Explores a twisted social experiment, in which a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá and ordered by an unknown voice on an intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
Our predictions for Beauty and the Beast was higher than average, but even we underestimated the film’s weekend box office numbers. It fell just 48% to $90.43 million, which was more than double the second place film, Power Rangers. This one-two punch helped the overall box office earn $202 million, but this was 23% lower than last weekend. It was also 20% lower than the same weekend last year. Granted, this weekend last year was the weekend Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice debuted, so a decline like this was expected. Year-to-date, 2017 has earned $2.75 billion, putting it 6.7% or $170 million ahead of last year’s pace.
Beauty and the Beast was expected to break records during its opening weekend, but its final tally of $174.75 million is still impressive, even compared to the expectations. The rest of the box office wasn’t hurt as badly as one would predict given the explosive hit at the top and that helped the overall box office grow by 59% to $261 million. This is almost double what it was this weekend last year. More importantly, this was enough to put 2017 in the lead in the year-over-year comparison. At the end of the weekend, 2017 had earned $2.39 billion, compared to $2.30 billion for 2016. Granted, this is partially due to a misalignment of monster hits, as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened the following weekend last year. That said, I really don’t think 2017 will fall behind given its current $95 million lead.
As expected, Beauty and the Beast earned first place on Friday. Its performance was a little better than expected, with Disney’s movie earning $63.79 million. To put this into perspective, this is more than Kong: Skull Island earned during its opening weekend. There are some confusing elements to deal with. Firstly, the reviews improved to 71% positive, which is still lower than anticipated, but good enough to not hurt the film’s legs. Additionally, it earned a solid A from CinemaScore. Strangely, the demographics changed, with women representing 72% of Friday’s audiences. That’s up from just under 60% during Thursday’s previews and a lot of times it goes in the other direction. So what does this mean for the future? The film just needs an internal multiplier above 2.6 to become the biggest March opening of all time. That seems very likely at this point. In fact, anything less than $175 million will be seen as a little disappointing.
Beauty and the Beast had the best previews of the year so far, earning $16.3 million during midnight shows last night. This tops Logan’s $9.5 million, which was the previous record holder. More impressively, it is better than Cinderella’s, The Jungle Book’s, and Maleficent’s combined previews of $10.7 million. Judging where it goes from here is a little tougher, on the other hand. Its reviews are good, but not amazing, while its demographics are more balanced than I expected. The audience was mostly women, but less than 60% overall. Cinderella had a 77% female audience. Also, there was a wide range of age groups among the audience, meaning it wasn’t just families going with their kids, but adults who grew up on the original movie. We predicted $168 million for the weekend, and that could be a little too conservative after this result. I’m not going to change the prediction just yet, but if Friday is big, then we will be forced to readjust our outlook.
Beauty and the Beast was always expected to be the biggest hit of the month. Now the prevailing wisdom has the film becoming the biggest March opening of all time. Even if it doesn’t match the high end of expectations, it is widely expected to earn more than the entire box office did this weekend last year. On the downside, The Belko Experiment isn’t expected to open in the top five, in fact, it could miss the Mendoza Line. Furthermore, holdovers like Kong: Skull Island and Logan will take a beating at the box office. Overall, the news looks great and 2017 should actually get ahead of 2016 for the first time all year.
Like this weekend, there is only one truly wide release next weekend: Beauty and the Beast. The Belko Experiment is opening in just 1,200 theaters and it looks like T2: Transpotting is opening in even fewer theaters, 5 to be exact. Because it is the only truly wide release of the week, it is the only choice for the target film in this week’s box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Beauty and the Beast.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprise consisting of their choice of either one TV on DVD release, two movies, or a kids package (could be a theatrical release, a couple of single-disc TV on DVD releases, or a full season TV on DVD release).
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize, as described above.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will win the final Frankenprize, as described above.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
February was an okay month. The films that missed expectations were mostly balanced by the films that were pleasant surprises. Unfortunately, last February was amazing as Deadpool dominated the chart, so 2017 has fallen further behind 2016 and 2016’s lead is now about $100 million. It is not so bad that a good March won’t help 2017 back into the lead. Will that happen? We have some good news and some bad news. Good news: Every week there is one movie that has at least a shot at $100 million. Two of them, Logan and Beauty and the Beast, could reach $200 million or a lot more. Bad News: last March, both Zootopia and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earned more than $300 million. That’s a really powerful one-two punch and I don’t think we can replicate that this time around. On the other hand, last March, the third best film of the month was 10 Cloverfield Lane, while there were four films that were expected to open wide that earned less than $10 million at the box office. 2017 likely won’t be as good at the top, but I also don’t think it will have as many bombs either. If Beauty and the Beast reaches the very high end of expectations, then 2017 could even close the gap with 2016 entirely. I’ll be happy getting halfway there.
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