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Weekend Predictions: Will the Patriots Win the Weekend? Or Will Hidden Remain Up Front?

January 12th, 2017

Patriots Day

Six films are opening or expanding this weekend, which have a shot at the top ten. However, only one of them, Patriots Day, has a real shot at first place. In fact, it might be the only “new” film in the top five. The biggest wide release of the week is Monster Trucks, which is opening in 2,800 theaters. I didn’t see that coming. [Ed.: The final announced theater count for Monster Trucks is an even more impressive 3,119] Meanwhile, Sleepless is only opening in 1,800 theaters, while Silence is expanding into 750 theaters. We still haven’t mentioned all of the new films. As for holdovers, Hidden Figures has a real shot at first place, while La La Land should get a boost from its Awards Season success. This weekend last year, Ride Along 2 opened with just over $35 million over the three-day weekend. There’s no film that will match that figure during the four-day weekend. On the positive side, there were only four films that earned more than $10 million during the three-day weekend and this year we should have five. That’s not enough to win in the year-over-year competition. It likely won’t even be close.

Hidden Figures picked up a couple more Awards Seasons nominations and that should give it a boost at the box office. In fact, it might earn more over four days this weekend than it earned last weekend. That’s probably too optimistic, but it looks like it will come close with just under $22 million.

Patriots Day is leading the way on Fandango; however, its target audience is more likely to buy tickets online than Hidden Figures’ target audience would be. Its reviews are also not as good and it has made no headway during Awards Season, so it very likely won’t have the same internal multiplier. Look for it to earn first place on Friday, but slip to second place over the full weekend with just over $21 million.

Sing is the only family film still in the top ten, so it should benefit from the lack of direct competition over the long weekend. Look for just under $17 million over the weekend, giving it $237 million in total. This is enough to put it in the top ten for 2016.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story should be right behind with $16 million. This will be enough to get it to $500 million domestically, but it will have to wait till Monday to hit that milestone.

La La Land continues to impress during Awards Season dominating the Golden Globes and earning nearly a dozen BAFTA nominations. This should help it expand a little more this week and that in turn will help it earn fifth place with between $12 million and $13 million over the weekend. At this pace, it will earn more than $100 million domestically, making it one of the few brightspots in a dismal year for Lionsgate.

We’ve finished the top five and we still have five more wide releases / wide expansions to talk about. Strangely, Monster Trucks could be the best of the rest. It is opening in 2,800 theaters, more than any of the other films, while its reviews are better than expected. ... Yes, I just described a movie with 23% positive reviews as better than expected. I’m having trouble coming up with a prediction, as I’m still not sure who the target audience for this film is. That suggests it will struggle earning less than $10 million over the weekend. However, there’s a chance its target audience might actually be into the movie, giving it a shot at the top five with $14 million over the four-day weekend. I’m going with just over $10 million from Friday through Monday.

This is a little better than The Bye Bye Man’s box office prospects. The film is a low-budget horror movie opening in 2,300 theaters. Its reviews are only 18% positive and the more or less direct competition from last weekend could hurt it this weekend. Look for a seventh place opening with just under $10 million. This should be enough to break even sometime during its home market run. That’s the benefit of having a low budget.

Something went horrible wrong with Sleepless. It is only playing in 1,800 theaters and there are still no reviews. Add in the massive competition and there’s very little chance this film will be a box office hit. It likely won’t pull in more than $9 million during the weekend and will quickly disappear from theaters after that.

Live by Night is expanding into 2,700 theaters on Friday, but I don’t think it’s going to work out. Last weekend, the film earned a theater average of less than $7,000 and I seriously doubt it will make half of that when it expands. Its reviews are not going to help its word-of-mouth and there’s far too much competition. I’m going with $8 million over the weekend, but there’s some wiggle room here.

Finally, we have Silence, which will be playing in 750 theaters on Friday. The film’s reviews are 85% positive, but that still hasn’t been enough to earn any Awards Season buzz. With so much direct competition from Awards Season players, I fear this film will slip between the cracks. That said, it will only need to earn between $3 million and $4 million to earn a spot in the top ten. It should at least get close.

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Silence, Monster Trucks, Live by Night, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Bye Bye Man, Sing, Patriots Day, La La Land, Underworld: Blood Wars, Hidden Figures, Sleepless