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Weekend Predictions: The Last Jedi Looks to Top The Last Weekend of 2017

December 28th, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

As per usual, the weekend after Christmas has no new wide releases. This means there will be almost no changes in the top five from last weekend, meaning Star Wars: The Last Jedi will win with ease, while Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be in a comfortable second place. This weekend last year, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Sing were neck-and-neck with just over $90 million combined. The Last Jedi and Jumanji should top that, giving 2017 one last win in the year-over-year comparison.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will remain on top of the box office chart this weekend. The only question is whether or not it will grow compared to last weekend. On the one hand, it is a heavily-hyped blockbuster and those tend to be more front-loaded than the average film. On the other hand, the last time Christmas Eve landed on a Sunday was 2006 and that year the all but one film in the top ten grew by more than 10% the following weekend. Given the film’s reviews and its A from CinemaScore, I suspect it will have a little growth, or at worse, slide a couple of percent. This gives the film a range from just under $70 million to just over $75 million. I’m going with $72 million over the three-day weekend. It should also earn a little more than $20 million on New Year’s Day, for a $94 million four-day weekend.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has become a hit with teens and families and that helped it top $100 million on Wednesday. It is also a great sign for the weekend and it could earn over $40 million during the three-date weekend and nearly $60 million including New Year’s Day. I’m not quite that bullish, but I think just under $40 million / just over $50 million is a solid goal to reach. This will put the film on pace for over $200 million domestically, which is more than enough to warrant another sequel.

Pitch Perfect 3 missed expectations last weekend, but thanks to the holidays, it is still on pace to hit $100 million domestically. A respectable gain of close to 20% this weekend will go a long way in helping it reach that milestone. Look for $22 million over the three-day weekend and nearly $30 million including Monday. This is the end of the franchise, but if it does hit $100 million domestically, I can see the studio making a direct-to-DVD series out of the franchise, in the same way Bring It On has lasted nearly 20 years and counting.

The Greatest Showman cost $84 million to make and it is nowhere near close to paying that off. At this point, it would take a minor miracle to break even by the time it reaches the tertiary market. (This includes hotels and airplanes.) The only way this movie breaks even any time soon, is if it becomes a really popular live production and it pulls in tens of millions of dollars for the licensing rights to the songs. It will still bounce back from its opening weekend earning fourth place with just over $11 million / just under $15 million this weekend. Unfortunately, its theater average is low enough that it will lose a lot of theaters by the time MLK long weekend roles around.

There’s some good news for Ferdinand. The last time the holidays were aligned like this was 2006 and the film Ferdinand most resembles from that year is Charlotte’s Web. That film grew 54% during the three-day portion of the weekend. I don’t think Ferdinand will match that growth, because the market has changed over the past decade, but it could grow by more than 40%, giving it a real shot at fourth place over the three-day weekend with just over $10 million. As a family film, it won’t do as well on Monday, but it could still earn $13 million over the four-day weekend.

- Star Wars: The Last Jedi Comparisons
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Comparisons
- Pitch Perfect 3 Comparisons
- The Greatest Showman Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Greatest Showman, Ferdinand, Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi, Pitch Perfect 3, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Bring It On, Pitch Perfect
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