October 25th, 2016
2016 finally has a real reason to celebrate this weekend. Not every film topped expectations, but the top did enough to overcome any weakness at the bottom. The biggest hit of the week was Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, which beat expectations with $28.50 million. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back had to settle for second place with $22.87 million, which is still better than most were predicting. Ouija: Origin of Evil did well for a movie that cost just $9 million to make, but the less said about the other two new releases, the better. Overall, the box office rose 26% from last week, reaching $124 million. More importantly, the box office was 18% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 extended its lead over 2015 at $8.93 billion to $8.53 billion. Having a $400 million cushion this late in the year is good news, even with The Force Awakens looming in the future.
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 14th, 2016
The Accountant got off to a healthy start with $1.35 million during Thursday night previews. This is more than both The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl managed. On the other hand, the film’s demographics are more male-dominated than those two films, and men are more likely to rush out to see a movie as early as possible. Its reviews have climbed up to 50% positive, so that won’t hurt its legs. We predicted $19 million and I’m fairly confident in that number. In fact, that might be on the low end of expectations going forward.
October 13th, 2016
Three wide releases are coming out this week, which is one more than expected. The Accountant is clearly the biggest of the three, but its reviews are falling into the danger zone. Kevin Hart: What Now? is hoping to be the biggest stand-up comedy movie since Eddie Murphy’s Raw. Finally there’s Max Steel, which I didn’t think was going to open truly wide. Then again, its theater count is 2,034, so it is opening barely wide. This weekend last year, Goosebumps led the way with $23.62 million. I really thought The Accountant would top that, but I no longer think that will be likely. Worse still, there were five films that earned more than $10 million last year, but there will only be three of them this week. 2016’s slump will continue.
October 6th, 2016
While Kevin Hart: What Now? is opening truly wide next week, which is a bit of a surprise, there’s little doubt that The Accountant will come out on top at the box office. As such, it is the 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 Accountant.
This is the second week with The Neon Demon on Blu-ray as a prize. Don’t worry about entering both contests, because if someone does end up winning two of the same prize, they will be offered a replacement horror movie.
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!
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.