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.
August 21st, 2016
Three even-matched debutants proved to be no match for the incumbents at the box office this weekend, with Suicide Squad taking a third straight victory at the box office with $20.71 million, according to Warner Bros.’ Sunday morning projection. Sausage Party stays in second with $15.3 million, and that leaves the new entrants in 3rd, 4th and 5th. This was a weekend where diversity isn’t the problem, but novelty is.
August 16th, 2016
The overall box office was a little weaker than expected with Suicide Squad falling nearly as fast as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did. On the other hand, Sausage Party opened better than expected earning a solid second place. Overall, the box office pulled in $172 million over the weekend, which is 25% smaller than last weekend. Compared to the same weekend last year, the box office was 16% higher and that’s the most important number. Year-to-date, 2016 has pulled in $7.43 billion, putting it 5.3% ahead of last year’s pace. The box office just needs to maintain its $380 million lead throughout the rest of the summer to be considered a success.
August 14th, 2016
A precipitous drop from last weekend won’t be enough to knock Suicide Squad off its perch at the top of the box office chart, according to studio estimates released on Friday. But a 67% fall is steep, even by modern standards. On the bright side, it is less than Batman v Superman’s 69% decline in its second weekend earlier this year, at least according to the estimates. A weak Sunday would put the two films basically neck-and-neck on that front, and it looks increasingly likely that Suicide Squad will end with less than $300 million domestically.
August 12th, 2016
Sausage Party got off to a fast start with $3.25 million in previews. By comparison, Bad Moms earned $2 million during its previews two weeks ago, on its way to a $23.82 million opening weekend. If the two films had the same legs for their opening weekends, then we would be looking at a $38 million debut. Sausage Party does have better reviews that Bad Moms earned, but Bad Moms is aimed at a female demographic and generally speaking, women are less likely to rush out to see a movie during previews. So I think it is wise to be a little more cautious, but an opening weekend of over $30 million is still reason to celebrate.
August 11th, 2016
Before we talk about the weekend predictions... If you can read this, it means my transfer worked well enough and I can do work from my parents house while pet-sitting. I will be at my parents place for three weeks looking after their dog and cat. I was at their house for less than 30 minutes before stepping into a puddle of dog drool. It is going to be a very long three weeks. ... As for the releases for the week, they are all amazing. The film earning the weakest reviews at the moment is Sausage Party, which is earning 82% positive reviews. 82% positive is the weakest of the three wide releases. That's amazing. On the other hand, it won't be the biggest release of the week. Pete’s Dragon has a better than 50/50 chance at reaching $100 million in total; however, as a family film, it will start relatively slow, but have good legs. Finally, there’s Florence Foster Jenkins, which is an early Oscar contender. It is not opening in a lot of theaters, so it is going to need great word-of-mouth to thrive. None of these new releases will match last year’s number one film, Straight Outta Compton, so it will be up to Suicide Squad to keep 2016 on the winning track. I think it will collapse by more than 60%, but 2016 has a lot better depth than 2015 and it will come out on top.
August 5th, 2016
Next week is likely going to be the last weekend of summer, as Pete’s Dragon is the last film coming out this summer with a realistic shot at $100 million at the box office. The other two releases, Florence Foster Jenkins and Sausage Party, are pure counter-programming. If they make $100 million combined, then at least one of them will be seen as a success. Pete’s Dragon might not earn first place over the weekend, but it is the only real 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 Pete’s Dragon.
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 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, 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 win the third Frankenprize, as described above.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
August 1st, 2016
July did reasonably well, thanks mostly to The Secret Life of Pets, which will top $300 million shortly and could earn double its nearest competitor when all is said and done. That said, there were also a quartet of $100 million hits as well, so the month had good depth as well. August isn’t as lucky. There is one film that is expected to earn $100 million during its opening weekend, Suicide Squad, and one more that is expected to reach $100 million in total, Pete’s Dragon. There could be a surprise hit among the rest of the releases, (my long shot with a shot is Sausage Party) but for the most part, the rest of the wide releases would be happy with just $50 million at the box office. Last August was a disaster and Straight Outta Compton was the only hit of the month. Unless Suicide Squad bombs compared to expectations, 2016 will come out ahead in the year-over-year comparison.