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Weekend Predictions: Can Annabelle Scare the Box Office to Life?

August 10th, 2017

Annabelle: Creation

Unless Annabelle: Creation is a $30 million hit, it is safe to say summer ended a couple of weeks ago. The film has about a 50/50 chance of getting there. The Nut Job: Nutty by Nature is widely expected set a record this week, but not a good one. Finally there’s The Glass Castle, which is only opening semi-wide. Overall, the box office looks weak compared to this weekend last year. Sausage Party opened with $34.26 million, which is more than any film this year will make. Worse still, Suicide Squad won the weekend with $43.54 million. 2017 is going to lose to 2016 in the year-over-year comparison by at least $43.54 million.

Annabelle: Creation is the sequel to Annabelle, which in turn was a spin-off of The Conjuring. Annabelle earned terrible reviews. The early reviews for Annabelle: Creation were amazing: the first 15 were 100% positive. Unfortunately, since then the reviews are been about 60% positive, leading to a 70% positive Tomatometer Score. This is still good for this time of year, but not good enough to overcome the negative reviews of the first film and I suspect there will be a significant drop-off at the box office. It could still open with just over $30 million, but I think just under $30 million is more likely. Again, that’s good for this time of year, but it is not enough to be a real summer hit.

Dunkirk will likely remain in second place with just over $11 million over the weekend for a total of $155 million. It is starting to lose theaters at a significant pace, but it will remain in wide release for a few more weeks, which will help it climb close to $200 million domestically.

The Nut Job: Nutty by Nature is opening in just over 4,000 theaters this weekend, which is a lot more than anticipated. Unfortunately, this just means it is very likely going to break the record for worst opening for an ultrawide release. The current record-holder is The Emoji Movie, which broke the record set by The Mummy earlier this summer. The film’s early reviews are a little better than the reviews earned by the original. However, we are talking about 10% positive vs. 20% positive, so it hardly matters. There’s a chance the film will earn second place with more than $13 million, but it could also open below $10 million. Let’s go with just under $11 million.

So far this year, half of the films that opened in first place have fallen more than 60% during their sophomore stint. The Dark Tower’s reviews are so bad that there’s very little chance it will outperform the average, which leaves the film with between $7 million and $8 million during its second weekend of release. I’ve seen calculations that concluded the film would need to make about $120 million worldwide to break even sometime on the home market. That feels about right. Additionally, so far this year, most big hits have made about twice as much money internationally as they have domestically, so the film will only need about $40 million in North America to break even eventually. If the film earns $7 million over the weekend, it will be on pace for about $45 million domestically. It’s too early to tell where it will finish internationally, but this is a good sign.

Girls Trip should round out the top five with close to $7 million. That won’t be enough to get to $100 million over the weekend, but it will be very close.

The final release of the week is The Glass Castle. The film has an award-worthy cast and it based on a real life story, but its reviews are only mixed and it is only playing on about 1,500 theaters. That’s not a good sign. There’s a chance it will opening below the Mendoza Line. Anything more than $5 million will be seen as a success.

- Annabelle: Creation Comparisons
- The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Comparisons
- The Glass Castle Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Dark Tower, The Mummy, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Dunkirk, The Glass Castle, The Emoji Movie, Annabelle: Creation, Girls Trip