May 29th, 2017
Last week was amazing for this time of year with three top-tier releases. This week, the best first-run release is Before I Fall, which deserves to be seen by more, but there are no extras, so it is not a Pick of the Week contender. The actual contenders are limited to The Blackcoat’s Daughter and Ghost World: The Criterion Collection. It isn’t close as to which one comes out on top.
March 21st, 2017
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.
March 17th, 2017
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.
March 14th, 2017
Kong: Skull Island dominated the box office earning $61.03 million over the weekend. This is much better than predicted and this if reports are true, this is because it was a huge hit with families. Skull Island’s success hurt Logan, which fell to second place with $38.11 million over the weekend. Overall, the box office fell 13% from last weekend, but that’s still 22% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date is even more impressive. Back-to-back wins for 2017 has cut 2016’s lead to 0.8% at just $17 million. If Beauty and the Beast does as well as some expect it to do, 2017 could take the lead by the end of this coming weekend.
March 9th, 2017
There’s only one new release this week, Kong: Skull Island, which should earn first place on the box office chart. Probably. Logan isn’t too far back as far as box office tracking and might repeat in first place. In order to do this, Logan would either have to hold on a lot better than most comic book movies do and / or Kong would have to miss expectations. This weekend last year, there were four wide releases; however, they only managed a little more than $35 million combined. Kong: Skull Island should top that with ease and that’s good news for 2017. Unfortunately, Zootopia earned more than $50 million and that will likely be out of reach for Kong, so 2017 will need to rely on its depth to win in the year-over-year competition. I’m optimistic that will happen.
March 7th, 2017
The weekend belonged to Logan, as it opened with $88.41 million and easily earned first place. Second place went to Get Out, which held on far better than anticipated, while The Shack is on pace to become a midlevel hit. There was almost nothing but good news. Almost. Overall, the box office rose 53% from last weekend, earning $189 million. More importantly, the it was 16% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2017 is still behind 2016; however, that gap was nearly cut in half from its peak just a couple of weeks ago. 2017 is now behind by 2.7% at $1.92 billion to $1.97 billion. If 2017 can put together a few more weeks like this, then it could climb into the lead before April begins. That is a big “if” and I would be satisfied with cutting the gap in half by the end of the month.
March 5th, 2017
Logan is turning out to be everything Fox hoped for this weekend, with excellent reviews and a massive $85.3 million opening to kick off the Spring box office season. The film’s debut is a notable $20 million ahead of X-Men: Apocalypse’s $65.8 million last Summer. The only way to make it look anything less than stellar is to match it up against giants like Deadpool (which opened with $132 million in February last year), and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which holds the March weekend record of $166 million.
March 3rd, 2017
As expected, Logan got off to a fast start, earning $9.5 million from its Thursday preview shows. This is better than the most recent super hero movie managed, as Doctor Strange pulled in $9.4 million during its previews last November. However, it is weaker than the $12.7 million Deadpool earned around this time last year. This is almost perfectly in line with expectations and with 93% positive reviews, an $85 million opening seems likely at this point.
March 2nd, 2017
The first weekend of March has three wide releases, but the one everyone is talking about is Logan. It should become the biggest hit of the year so far. The other two releases are The Shack, a faith-based film, and Before I Fall, which is essentially Groundhog Day set in high school. Neither film is expected to compete for top spot. In fact, it would be a surprise if both landed in the top five. As far as holdovers are concerned, only Get Out has a shot at $20 million, while only The Lego Batman Movie will earn more than $10 million. This weekend last year, Zootopia led the way with just over $75 million, while the other two new releases earned less than $30 million combined. 2017 will be bigger on top, won’t have as strong new releases overall, but should have about the same depth.
March 1st, 2017
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.
February 24th, 2017
While there are three wide releases coming out next week, only one of them, Logan, is earning any real buzz. In fact, it is likely Logan will have the biggest opening of the year and could earn more during its opening day than either Before I Fall or The Shack earn in total. Because of this, it is the only sensible 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 Logan.
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!
January 13th, 2017
Drama starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Radha Mitchell opens March 3 ... Full Movie Details.