November 28th, 2016
Last week was the week of Black Friday / Cyber Monday, so the massive sales scared away top-notch releases. This week is the week after Black Friday / Cyber Monday and the new releases are even worse. There are a few midlevel releases, like Don’t Breathe or Pete’s Dragon, but the the size of the release quickly drops from there. Fortunately, both of those releases are very good and on even really busy weeks would be contenders for Pick of the Week. It was a close pick between the two, but in the end, I went with Don’t Breathe as Pick of the Week.
October 12th, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children remained the top draw internationally with $42.5 million in 75 markets for totals of $94.0 million internationally and $145.2 million worldwide. The film took top spot in Russia with an opening weekend of $6.63 million on 1,185 screens. It also earned first place in France with $5.5 million. Its biggest market overall is South Korea, where it as pulled in $14.38 million, including $4.94 million on 899 screens this past weekend.
October 5th, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children debuted in first place internationally with $37.4 million in 59 markets. The film’s biggest market was South Korea, where it earned second place with $4.43 million on 810 screens over the weekend for a total of $5.30 million. It also earned $4.43 million in 558 theaters in the U.K., which was also enough for second place in that market. The film had nearly identical results in both Mexico ($3.61 million) and in Australia ($3.07 million). The film cost $110 million to make, so it will need to make about $250 million internationally to have any real chance of breaking even in the short term. It is too soon to tell if that will happen. We will need to see more results from other markets, and more importantly, we will need to see the film’s legs as well.
September 29th, 2016
Bridget Jones’s Baby remained in first place with $22.1 million on 5,092 screens in 47 markets for totals of $67.42 million internationally and $84.01 million worldwide. At this pace, the film will have no trouble getting to $100 million internationally and perhaps $150 million worldwide. That's enough to pay for its $35 million production budget and perhaps all of its advertising budget as well. The film’s best new opening of the week was Italy, where it managed second place with $1.9 million on 421 screens. Its biggest market overall was the U.K. where it remained in first place with $8.39 million in 648 theaters for a two-week total of $27.59 million. It is now the biggest September release of all time in that market, topping Calendar Girls’ 13-year old record.
September 27th, 2016
Is it time to panic? Not yet, but we are definitely getting concerned. The overall box office was soft due to the weaker than expected openings of The Magnificent Seven and Storks. Neither bombed exactly, but they weren’t particular strong either. The overall box office rose 16% from last weekend, but was down 25% from this weekend last year. Ouch. You usually only see that large a change in the year-over-year comparison when there is a misalignment in holidays. Year-to-date, 2016’s lead over 2015 dropped to 6.3% or $490 million at $8.35 billion to $7.86 billion.
September 22nd, 2016
It is a perfect weekend at the box office, as there are only two wide releases and there are almost no crossover audiences between them. The Magnificent Seven is a remake of a remake and its solid, but not spectacular. Storks is a digitally animated kids movie that is earning mixed reviews, but that’s fine for a kids movie. Those two movies will likely earn more than the rest of the box office combined pulls in. This is both good news and bad news, as it is a combination of their strength and the rest of the box office’s weakness that is the cause. This weekend last year, Hotel Transylvania 2 debuted with $48 million, which is the record for a September weekend. I think The Magnificent Seven will top that, while Storks will double the second place film, The Intern. Unfortunately, last year there were three other films that earned more than $10 million, while this year there will be only one. 2016 is better on top, but 2015 had better depth. Perhaps 2016 will still come out ahead in the year-over-year comparison, but I don't think it will quite make it.
September 22nd, 2016
Bridget Jones’s Baby struggled when it opened in theaters here, but it earned first place internationally with $29.00 million on 4,866 screens in 39 markets. It opened in its native U.K. with $10.53 million. This is a record opening in the U.K. for its production company, genre, and for the month of September. It is also more than it made here during its opening weekend, despite the U.K. market being five or six times smaller than the domestic market. The film also earned first place in Australia with $2.76 million on 483 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.68 million. This is also much better than its debut here, albeit not by as large a margin. The film cost $35 million to make and it has already made more than that worldwide. If it has legs, it will top $100 million internationally, which will be enough to cover its production budget, while it should ensure profitability, eventually.
September 18th, 2016
As expected, this weekend’s three new wide releases couldn’t budge Sully from the top of the chart with the Tom Hanks/Clint Eastwood drama down a very respectable 37% in its second weekend to $22 million, for a total of $70.5 million to date. Two films, Blair Witch and Bridget Jones’s Baby both had aspirations to challenge Sully for the title, but had to settle for second and third place.
September 16th, 2016
Blair Witch led the way during Thursday’s previews with $765,000. This is well short of the horror films we had during the summer, including The Shallows at $1.33 million and Lights Out at $1.8 million. Then again, it isn’t really fair to compare previews during summer when a lot of the target audience doesn’t have to go to school the next day. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of horror films that come out in September and previews like this have only been ubiquitous for the past few years. I think it is a good sign, but I’m not sure. Maybe if moviegoers like it more than critics do, the film will be a hit.
September 15th, 2016
There are three wide releases this week, plus another that could sneak into the top ten. Two of the three new releases, Blair Witch and Bridget Jones’s Baby, are expected to do well. On the other hand, Snowden is only going to reach the top five due to the lack of competition. Meanwhile, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is a faith-based concert film. It could reach the top five, or it could miss the Mendoza Line. There’s no way to predict its box office potential. Despite the number of new releases, Sully is expected to remain in top spot thanks to its reviews and target demographic. This weekend last year, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials led the way with just over $30 million. It is likely no film will make that this year, while the depth is a mixed bag, so it looks like 2016 will lose in the year-over-year comparison.
September 9th, 2016
Like this week, there are four wide releases coming out next week, but not all are expected to open truly wide. Of these film, Blair Witch is the only one that is expected to do well during the weekend, although Bridget Jones’s Baby should have better legs. Since we care about opening weekends more than end results, Blair Witch is clearly the better 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 Blair Witch.
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 of a previously reviewed full-season TV on DVD release, two previously reviewed movies, or three single-disc kids DVDs.
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 consisting of a previously reviewed full-season TV on DVD release, two previously reviewed movies, or three single-disc kids DVDs.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will win the final Frankenprize, as described above.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September 1st, 2016
August continued to pad 2016’s lead over 2015 in the year-over-year comparison. It managed this feat almost entirely due to Suicide Squad, which is on pace to hit $300 million. The next best film was Sausage Party, which might make $100 million, if it gets a push over the top. September won’t be as strong as that. This is no surprise, as the month is one of the biggest dumping grounds on the calendar. That said, studios have been working to make the end of the month a lot more productive and there are a few potential hits. The biggest of these is The Magnificent Seven, which is expected to crack $100 million, maybe even $150 million. Meanwhile, Sully and Storks both have a limited chance at $100 million. Last September, the biggest release of the month was Hotel Transylvania 2 with pulled in $169.70 million. I don’t think The Magnificent Seven will match that, so we might need a surprise $100 million hit for 2016 to come out on top.