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Weekend Predictions: Will Thor Rule, or is it the End of World for the Box Office?

November 2nd, 2017

Jigsaw

November begins with Thor: Ragnarok and A Bad Moms Christmas. Thor: Ragnarok is widely expected to be the sixth film of 2017 to open with $100 million. On the other hand, A Bad Moms Christmas opened yesterday and when I started writing this in the early hours of Thursday morning, there were still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Oh boy. That’s not a good sign. Worse still, no other new release it going to come close to $10 million over the weekend. This weekend last year, there were three wide releases that earned more than $10 million, led by Doctor Strange with $85 million. Thor: Ragnarok will top that, but this year's depth is terrible compared to last year and we will very likely see yet another loss in the year-over-year comparison.

Thor: Ragnarok is the 17th film in the MCU. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. ... Good? Okay. The previous two films in this franchise opened early this year and made a combined $700 million domestically and $1.7 billion worldwide. This film likely won’t match those two films, but it should come close enough to keep the studio more than happy. There are a number of reasons to expect this film to be a monster hit. Firstly, the history of the MCU. Since The Avengers came out, only one film earned less than $200 million. Three of the last four films have opened with more than $100 million. Secondly, the film’s reviews are amazing at 96% positive with an average score of 7.6 out of 10. This is one of the best scores for any wide release that has come out this year. Finally, the competition is really weak. There is not a lot of crossover appeal between this film and A Bad Moms Christmas, while none of the holdovers is expected to earn close to $10 million. All of this adds up to a monster hit and we’re predicting $104 million.

A Bad Moms Christmas opened on Wednesday, but as of Thursday morning, there were still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This is actually worse than if there were bad reviews that came out the day before the film was released. Now that critics have seen it, only 27% are giving it a positive review. I was expecting a Tomatometer score of between 40% and 50%. I’m thinking my assessment in the November preview was much too kind and it might struggle to crack $20 million over five days rather than earning $20 million over three days, as I was assuming it would do. Look for $16 million over the weekend, for a $21 million five-day debut.

Jigsaw will be pushed into third place, this much is certain. The only question is how fast will it fall. It is a horror film with weak reviews and it is the latest installment of the long-running Saw franchise. Those three elements usually add up to a sharp decline. Falling more than 60% is almost a sure thing. Falling 70% is a real possibility. Splitting the difference gets us a sophomore stint of just under $6 million.

Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween should be close behind with $5 million for a three-week total of just over $53 million. It will finish with just over $60 million domestically, which is almost exactly average for the franchise.

Geostorm and Happy Death Day should be in a race for fifth place with between $2 million and $3 million. The last time a film earned a spot in the top five with less than $3 million was Gone Girl in 2014 and only four films have managed that feat in the past decade.

- Thor: Ragnarok Comparisons
- A Bad Moms Christmas Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Geostorm, Thor: Ragnarok, Jigsaw, A Bad Moms Christmas, Happy Death Day, Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Saw, Madea, Marvel Cinematic Universe
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