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Friday Estimates: Rock Bottom

October 24th, 2015

Rock the Kasbah

Where to start? There are so many new releases to talk about and none of them did well. Some did so poorly that talking about them seems mean. So, let’s start by saying that Friday’s box office chart was led by The Martian, while Goosebumps has a shot at repeating on top of the chart, with each film earning about $14 million to $15 million. Meanwhile, Bridge of Spies should earn third place over the weekend with between $11 million and $12 million.

The best, and I'm using “best” in the loosest possible sense, new release of weekend is The Last Witch Hunter. The film took in $3.8 million on Friday, which is lower than even our low expectations. I’ve seen people compare the movie to Dracula Untold. In some ways this is fair, as the two films are both action films with a supernatural theme. Additionally, they both cost a lot to make, although The Last Witch Hunter is the more expensive of the two, having cost approximately $80 million to make. (Reports vary from $75 million to $90 million.) I think the better comparison is Babylon AD, which also starred Vin Diesel. Witch Hunter had a better opening day than Babylon AD, and if it has the same internal multiplier, it will pull in $11.5 million this weekend. That seems overly optimistic at this point, but perhaps it will be the only new release to top $10 million during the weekend.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension did relatively well compared to expectations. It was expected to struggle and it did, earning just $3.3 million opening day. This is 37% lower than Crimson Peak opened with last week. Add in terrible reviews and the Sequel Effect (sequels tend to be more front-loaded during its opening weekend and overall) and the film will be lucky to grab a spot in the top five with $7.5 million.

Steve Jobs had some of the best success in limited release that we’ve seen all year, but that success ended as soon as it tried to expand wide. The movie only managed $2.43 million on Friday. By comparison, The Theory of Everything earned $1.94 million during its first Friday of semi-wide expansion. (It was only playing on 802 theaters.) The Theory of Everything expanded during Thanksgiving weekend, so the comparison isn’t as valid, but it does give us a ballpark opening of $6 million for Steve Jobs. That's not good. Even if Michael Fassbender does win an Oscar, the film has little hope to reach previous expectations.

Rock the Kasbah only managed $530,000 in 2,012 theaters. That's a figure so bad that it is hard to find a comparison film. We Are Your Friends comes close, but Rock the Kasbah still managed to do worse. Furthermore, Kasbah has significantly worse reviews and should have an even smaller internal multiplier. This is really bad news, as We Are Your Friends has the third worst opening weekend theater average for a wide release in the past decade. Even if we assume the two films have the same internal multiplier, it will still earn just $1.3 million over the weekend.

Sadly, Jem and the Holograms opened even worse. Its reviews are positively Oscar-worthy compared to some of the other wide releases, but it still only managed $458,000 on Friday. We can compare the movie's opening to The Rocker, which is one of only five films in the past decade to open in more than 2,000 theaters with an average of less than $1,000. It was also a Wednesday opening, so we have to adjust the numbers a little. Jem and the Holograms did significantly worse compared to The Rocker’s opening day and compared to its first Friday. Look for barely more than $1 million over the weekend.

Friday Box Office
The Last Witch Hunter Comparison Chart
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Comparison Chart
Steve Jobs Comparison Chart
Rock the Kasbah Comparison Chart
Jem and the Holograms Comparison Chart

Filed under: Friday Night Box Office, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Crimson Peak, Goosebumps, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, The Last Witch Hunter, Rock the Kasbah, Jem and the Holograms, Steve Jobs, We Are Your Friends, Vin Diesel, Michael Fassbender