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 6th, 2016
October begins with a trio of wide releases, led by The Girl on the Train. The film’s reviews are mixed, which is not ideal, but also not fatal. The Birth of a Nation was looking to become an Awards Season player, but its reviews are not quite at that level. Finally there’s Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. There are still no reviews and the buzz is as quiet as you can get for a wide release. This weekend last year, the only wide release was Pan and it bombed hard. However, The Martian remained on top with $37.01 million over the weekend. There’s almost no way The Girl on the Train will match that and last year had better depth as well. 2016’s slump will continue.
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 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 29th, 2016
Bridget Jones’s Baby remained in first place with $22.1 million on 5,092 screens in 47 markets for totals of $67.42 million internationally and $84.01 million worldwide. At this pace, the film will have no trouble getting to $100 million internationally and perhaps $150 million worldwide. That's enough to pay for its $35 million production budget and perhaps all of its advertising budget as well. The film’s best new opening of the week was Italy, where it managed second place with $1.9 million on 421 screens. Its biggest market overall was the U.K. where it remained in first place with $8.39 million in 648 theaters for a two-week total of $27.59 million. It is now the biggest September release of all time in that market, topping Calendar Girls’ 13-year old record.
September 27th, 2016
Is it time to panic? Not yet, but we are definitely getting concerned. The overall box office was soft due to the weaker than expected openings of The Magnificent Seven and Storks. Neither bombed exactly, but they weren’t particular strong either. The overall box office rose 16% from last weekend, but was down 25% from this weekend last year. Ouch. You usually only see that large a change in the year-over-year comparison when there is a misalignment in holidays. Year-to-date, 2016’s lead over 2015 dropped to 6.3% or $490 million at $8.35 billion to $7.86 billion.
September 25th, 2016
The Magnificent Seven will almost exactly match Sully’s debut two weeks ago by posting a $35 million opening, according to Sony’s Sunday projection. To us, it looks as though the film will fall fractionally short of that number, but it should still have the sixth-best September opening of all time (not adjusted for inflation). Those two films alone have given the box office enough of a boost that the industry will wrap up the month in fairly healthy condition.
September 23rd, 2016
The Magnificent Seven earned $1.75 million during Thursday’s previews. This is not terrible; it is better than the $1.5 million The Equalizer made in 2014 and the $1.35 million Sully made two weeks ago. However, it is not as strong as most were expecting. Perhaps it will still match predictions, if the audience reaction is significantly better than its reviews. I wouldn’t bet on it. It will still likely earn first place, but now just under $40 million looks more likely than $50 million.
September 22nd, 2016
It is a perfect weekend at the box office, as there are only two wide releases and there are almost no crossover audiences between them. The Magnificent Seven is a remake of a remake and its solid, but not spectacular. Storks is a digitally animated kids movie that is earning mixed reviews, but that’s fine for a kids movie. Those two movies will likely earn more than the rest of the box office combined pulls in. This is both good news and bad news, as it is a combination of their strength and the rest of the box office’s weakness that is the cause. This weekend last year, Hotel Transylvania 2 debuted with $48 million, which is the record for a September weekend. I think The Magnificent Seven will top that, while Storks will double the second place film, The Intern. Unfortunately, last year there were three other films that earned more than $10 million, while this year there will be only one. 2016 is better on top, but 2015 had better depth. Perhaps 2016 will still come out ahead in the year-over-year comparison, but I don't think it will quite make it.
September 16th, 2016
There are a pair of wide releases coming out next week, The Magnificent Seven and Storks. Both films have a shot at $100 million domestically, but because Storks is a family film, The Magnificent Seven should get off to a faster start. Therefore, The Magnificent Seven 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 weekend box office number for The Magnificent Seven.
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 Twin Peaks: The Original Series, Fire Walk With Me & The Missing Pieces
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under
, will win a previously reviewed TV on DVD release.
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 a previously reviewed TV on DVD release.
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.