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Weekend Predictions: Will Girl be the Rebirth of the Box Office?

October 6th, 2016

The Girl on the Train

October begins with a trio of wide releases, led by The Girl on the Train. The film’s reviews are mixed, which is not ideal, but also not fatal. The Birth of a Nation was looking to become an Awards Season player, but its reviews are not quite at that level. Finally there’s Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. There are still no reviews and the buzz is as quiet as you can get for a wide release. This weekend last year, the only wide release was Pan and it bombed hard. However, The Martian remained on top with $37.01 million over the weekend. There’s almost no way The Girl on the Train will match that and last year had better depth as well. 2016’s slump will continue.

The Girl on the Train is a thriller starring Emily Blunt as a woman who may or may not have killed her ex-husband’s new mistress while blackout drunk. The film’s reviews are mixed at just 51% positive. That shouldn’t hurt its box office chances, but it certainly won’t help either. The film is a thriller aimed at more mature women, which means it likely won’t have a massive opening, but it could have better than average legs. I would love to see the film grab $30 million over the weekend, as we could use some good news at the box office. However, I think $27 million is more likely. This is still a very good start for this time of year.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children opened in first place last weekend and did so in a way that suggests it is appealing to families more than adult Tim Burton fans. If this is true, then the film should hold on rather well. I’m expecting a 45% drop-off, which would give the film close to $16 million this weekend. That should be enough for a solid second place.

Deepwater Horizon will likely fall close to 50% earning $11 million over the weekend. This isn’t bad for a September release, but it is terrible for a film that cost $156 million to make. Even with tax breaks and international sales, it seems unlikely that Lionsgate will recoup their loses on this film.

The Birth of a Nation is an historical drama that looks at the real-life slave uprising. This has Awards Season written all over it. It has been earning reviews that are good enough to pick up nominations, but likely not good enough to earn wins. As for the film’s box office chances, they are not as good as its Awards Season chances. 12 Years a Slave had more star power, louder buzz, and better reviews and it never reached the top five in its run. The Birth of a Nation would have to really struggle to not open in the top five, while it has a shot at third place with just over $12 million. I think fourth place and $10 million is more likely.

Storks should round out the top five with between $8 million and $9 million. It is on pace to reach $70 million, barely, which is how much it cost to make. It will need to make more than that internationally if it wants to break even any time soon.

Live action kids movies rarely have a lot of pre-release buzz. However, even with that low bar, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is failing to make the grade. There are still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Granted, pre-teens don’t tend to read reviews, so this likely won’t affect them, but their parents do. The lack of reviews could therefore result in weaker ticket sales. The film only needs $9 million to open in the top five, while other similar films like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Alexander and the Terrible.......Day earned $22 million and $18 million respectively. The film could earn barely more than half of that and still be battling for third place. Sadly, that seems out of reach. Fifth place with $9 million is much more likely, but I’m going with sixth place and $8 million. Anything less than $7 million will be seen as another miss for Lionsgate in what is already a really bad year.

- The Girl on the Train Comparisons
- The Birth of a Nation Comparisons
- Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Deepwater Horizon, The Birth of a Nation, Storks, The Girl on the Train, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, Emily Blunt, Tim Burton