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Weekend Predictions: Will Star Trek go Above and Beyond the Competition?

July 21st, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond leads a pack of three wide releases this weekend and there are some who think it will have the best live-action release since Captain America: Civil War. That would be great news for the overall box office. Ice Age: Collision Course has to deal with direct competition and terrible reviews, but it should still do relatively well thanks to goodwill its franchise has built up. The final new release of the week is Lights Out. This low-budget horror film won’t need to earn $20 million over the weekend to break even, but there’s a slim chance it will. In fact, The Secret Life of Pets should easily add another $20 million to its running tally, and Ghostbusters has a good shot at doing the same. So we could have five films earning $20 million over the weekend for the first time in a year. We should have three films earning more than $25 million. Meanwhile this weekend last year, there were no films that earned more than $25 million. Hopefully 2016 will win the year-over-year competition with ease.

Star Trek Beyond is the third film in the franchise reboot. The first two movies both earned stellar reviews for reasons I can’t quite understand. This film’s reviews are also stellar at 93% positive, but I’ve heard some reports than it feels more like a movie-length episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, especially compared to the previous two movies. I hope this is true, but I really want this franchise to get back to its roots. The buzz is better than any live-action release since X-Men: Apocalypse. I don’t think it will have as big of an opening day, but I think it will have a better internal multiplier and open with $66 million. This could be irrational exuberance clouding my judgment, so keep that in mind.

Ice Age: Collision Course is the fifth film in the franchise, a franchise that started more than a decade ago. Most of the installments in the franchise earned great reviews, but that is not the case here. At the moment, its Tomatometer Score is a mere 15% positive. Additionally, the previous installment missed expectations at the box office, at least domestically. Most analysts think the film will have the worst opening in the franchise. I agree with this and think it will open with $35 million. This should still be enough to reach $100 million domestically, which is very likely as much as it cost to make.

The Secret Life of Pets will be pushed into third place with $33 million over the weekend pushing its running tally to $265 million. It remains on pace to reach $300 million and could even get to $350 million before its run is over. It depends on how long theater owners will book it before upcoming releases chase it away.

Ghostbusters has a lot going for it, including great reviews. Additionally, Paul Feig’s films tend to stick around in theaters a long time. On the other hand, nearly every live-action film with a $100 million or more budget to come out this summer has fallen 58% or 59% during its sophomore stint. A couple of them have done worse (X-Men: Apocalypse and Warcraft) while only The Legend of Tarzan has done better falling just 45%. I don’t think Ghostbusters will do as well as Tarzan did, but I think it will do better than most, down 55% to $21 million.

The final wide release of the week is Lights Out, a horror film about a malevolent spirit that can only be seen when the lights are out. This sounds like a great setup for a creepy film, and if the reviews are to be trusted, the execution lives up to the setup. Unfortunately, horror films rarely have breakout success at the box office and most can only hope to become a midlevel hit. Fortunately, this looks like it could be one of the rare exceptions. It has a small shot at $20 million, but I think a $16 million opening is more likely. This means it will very likely make more during its opening day than its $5 million production budget.

- Star Trek Beyond Comparisons
- Ice Age: Collision Course Comparisons
- Lights Out Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Ghostbusters, Warcraft, The Secret Life of Pets, X-Men: Apocalypse, Ice Age: Collision Course, Captain America: Civil War, The Legend of Tarzan, Lights Out, Star Trek Beyond, Star Trek, Ice Age, Paul Feig