October 18th, 2016
The weekend box office was not good. The Accountant did beat expectations with $24.71 million, but the other wide releases missed expectations. As a result, the box office fell 6% from last weekend to $97 million. The weekend box office should never be below $100 million, outside of a few dead zones during the year. We’ve been below that mark too frequently this year. Worse still, this is 18% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 still has a substantial lead over 2015 at $8.78 billion to $8.43 billion. However, we are nearing the $325 million mark where we have reason to panic. Remember, The Force Awakens earned $650 million during 2015 and Rogue One is only expected to earn half that much this year. We need to maintain a lead that large, or else 2016 will likely lose in the year-over-year comparison in the end.
October 16th, 2016
As expected, The Accountant will be the comfortable winner at the box office this weekend, with Warner Bros. projecting a $24.71 million debut for the thriller. That’s almost identical to the opening enjoyed by The Girl on the Train last weekend, and about average for Ben Affleck. His previous Fall outings all opened in somewhat the same vicinity: Gone Girl hit $37.5 million on opening weekend in 2014; Argo posted $19.5 million in 2012, ahead of a very fruitful box office run and eventual Best Picture award; The Town started out with $23.8 million in 2010.
October 11th, 2016
Over the weekend was Columbus Day, or as it is known in more and more places, Indigenous People’s Day. It’s also Thanksgiving Day up here in Canada and it would make more sense for Americans to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving than Columbus Day. Canadian Thanksgiving is where you give thanks to all the Canadians that make your life better. For example, both Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds are Canadian. Anyhoo... The weekend box office numbers were not buoyed by the semi-holiday on Monday as none of the new releases matched expectations. The Girl on the Train led the way by a wide margin with $24.54 million compared to $15.14 million for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Neither The Birth of a Nation nor Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life made it into the top five. The overall box office fell 9.5% from last weekend dropping to $103 million. That was 13% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 has earned $8.64 billion, putting it 4.4% / $370 million ahead of 2015. A couple of more weeks like this and we will have reason to hit the panic button.
October 9th, 2016
New releases are battling headwinds to make progress at the box office this weekend. The current political frenzy, and the lingering effects of Hurricane Matthew have both dragged down ticket sales, but one film has come out relatively unscathed. Going into the weekend, we had The Girl on the Train pegged at a $27 million opening. In the event, it will start with $24.7 million, according to Universal’s Sunday morning projection. Things are less rosy for the other two debutants.
October 7th, 2016
The Girl on the Train got off to a good start with $1.23 million during its previews last night. This is essentially the same as Gone Girl managed during its previews back in 2014. Gone Girl earned a reported $1.2 million, so it could have been between $1.15 million to $1.24 million. Unfortunately for The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl’s reviews were stellar, while this film is earning mixed reviews. It won’t have the same legs, but this start does mean $30 million is a lot more likely than it was on Thursday’s predictions.
October 6th, 2016
October begins with a trio of wide releases, led by The Girl on the Train. The film’s reviews are mixed, which is not ideal, but also not fatal. The Birth of a Nation was looking to become an Awards Season player, but its reviews are not quite at that level. Finally there’s Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. There are still no reviews and the buzz is as quiet as you can get for a wide release. This weekend last year, the only wide release was Pan and it bombed hard. However, The Martian remained on top with $37.01 million over the weekend. There’s almost no way The Girl on the Train will match that and last year had better depth as well. 2016’s slump will continue.
October 1st, 2016
September is over and we should all be glad about that. Unless the final weekend brings a surprise $100 million hit or two, 2016’s lead over 2015 will shrink over the month. There were some bright spots, most notably Sully, which will be the biggest hit of the month. On the other hand, we had more outright bombs than even midlevel hits. Sadly, October isn’t much better. There are a couple of films that could be $100 million hits, but most of the films will struggle to become midlevel hits. Both Inferno and The Girl on the Train are aiming for $100 million. One of them might get there too. If both get there, then October will be seen as a success. By comparison, last October was led by The Martian; however, because of a misalignment in the calendar, The Martian’s opening weekend actually lines up with the final weekend in September. It had great legs, so that will help 2015 early in the month, but the rest of the month was terrible last year and I think 2016 will come out ahead as a result.
September 30th, 2016
I’m fairly certain The Girl on the Train will top the chart next weekend, as neither The Birth of a Nation nor Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life are expected to be anything more than midlevel hits. Because of that, The Girl on the Train is the obvious 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 The Girl on the Train.
I was planning on starting the Trick or Treat contests this week; however, that plan lasted about 24 hours, as I checked my mail and found five copies of The Neon Demon on Blu-ray. I will be reviewing one and over the next two weeks I will be giving away the other four. The Neon Demon is technically a psychological horror movie, so it fits with the Halloween theme.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win either one of two “Treat” prizes, a copy of The Neon Demon on Blu-ray, or the “Trick” prize, a really bad movie that I’ve previously reviewed.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win win either one of two “Treat” prizes, a copy of The Neon Demon on Blu-ray, or the “Trick” prize, a really bad movie that I’ve previously reviewed.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will also win either one of two “Treat” prizes, a copy of The Neon Demon on Blu-ray, or the “Trick” prize, a really bad movie that I’ve previously reviewed.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!