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Weekend Predictions: Will the New Releases Free the Box Office from Jurassic's Grip?

July 3rd, 2015

Terminator: Genisys

If one of the new releases doesn't earn top spot this weekend, then the box office is in trouble. Jurassic World has been in first place for three weeks in a row and even last week it only won because the new release, Ted 2, missed expectations. If it or Inside Out win this weekend, it will be because Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL are both struggling. Fortunately, the two films topped the chart on Wednesday during their opening day, but not by enough to ensure they come out on top over the full weekend. It could be a very close race for first place. This weekend last year was led by Transformers: Age of Extinction with $37 million, while Tammy was second with an opening of $21.58 million over the three-day weekend and $33.51 million over five days. The overall box office take was just $133 million last year, while the top five could top that this year. 2015 should have no trouble coming out on top in the year-over-year competition.

There are very few films that are similar to Magic Mike XXL. The first Magic Mike opened with $19 million during its opening day, but barely matched that over the rest of its opening weekend, which is terrible. On the other hand, its multiplier (total box office divided by opening weekend) was above average and its reviews were 80% positive, which suggests there's a lot of good will for Magic Mike XXL. The new film's reviews are weaker than its predecessor's, but still in positive territory. Magic Mike XXL also opened in first place on Wednesday and it should earn $32 million over the weekend for a five-day opening of $50 million.

Inside Out is also on track for $32 million over the weekend. It already reached $200 million domestically and it will be close to $250 million by the time the weekend is over. At this pace, it's on track to become only the third Pixar film to reach $300 million domestically.

The holidays are messing up the prediction process. The last time July 4th landed on a Saturday was 2009, but neither Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs nor Public Enemies are good analogs to this year's new releases. Meanwhile, the time before that was 1998. Armageddon did open on a Wednesday back in 1998 and its opening day was very close to the opening day of Terminator: Genisys and with a similar target audience. Unfortunately, the market has changed since then and films' legs have gotten shorter, while Terminator: Genisys's reviews are terrible, to be blunt. Armageddon earned $36 million over the weekend for a total opening of $54 million. Terminator: Genisys isn't going to match that, but it could come close with $30 million over the weekend and $46 million over five-days.

Jurassic World will be right behind with $29 million over the weekend for a total of more than $550 million. This will be enough to push the film into fourth place on the All-Time Domestic Box Office chart ahead of The Dark Knight.

Ted 2 will round out the top five, mostly by default. It failed to come close to Ted during its opening weekend while its reviews are much weaker than the original's. Add in the two big new releases and the movie could fall more than 60% this weekend. I think the holiday will help prevent that, but it will be close with just $15 million. Then again, this will push its running tally to close to what it likely cost to make, so the studio can't be too upset.

One last note: It looks like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will reach the top ten this weekend with perhaps $2 million. Its theater average will drop enough that it won't expand significantly beyond this, but this is still amazing for a limited release.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Terminator: Genisys, Ted 2, Magic Mike XXL, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl