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Weekend Predictions: Will Jungle Leave Huntsman Out in the Cold?

April 21st, 2016

The Huntsman: Winter's War

It's a bad week for new releases, as The Jungle Book is widely expected to dominate the box office. The only truly wide release is The Huntsman: Winter's War, but its reviews are simply terrible. There are also three films opening in select theaters and one of them should earn a spot in the top ten. They only need a little more than $1 million to do so. This weekend last year, the only true wide release was The Age of Adaline, which opened with $13 million on its way to becoming a midlevel hit. The Huntsman could double that opening, but it won't have the same legs.

The Jungle Book opened with more than $100 million last weekend and thanks to its family friendly target audience, its stellar reviews, and the lack of A-list competition, it should hold on to most of that figure this weekend. At the high end, it will drop as little as Zootopia did, down just 32% to $70 million. That would put its running tally to just over $200 million. That's a bit too bullish for my taste. On the other hand, dropping just under 40% to $65 million is a solid goal to aim for.

The Huntsman: Winter's War is a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. The earlier film earned mixed reviews, but did well enough at the worldwide box office to warrant a sequel. Unfortunately, that sequel is earning awful reviews and most critics are using one of the most damning words you can use to describe a sequel: Unnecessary. Worse still, the competition is fierce. It is almost guaranteed that The Winter's War will open with less than half of what its predecessor opened with, giving this film an opening weekend of no more than $28 million. There are some predicting it will open with less than $20 million, which would be a disaster. The lower end seems more likely than the high end and I'm going with a prediction of $23 million.

Barbershop: The Next Cut opened on the low end of expectations last week, but I hope its outstanding reviews give it good legs this weekend. Films aimed at African-American audiences tend to have sharper declines, so a 40% drop-off is asking too much. That said, I think it could get close with just over $11 million during the weekend. This will put it on pace to reach $50 million, making it a midlevel hit.

Zootopia should rise to fourth place with $6 million over the weekend. The movie is already fabulously profitable, so each dollar it makes is pure gravy.

The Boss and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in a close race for fifth place. I think the former will come out on top with just over $5 million to just under $5 million. The Boss will finish with just over $50 million, meaning it just needs to cover its advertising budget on the home market to break even. BvS has pulled in a ton of cash, but cost even more to make, so it will need help from the rest of the Extended Universe to break even, and even that's a long shot.

Finally, there are three films opening in select theaters that have a shot at just over $1 million and tenth place. They are, in alphabetical order: Compadres, Elvis and Nixon, and A Hologram for the King. The latter two are earning good reviews, but not great reviews. Compadres, on the other hand, is earning mixed reviews, but not bad reviews. It is also aimed at a target demographic that tends to be under-served. I think it has the best shot at tenth place because of that.

- The Huntsman: Winter's War comparisons
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, The Jungle Book, A Hologram for the King, Elvis & Nixon, Zootopia, The Boss, Barbershop: The Next Cut, Compadres, DC Extended Universe