What starts out as a lavish train ride through Europe quickly unfolds into one of the most stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mysteries ever told. It is the tale of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone’s a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
United Kingdom Releases:
November 3rd, 2017 (Wide)
PG-13 for violence and thematic elements. (Rating bulletin 2495 (Cert #51021), 9/27/2017)
Justice League is hoping to be the biggest hit of the month, but two things could get in the way of that goal. Firstly, Thor: Ragnarok got off to a faster than expected start. Secondly, Justice League’s reviews are significantly weaker. There are two other films coming out this week, The Star and Wonder, both of whom are simply hoping not to be lost in a crowded marketplace. This crowded marketplace should help 2017 end its slump against 2016. This weekend last year, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opened in first place with just under $75 million, while there were three other films that earned between $10 million and $20 million. This year, Justice League should top $100 million with ease, while Thor: Ragnarok will earn more than $25 million. The top two films this year should do better than the top five films from last year and that should lead to 2017 earning a comfortable win over 2016 in the year-over-year comparison.
For the third weekend in a row, Thor: Ragnarok dominated the international chart, earning $75.9 million in 56 markets for totals of $438.5 internationally and $650.6 million worldwide. The film fell 59% during its second weekend in China, but this is actually much better than average for the market. It added $21.71 million this past weekend, pushing its running tally to $95.51 million after just two weeks of release in that market. The film held up even better in the U.K., where it dipped just 33% to $4.05 million in 569 theaters for a three-week total of $34.07 million. Its next biggest international market was South Korea, where it has earned $31.07 million, including $3.53 million on 856 screens this past weekend. The film already has more worldwide than either of the previous Thor films earned in total. It has entered the top ten in the MCU and it is on pace to enter the top five on that chart before its done.
Thor: Ragnarok led the weekend chart and actually beat our prediction by a small degree with $57.08 million. The two new releases, Daddy’s Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express, also beat expectations. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to help the overall box office, as it fell 16% from last weekend to $151 million over the weekend. This is 4.9% lower than the same weekend last year. 2017 has fallen further behind 2016 at $8.98 billion to $9.46 billion. 2017 is 5.1% or $480 million behind last year’s pace and I’ll be happy if we can cut that deficit in half by the end of the year.
Thor: Ragnarok maintains a firm hold on top spot at the domestic and international box office this weekend, with a respectable decline of 54% at home taking it to $56.6 million for the weekend and $211.6 million to date. With another $75.9 million internationally, for a total of $438.5 million overseas,
Ragnarok will pass $650 million worldwide today. That makes it the most successful Thor film already, and it seems like it should retain decent traction into the holidays, even with Justice League coming out next weekend.
As predicted, Thor: Ragnarok easily won on Friday with $18.28 million. This is 61% lower than its opening Friday, which is better than most blockbusters manage. It also puts it on pace for $56 million during its sophomore stint, which is exactly on track with my prediction. Meanwhile, Disney’s share of the film’s worldwide box office is already above the film’s $180 million production budget, so profitability is all but guaranteed.
Murder on the Orient Express pulled in $1.6 million during its previews lat night. In order to match our $27 million prediction, it will need a multiplier of just under 17. By comparison, The Girl on the Train, which is another murder mystery movie with a train in it, earned a multiplier of almost exactly 20 with $1.23 million in previews and an opening weekend of $24.54 million. Murder on the Orient Express also earned betterreviews, which would suggest longer legs. On the other hand, it had louder buzz, which tends to result in a more front-loaded box office. We will have a better idea tomorrow when Friday’s estimates are in.
After last week’s debut, Thor: Ragnarok should have no trouble repeating in first place, but we do have two new releases that should be in a battle for second. Murder on the Orient Express had a strong opening in the U.K. and that bodes well for its opening this weekend. On the other hand, Daddy’s Home 2’s box office potential is moving in the other direction. As I started writing this, there were still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This weekend last year, Doctor Strange led the way with $42.97 million. Thor: Ragnarok should top that by around $10 million. Likewise, this week’s new releases should top last year’s new releases. However, last year had a lot better depth. Last year, every film in the top ten earned more than $3 million. This year, I’m not sure the fifth place film will earn more than $3 million. I fear 2017 will lose yet again in the year-over-year comparison.
As expected, Thor: Ragnarok remained in first place on the international chart dominating the competition with $151.4 million in 55 markets during its second weekend of release for a two-week total of $306.0 million internationally and $428.7 million worldwide. After just two weeks of release, the film is within striking distance of the original Thor at the worldwide box office and by this time next week, it might surpass The Dark World. As for this past weekend’s highlights, the box office was led by China, where it earned first place with $53.42 million over the weekend for a total opening of $54.53 million. This is the biggest November opening in that market and the biggest total for a Thor film. It had to settle for second place in Mexico, but was still impressive with $7.34 million over the weekend for a total opening of $10.52 million. It also did well in Germany with $5.5 million over the weekend for a total opening of $8.9 million, which is 70% higher than Doctor Strange’s opening there last year. The best holdover came from South Korea, where it was down 47% to $6.39 million on 1,047 screens over the weekend for a two-week total of $25.88 million. The only market left to open in is Trinidad, but even with no major markets, the film will have no trouble getting to $500 million internationally and $800 million worldwide.
Next weekend, there are two wide releases, Daddy’s Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express, both have a shot at $100 million, but both are expected to come up short. Even if both films earned the same amount in the end, Daddy’s Home 2 should still open faster, because of its target demographic. Therefore, Daddy’s Home 2 is 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 three-day weekend box office number for Daddy’s Home 2.
We are continuing our Christmas contest for as long as I have supplies to mail out prizes, at which time the contest ends for good. The last of our winners will either get a Christmas present or a lump of coal. The present will include a couple of movies, TV shows, maybe some kids DVDs, etc., while the lump of coal will be the last of my HD-DVD titles, while they last, as well as something from the prize pool.
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, as described above.
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 final Frankenprize, as described above.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don’t delay!
October wasn’t a good month; then again, outside of a few bright spots, the overall box office has been a disaster since early summer. I would love to say November will turn things around, but, while it should be better, in this case “better” is a relative term. There are two films on this list with a chance at $300 million, Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League, while Coco is nearly a guarantee for $200 million. By comparison, last November had a similar result with three films earning between $200 million and $300 million, but none topping that figure. This means, if Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League both get to that milestone, then 2017 could cut into 2016’s lead during the month. It will still take a minor miracle for 2017 to catch up in the end, but just cutting the lead in half by the end of December would be a reason to celebrate at this point.
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