January 4th, 2016
We are getting back to normal for the home market releases. There are no major first run releases, but one of the biggest limited releases of 2015 hits the home market. Sicario earned nearly $50 million after starting in limited release and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is the Pick of the Week. It wasn't the only contender for that honor, as Deathgasm (DVD or Blu-ray) and Infinitely Polar Bear (DVD or Blu-ray) were also in contention.
October 30th, 2015
Two of the three wide releases had Thursday previews, with Burnt having the bigger of the two films' launches. Bigger is a relative term. It only managed $250,000 during its previews, which is bad news. Its bad news for the studio, as this doesn't bode well for its box office chances. It is also bad new for me, because this is so low it is hard to find other films to compare it with. It is about 10% lower than The Green Inferno, which is about as close a match as I could find, but those two films share almost none of their respective audiences. The Intern is a closer match as far as audiences are concerned. That film earned $650,000 during its previews on its way to a $24.90 million opening weekend. Burnt has worse reviews, so it likely won't have the same internal multiplier. Even so, it should make between $7 million and $9 million, which is a little higher than predicted, but not enough to keep the studio happy.
October 6th, 2015
It was an interesting weekend as The Martian was in a tight race with Gravity for Biggest October Weekend. It didn't quite set the record, but it came close enough to be the big story all weekend. Hotel Transylvania 2 held on better than expected, which helped the overall box office grow 8.3% from last week to $149 million. More importantly, the top two films this year were well ahead of the top two films last year, Gone Girl and Annabelle. This helped the overall box office grow 1.8% from the same weekend last year. Most people were not expecting that. Year-to-date, 2015 now has a 6.0% lead over 2014 at $8.14 billion to $7.68 billion. It would take a relatively serious collapse for 2015 to not come out on top at the end of the year.
September 28th, 2015
Hotel Transylvania 2 was surprisingly strong this past weekend, topping expectations and entering the record book. It wasn't the only new release of the week. The Intern matched expectations nearly perfectly. On the other hand, Everest struggled and The Green Inferno barely made a peep. The overall box office pulled in $138 million, which is 22% higher than last weekend and 29% higher than the same weekend last year. 2015's lead over 2014 has grown to $470 million or 6.3%. This year we have a running tally of $7.96 billion compared to $7.49 billion from last year. There's just three months left in the year, so 2015's lead looks safer and safer every passing weekend.
September 27th, 2015
Hotel Transylvania 2 is off to an impressive start this weekend with a new record weekend for September, according to Sony’s estimate released on Sunday. The animated comedy is expected to earn $47.5 million, beating the record held by the first film in the franchise, which debuted with $42.5 million this time in 2012. It’s also on the high end of expectations, which had it coming in the high 30s or low 40s. It’s a welcome turnaround for Adam Sandler, after a string of flops, but even more so for Sony Pictures, which has had a dismal year so far, with no film earning more than Pixels $76.7 million before now.
September 26th, 2015
As expected, Hotel Transylvania 2 earned first place on Friday, but it did so with an unexpectedly strong result. The film pulled in $13.25 million for the day; by comparison, this is 21% higher than the first film’s debut. Sequels do tend to be a little more front loaded than the original film, but this is still a fantastic start. For instance, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs had a 3.72 internal multiplier of (weekend box office divided by Friday box office) while its sequel had an internal multiplier of 3.68. Granted, that's a tiny drop, but the reviews of these two films dropped dramatically, which likely had some effect. On the other hand, the two Hotel Transylvania films have earned nearly identical reviews. Hotel Transylvania earned an internal multiplier of 3.88, so if that drops to about 3.7, then Hotel Transylvania 2 would pull in about $49 million over the weekend. That's seems excessive. On the other hand, even earning just over $42.5 million and breaking the September record would be disappointing after an opening day like this.
September 25th, 2015
There are two wide releases this week, a wide expansion, and a semi-wide release. That's a lot of films to talk about. Of the three new films, none of them are earning more than 50% positive reviews. This is sadly typical of this time of year. Hotel Transylvania 2 is easily the biggest new release of the week and the only film with a shot at $40 million. The second wide release, The Intern, and the wide expansion, Everest, should be in a tight race for second place with $20 million each. On the other hand, The Green Inferno, the semi-wide release, is staring down the barrel of the Mendoza Line. If you look at the top three films from last year and compare them to the top three films from this year, they look about the same. The Equalizer's opening is on low the end of Hotel Transylvania 2's range of expectations. Additionally, the depth this year looks better than last year. 2015 should end the month on a high note in the year-over-year comparison.
September 1st, 2015
As September begins, the box office is in a slump. August was terrible and only Straight Outta Compton escaped with its dignity intact. Fortunately, we expected August to be terrible, so the box office isn't any lower than anticipated. As for September, there are two wide releases expected to earn more than $100 million, which is better than most years. Those two films are Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Hotel Transylvania 2, both sequels. There are four other films that could become midlevel hits, so we have good depth as well. By comparison, last September there were also two $100 million hits, The Maze Runner and The Equalizer. However, there were only two midlevel hits, so it appears this year has better depth. Frankly, 2015 has such a large lead over 2014 that all it needs to do is maintain pace for the rest of the year to be considered a success. If September can help 2015 grow its lead, then the overall industry should be very happy.
August 29th, 2014
It appears The Green Inferno has been pulled from the schedule. The Identical will be the target film for this box office prediction contest. Sorry for the confusion.
Next weekend is the weekend after Labor Day, which is historically one of two weakest weekends of the year. This year there are one or two wide releases. I'm not 100% sold that The Identical will open truly wide. Because of this, The Green Inferno is the only true choice for the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Green Inferno.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Jarhead 2: Field of Fire on Blu-ray Combo Pack, as well as one other previously reviewed release.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win two previously reviewed releases.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!