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Weekend Predictions: Halloween Horrors

October 29th, 2015

Our Brand is Crisis

Halloween is a dead zone for the box office, for the most part, and this year it lands on Saturday. Unless we are dealing with a horror film, it's going to be a bad weekend. There are two truly wide openings this weekend, Burnt and Our Brand is Crisis, neither of which are horror films. There is also one semi-wide release, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, which is a horror movie, but the buzz is so quiet I don't think it will matter. All three movies are earning bad reviews and it looks like the top three this weekend will be the same as they were last weekend. (There's a chance Goosebumps gets a big enough Halloween boost to climb into first place.) This weekend last year, there was only one new release in the top ten, Nightcrawler, which earned second place with just over $10 million. That's better than any one of the new releases will do this year; however, there's better depth this year, so I think 2015 will come out on top on the year-over-year comparison.

The Martian returned to top spot last weekend and it looks like it will remain there this weekend with just over $10 million. This will push its running tally to $182 million. It remains on pace to reach $200 million, unless Spectre destroys it at the box office.

The only other film with a shot at first place is Goosebumps. The movie has good reviews, it is the only family film in the top ten, and it is a Halloween film, so it should get a boost at the box office. It probably won't be a big enough boost to climb into first place, but second place with just under $10 million isn't a bad result. The film is closing in on its production budget domestically, so as long as it can find an audience internationally, it will break even sometime during its home market run.

Bridge of Spies should earn third place with $8 million. Its reviews and its more mature target demographic have really helped its legs turning an okay opening isn't a midlevel hit.

The biggest of the three new releases appears to be Our Brand is Crisis. It is earning the best reviews of the three new releases coming out this week, but its Tomatometer Score is just 33% positive at the moment. The film might grab third place with $8 million, or it might miss the top five with $5 million. I'm going with fourth place and $7 million, but that's far from certain.

Burnt, a.k.a., Kitchen Confidential: The Movie is a mess. Its reviews are weak and not every source has it opening wide this week. IMDb doesn't have it opening wide this week. There's no way that's going to help the film's box office chances, but its chances are weak enough that it won't be the deciding factor if the film fails. Speaking of failing, the film could miss the top five with $5 million. Or if its Australian opening in any indication, it could earn fourth place with $7 million. I'm going with fifth place and $6 million.

If either of those films bomb, then Hotel Transylvania 2 will remain in fifth place for the third weekend in a row with just over $5 million.

The final new release of the week is Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. It's too soon to tell where its Tomatometer Score will be at the end of the weekend, but right now its at just 20% positive after five reviews. This is the weakest of the three new releases, but if the next review is positive, it will be tied for top spot. On the other hand, it is opening in the smallest number of theaters and it has the quietest buzz and the weakest star power. It is a horror / comedy film, so it could get a boost from Halloween. That said, even on the high end, it will struggle to reach the top five with $5 million. On the low end, it will miss the Mendoza Line with less than $3 million. I think the lower end is more likely and I'm going with just over $3 million.

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Hotel Transylvania 2, Goosebumps, The Martian, Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Bridge of Spies, Burnt, Our Brand is Crisis