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Weekend Predictions: Paddington and Post take on Jumanji over MLK Long Weekend

January 11th, 2018

Paddington 2

It is the first long weekend of 2018 and we have four films trying to take advantage of the MLK holiday. However, only Paddington 2 and The Post have a real shot at box office success. The Commuter’s buzz is so quiet that its box office chances have taken a real hit. Worse still, Sony’s treatment of Proud Mary is almost bizarre. I’ve seen limited releases with more marketing push than Proud Mary is getting. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s legs will likely remain really long, helping it repeat as box office champion. More importantly, it should help the 2018 box office get a sizable win in the year-over-year comparison. This weekend last year, there were seven films that earned more than $10 million over the long weekend, but only one film, Hidden Figures, earned more than $20 million. This year, not only will we match that number of $10 million films, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle should top $30 million, while Paddington 2 and The Post should top $20 million.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is on pace to earn just over $30 million over the weekend, putting it on pace for $290 million by the end of business on Monday. The film is already among the top ten domestic releases of 2017 and has a real short at the top five.

Paddington 2 still has 100% positive reviews and it even earned a couple of BAFTA Nominations. Furthermore, the first film earned $25 million during its four-day weekend and had very good legs, suggesting its target audience will fondly remember it, and that this film could open even faster. On the other hand, Paddington 2 hasn’t lived up to Paddington in many international markets. I’m a little more bullish that most, but I think it will earn $26 million over the four-day weekend.

The Post is clearly Oscar-bait, but while it has stunning reviews, it hasn’t been able to be a real contender during Awards Season. It was shut out at the Golden Globes and wasn’t able to grab a single nomination at the BAFTAs. This will likely hurt its box office chances. That said, its theater average was amazing last weekend, so earning at least $20 million over four days seems likely this weekend. I’m going with $22 million.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi should be next with $15 million over four days. It won’t get to $600 million domestically by the end of the weekend, but it will be very close.

Insidious: The Last Key should be next with $13 million over the four-day weekend. Its one-week total will be more than a lot of people expected it to finish with, so it just needs to avoid a complete collapse to guarantee it will become a box office success. Granted, horror films tend to have short legs, but the lack of direct competition should help.

The Commuter is the latest action film starring Liam Neeson. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear it will live up to his previous films. Its reviews started out well, but have since slipped to just 53% positive. Additionally, the buzz is really quiet and I don’t think audiences are excited to see this movie. Finally, there’s too much competition to deal with.

Proud Mary doesn’t look like it’s a bad movie, but Sony is treating it like they know it will bomb. There have been no critic screenings and the ad campaign is nearly non-existent. This is what we call a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think the film will struggle to reach $10 million over the four-day weekend. However, it is important to mention that most people are more bullish than I am.

- Paddington 2 Comparisons
- The Post Comparisons
- The Commuter Comparisons
- Free Fire Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Commuter, Insidious: The Last Key, Proud Mary, The Post, Paddington 2, Liam Neeson