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Weekend Predictions: Thor Looks to Dominate Newcomers

November 9th, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

After last week’s debut, Thor: Ragnarok should have no trouble repeating in first place, but we do have two new releases that should be in a battle for second. Murder on the Orient Express had a strong opening in the U.K. and that bodes well for its opening this weekend. On the other hand, Daddy’s Home 2’s box office potential is moving in the other direction. As I started writing this, there were still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This weekend last year, Doctor Strange led the way with $42.97 million. Thor: Ragnarok should top that by around $10 million. Likewise, this week’s new releases should top last year’s new releases. However, last year had a lot better depth. Last year, every film in the top ten earned more than $3 million. This year, I’m not sure the fifth place film will earn more than $3 million. I fear 2017 will lose yet again in the year-over-year comparison.

Thor: Ragnarok opened with $122.74 million, making it the seventh biggest film in the MCU. Normally being the seventh biggest opening in a franchise would be a major insult; however, the MCU isn’t your normal franchise. As for this film’s legs, we have some good news and some bad news. Doctor Strange fell just 49%, which is the absolute best case scenario for Thor: Ragnarok. On the other extreme, it is a sequel to a comic book movie and these tend to be front-loaded. It could fall significantly more than 60% during its sophomore stint. Its 93% positive reviews and its A from CinemaScore strongly suggest its legs will be on the longer side and I’m going with $56 million during its sophomore stint putting it well past $200 million after just ten days of release.

Murder on the Orient Express earned $6.51 million in 618 theaters during its first place debut in its native U.K. Since the domestic market is between five and six times larger than the U.K. market, that’s equivalent to a $35 million opening here. However, while the star power and the reviews make a $35 million opening possible, Agatha Christie isn’t as popular here as she is in her home country. Even getting to $30 million during its opening weekend would be impressive. I think it will come relatively close with $27 million, which is a decent opening for a film that cost $55 million to make. If it can get a boost from Thanksgiving and do well internationally, then it will break even early in its home market run.

Daddy’s Home 2 finally got its first review on Rotten Tomatoes and not only is it negative, it is aggressively negative. There’s almost no chance that this film will live up to the original at the box office; in fact, it likely won’t get halfway there. It should still be in a race for second place with about $25 million, meaning it will likely finish its domestic run with nearly as much as it cost to make, $70 million.

A Bad Moms Christmas opened on Wednesday, so it should have a better hold than most films do. That said, its reviews were only 29% positive, while it managed a B from CinemaScore, so it won’t have great legs. Look for $9 million over the weekend for a two-week total of over $35 million.

Jigsaw will round out the top five with $3 million, more or less. I think the film will break even, but it won’t make enough to justify another installment in the Saw franchise. The film went from the biggest horror franchise around to an afterthought for horror fans.

- Murder on the Orient Express Comparisons
- Daddy’s Home 2 Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Thor: Ragnarok, Murder on the Orient Express, Jigsaw, A Bad Moms Christmas, Daddy’s Home 2, Saw, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agatha Christie