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Weekend Predictions: Will Justice Reign at the Box Office?

November 16th, 2017

Justice League

Justice League is hoping to be the biggest hit of the month, but two things could get in the way of that goal. Firstly, Thor: Ragnarok got off to a faster than expected start. Secondly, Justice League’s reviews are significantly weaker. There are two other films coming out this week, The Star and Wonder, both of whom are simply hoping not to be lost in a crowded marketplace. This crowded marketplace should help 2017 end its slump against 2016. This weekend last year, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opened in first place with just under $75 million, while there were three other films that earned between $10 million and $20 million. This year, Justice League should top $100 million with ease, while Thor: Ragnarok will earn more than $25 million. The top two films this year should do better than the top five films from last year and that should lead to 2017 earning a comfortable win over 2016 in the year-over-year comparison.

Justice League is the sixth super hero film to open wide this year. Sixth. The genre could crack $2 billion at the box office this year. Even more impressively, the previous five films all earned great reviews. Unfortunately, that streak has ended. Its reviews are not as bad as Batman v Superman’s were, but a Tomatometer Score of 38% positive and an average score of 5.3 out of 10 is hardly a selling point. That said, no film in the DCEU has opened with less than $100 million and I seriously doubt this film will be the first. In fact, given the buzz, it still has a shot at $125 million during its opening weekend. I think it is wise to be a little more cautious, but a $115 million opening is still a great start.

Thor: Ragnarok held on better than expected last weekend, in part due to its excellent reviews. Usually, films rebound a bit during their third weekend of release, when compared to the drop-off it suffered its second weekend of release. However, I don’t think that’s going to be the case this time, because Thor: Ragnarok has to deal with some strong direct competition. It should still do well, pulling in about $25 million over the weekend.

Wonder has had a rough time getting to theaters with three screenwriters attached to the film at different times and two directors. It was even pushed back from April till November. Now that it is coming out in theaters, its box office chances actually look good. The film’s reviews are good and getting better. Its Tomatometer Score is over 80% and its average has climbed above 7 out of 10. That average isn’t fantastic, but it since the film’s average was well-below 7 most of the day, it is a significant improvement. Its family friendly nature could help it do well this weekend and especially over Thanksgiving helping it become a midlevel hit. A $16 million opening weekend is good start to that goal.

Murder on the Orient Express opened below Daddy’s Home 2, but is it holding up a lot better during the week. This is in part due to its reviews and due to its target audience. This gives it a slight advantage this weekend and I think it will earn fourth place with $16 million during its second weekend of release.

Daddy’s Home 2 managed to grab second place last weekend, but has had difficulties during the week and will likely finish in fifth place with $14 million. The third, fourth, and fifth place films are close enough that they should switch places over the weekend.

The Star is a third-tier animated film with two bigger wide releases to deal with. Its reviews are fine at 72% positive and an average of 6.3 out of 10. That enough that it won’t hurt its box office numbers, but not enough to boost its box office chances either. The lack of buzz is going to hurt it enough to keep it out of the top five with between $7 million and $8 million.

- Justice League Comparisons
- Wonder Comparisons
- The Star Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Star, Justice League, Wonder, Thor: Ragnarok, Murder on the Orient Express, Daddy’s Home 2, DC Extended Universe
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