Follow us on

Weekend Predictions: Old Movies Ring Out the New Year

December 29th, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The weekend after Christmas Day is usually a boring weekend with no wide releases to speak of. On the other hand, we do have a monster hit to keep track of, as well as some Awards Season hopefuls that are expanding significantly and could make the top ten. Of course, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will win this weekend and it should in fact grow from last weekend, because Christmas Eve is a dead zone at the box office. Likewise, Sing should grow even better, as it is the last weekend for families to hit theaters before school starts. Some of the other films that debuted last week are not looking so good. This weekend last year was actually the first weekend of 2016, which makes it harder to compare the two weekends. Again, we need to switch to the Strowbrinian Calendar that I mentioned at the end of the December Preview. The Force Awakens earned just over $90 million and while Rogue One won’t match that, it should be closer than most were expecting.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will finish its threepeat earning first place at the box office. It should grow compared to last weekend, as it won’t have to deal with Christmas Eve. Even a small bump will give it more than $65 million, while it wouldn’t be that shocking to see it grab $75 million over the weekend. I think the low end is a little more likely and I’m going with $68 million over the weekend for a three-week total of over $440 million. At this pace, getting to $500 million and becoming the biggest hit of 2016 is trivial. On a side note, I’ve seen every film in the top ten this year, except Rogue One, at least at the moment. There are two things that could make this change. Firstly, Doctor Strange is currently in tenth place, but it likely won’t stay there and I haven’t seen any of the three films with a shot at replacing it. Secondly, I might see Rogue One this weekend, if I get the monthly preview nearly wrapped up by Friday night.

Sing should have the best growth this weekend. When The Adventures of Tintin was released at Christmas in 2011, it didn’t win over audiences, but it still grew by 18%. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 grew by 56% during the same weekend in its run. I don’t think Sing will rise 56%, but a 30% increase would put it in the Chipwrecked range and I think that’s likely. Since it made $35.26 million last weekend, a 30% increase would give it $46 million this weekend. That would be enough to push it to nearly $170 million over the weekend, putting it on pace to reach $200 million and possibly even land in the top ten for 2016. That will depend on how long in lasts in theaters in January. There’s no real direct competition until Lego Batman opens, so its legs could be very long.

Normally films improve during the weekend after Christmas, especially when Christmas Eve lands somewhere during the weekend. However, that will likely not be the case for Passengers, as its reviews are just 31% positive and its got a mere B from CinemaScore. Granted, it likely won’t collapse, but it could see a single-digit decline with just over $13 million this weekend. This should still be enough for third place, on the other hand, it is a disaster for a film that cost $110 million to make.

Fences should nearly double its take from last weekend, because last weekend it was only playing wide on Sunday. That would give it just over $13 million this weekend, putting it in a virtual tie for third place with Passengers. Fortunately for Fences, it cost a fraction to make when compared to Passengers and its reviews and Awards Season success will help it stick around in theaters till February.

Why Him? will have a very small bump this weekend for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a bad movie. Secondly, it is in its sophomore stint and films usually fall fastest during their second weekend, unless they see a massive drop in theater counts a week later. Finally, unlike the other films in the sophomore class, this one opened on Friday, so it didn’t have weekday numbers to dampen its weekend box office. I still think it will grow, but only a little bit to $12 million.

Moana will miss the top five with just over $10 million during the three-day weekend. This will be enough to push it past $200 million domestically, which is more than enough to be considered a financial hit. Add in its international numbers and it will break even before it reaches the home market.

Assassin’s Creed might be the only film in the top ten to actually lose ground in the week-to-week basis. Its reviews are already hurting its daily numbers. That said, it is still not going to collapse, because of how the holidays line up, but $10 million over the weekend is a disaster for a movie that cost $125 million to make.

- Sing Comparisons
- Passengers Comparisons
- Assassin’s Creed Comparisons
- Why Him? Comparisons
- Fences Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Passengers, Assassin’s Creed, Moana, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Doctor Strange, Sing, Why Him?, Fences