October 23rd, 2016
Hollywood has a habit of underestimating Tyler Perry. When Diary of a Mad Black Woman opened back in 2005, it was expected to struggle to make the top 10, and yet finished top of the chart with a $21.9 million weekend. More than eleven years later, he, or perhaps more accurately, Madea, continues to defy tracking models and rack up wins at the box office, with Boo! A Madea Halloween set to top this weekend’s chart with a projected $27.6 million. That’s nearly $5 million better than the debut of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which Paramount has coming in at $23 million.
October 20th, 2016
It is a busy week as far as wide releases are concerned, although not as busy as we thought it would be at the beginning of the month, as I’m Not Ashamed has dropped to “select cities”. It still has a shot at the top ten, but a slim shot. The biggest release of the week is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, as it is opening in an estimated 3,800 theaters. However, the buzz is weak and its reviews won’t help either. It will likely struggle to top $20 million. This gives Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween a shot at first place. The best new release of the week is Ouija: Origin of Evil. One would hope a horror film earning 80% positive reviews ten days before Halloween would at least have a shot at first place. We’ll see. Finally there’s Keeping Up with the Joneses. It’s bad and that’s all I need to say about that. There is good news. This weekend last year was a disaster. The biggest wide release was The Last Witch Hunter and it earned less than $11 million. The biggest film was The Martian, which earned under $16 million. We could have two films top $20 million, so 2016 should end the slump it has been in.
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 4th, 2016
The overall box office was about as strong as expected, as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children beat expectations by the same amount as Deepwater Horizon missed expectations. This helped the overall box office grow 10% from last weekend to $114 million. However, this is still 24% lower than this weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 still has a lead over 2015, but that lead has shrunk to 4.9% or $390 million at $8.50 billion to $8.10 billion. If 2016’s lead falls below $325 million, then we will need to panic. Remember, last year ended with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which earned $650 million before the end of the year. Rogue One isn’t expected to earn half of that, so 2016 is going to need a $325 million lead or it will need better depth in order to come out ahead. I would prefer the former.
September 30th, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children earned $1.2 million during its Thursday previews, which is just ahead of the $1.1 million earned by The Maze Runner back in 2014. Unfortunately, there’s a question whether we should treat this as a young adult book adaptation, or whether we should treat it as a more gonzo Tim Burton offering. If we go that route, there are no really good comparisons. Dark Shadows earned $550,000, but that was just over four years ago when midnight screenings weren’t standard and far fewer people went overall. Regardless, this is a better start than expected and an opening weekend of $30 million is more likely than it was before.
September 29th, 2016
Three wide releases come out this week: Deepwater Horizon, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Masterminds. Deepwater Horizon’s reviews are better than expected and that should help it at the box office. Miss Peregrine’s reviews are on the razor’s edge of the overall positive level. Meanwhile, there are not enough reviews to really judge Masterminds, but the early signs don’t look good. This weekend last year was the first weekend of October. The Martian nearly broke the record for biggest October weekend. There’s a chance all three wide releases this week won’t match The Martian’s opening weekend. Add in last year’s depth and there’s almost no chance 2016 will come out ahead on the year-over-year comparison.
September 23rd, 2016
Three wide releases are coming out next week. Of the three, Masterminds is by far the weakest and has no real shot at first place. In fact, if it opens above fifth place, I will be surprised. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the widest, but the early reviews for Deepwater Horizon are excellent and I think that will give it the edge at the box office. Because of this, it is 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 Deepwater Horizon.
We have copies of The Purge: The Election as prizes. While the film hit VOD this past Tuesday, we have copies on Blu-ray Combo Pack as prizes.
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 The Purge: The Election on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
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 a copy of The Purge: The Election on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
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 The Purge: The Election on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
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.