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Weekend Predictions: Clover Will Need Lots of Luck to Win Box Office Race

March 10th, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane

There are four widish releases coming out this week, but only two of them are opening truly wide, while only one of them has any real box office power. That film is 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is the pseudo-sequel to Cloverfield. Very few people think it will match its predecessor, but it should open in a solid second place. That leaves Zootopia in the perfect spot to repeat on the top of the box office chart. This weekend last year, Cinderella led the way with $67.88 million. This is more than any one single film will make this year. However, the second biggest hit of last year was Run All Night at barely more than $11 million and no other film earned substantially more than $6 million. Perhaps the depth from 2016 will help it win in the year-over-year comparison. I'm not overly bullish that will happen, but we can't rule it out either.

It is very likely that Zootopia will remain on top of the box office chart this weekend. Additionally, it will cross $100 million on Friday. It should hold onto its opening weekend box office numbers very well, due in part to its family friendly target audience. It will also benefit from its stellar reviews, as well as the lack of direct competition. Let's be frank, there's a lack of any real competition, direct or otherwise. On the low end, the film will fall just over 40% to roughly $42 million. On the high end, the film will fall a mere 33% to just a hare over $50 million. ... I apologize for that pun. I think $47 million is the best bet. This will keep it on pace to crack $200 million with ease.

10 Cloverfield Lane is the pseudo-sequel to Cloverfield. That film broke records becoming the first film released in January to earn more than $40 million. However, is earned less than that during the rest of its box office run. That's really bad legs. It's no longer in the Top 100 Most Front-Loaded Movies, but it was at the time. A lot of people feel that movie was too much hype and not enough substance and they are worried 10 Cloverfield Lane will be more of the same. It does have outstanding reviews and that could counteract those concerns, but I still think the legs won't be great. On the other hand, the film only cost $5 million to make and it should pull in more than that on opening day. An opening weekend of $25 million isn't out of the question, but I'm going to be a little more conservative and predict $22 million. That's still a great result for a low-budget film like this.

Deadpool should remain in third place with just over $10 million over the weekend. Its legs are better than average, especially for a comic book movie, and it now appears to be on pace to top $350 million. This puts American Sniper within reach, but it is likely The Passion of the Christ will remain the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.

Up next is London Has Fallen, which should fall to just under $10 million. Terrible reviews will hurt its legs, while this film does share some of its audience with 10 Cloverfield Lane, which will further reduce its weekend take. It is probably going to do better internationally, but not by enough to break even any time soon.

We finally get to our second wide release of the week, The Brothers Grimsby, which is the latest film from Sacha Baron Cohen. His previous film was The Dictator, which made just under $60 million in total domestically and close to $18 million in U.K. The Brothers Grimsby has already debuted in the U.K. earning just over $5 million in two weeks of release. If we look at this film's opening in the U.K., as well as The Dictator's openings in both the U.K. and here and do a little math, we get an opening weekend of between $6 million and $7 million for The Brothers Grimsby.

Next up is The Young Messiah, which is the latest faith-based film. Unfortunately, while its early reviews are unanimously positive, its buzz is quiet, even for a faith-based film. Not only did Risen generate more buzz before its opening, but also next week's Miracles from Heaven is currently generating more buzz. It is also expected to open in less than 2,000 theaters, which will further hurt its box office chances. It has a shot at fifth place, but I think it will miss out with $6 million.

Finally we get to The Perfect Match, which isn't opening wide, It might not even be opening semi-wide. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes; it is positive, but the lack of buzz will likely prove fatal. I think it will earn about $3 million over the weekend, which will be enough to earn a spot in the top ten, barely.

- 10 Cloverfield Lane comparisons
- The Brothers Grimsby comparisons
- Young Messiah comparisons
- The Perfect Match comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Deadpool, The Young Messiah, The Brothers Grimsby, London Has Fallen, Risen, Zootopia, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Perfect Match, Sacha Baron Cohen