly matched our predictions. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them held on better than predicted and that one-two punch helped the overall box office grow 17% from last weekend to $184 million, over the three-day portion of the weekend. This is nearly identical to the same weekend last year; in fact, it was up by less than 1%. Year-to-date, 2016 has pulled in $9.99 billion. 2016 will soon become the eighth year in a row to reach the $10 billion milestone. This is 5.0% / $470 million above last year’s pace. I’ve been saying for a while that we needed to enter December with a $300 million advantage over 2015 in order to come out ahead at the end of the year, so this is great news.
November 27th, 2016
Disney’s domination of Thanksgiving weekend will continue in 2016, with Moana expected to post $55.5 million for the three-day weekend and $81.1 million in total, making it either the second-best or best Thanksgiving opener of all time, depending on what you consider an “opener.” Disney is claiming second place for Moana behind Frozen, which had a $67.4 million 3-day weekend, and $93.6 million 5-day weekend back in 2013. That film had already opened in a single theater the weekend before, so if we want to split hairs, it technically wasn’t opening that weekend. Either way you look at it, it’s a great start for Moana, and another handsome win for Disney. The studio can now claim the top six 5-day Thanksgiving debuts and and the top eight 3-day Thanksgiving openings of all time.
November 23rd, 2016
Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most lucrative weekends of the year and this time around we could have a relatively close battle between a new release, Moana, and last week’s number one film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. At least that’s what analysts thought, before we saw the preview numbers. None of the rest of the new wide releases are expected to do much. Allied could become a midlevel hit, but I would be surprised if its budget was only midlevel. Bad Santa 2 is on its way to becoming another comedy sequel that bombs. If Rules Don’t Apply’s previews are any indication, it will become one of the worst box office performers of the year. This weekend last year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 beat The Good Dinosaur rather easily. However, Fantastic Beasts started slower than Moana, so I think we will have a new winner this week.
November 17th, 2016
There are four films opening next week, but only one of them, Moana, is going to be a major factor at the box office. Allied looks like it will be a midlevel hit, but it likely cost a serious amount of money to make, so a midlevel hit won’t be enough. Finally, there are limited releases coming out that will top Bad Santa 2 or Rules Don’t Apply. Because the new releases are so lop-sided, Moana is the only serious choice for the target film in this week’s Box Office Prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Moana.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprize consisting or either a full-season TV on DVD release, two movies, or three single-discs kids movies, winners’ choice, from our collection or previously reviewed titles.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize, as described above.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will the final Frankenprize, as described above.
Remember, while Moana opens on Wednesday, we only care about the Friday through Sunday three-day weekend.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
November 1st, 2016
October turned out to be a mixed month. On the one hand, not one movie earned $100 million, or even came close. However, it was also a more steady month than last October and the last two weeks really helped 2016 in the year-over-year comparisons. In November, we have five films with at least a shot at $100 million, three of which should have no trouble getting to at least $200 million. A little while ago, I thought Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be the biggest hit of the month, but the buzz took a hit recently. More on that below. Meanwhile, Doctor Strange’s reviews are currently 90% positive and that should help it out at the box office. The third very likely $200 million hit is Moana. There is certainly precedent for an animated movie to be a monster hit at this time of year, but there is also a lot of competition. Last November was similar in strength, with five films that earned more than $100 million and two films that earned more than $200 million. None earned more than $300 million, so that’s the goal for this November. If we can get one $300 million and / or three $200 million movies over the month, then it will be seen as a victory.