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Weekend Predictions: Are the New Releases Strong? Or will Jumanji Rule Forever?

January 18th, 2018

12 Strong

The post-holiday weekend is rarely a good week to release a movie and none of the three new releases are expected to be box office successes. 12 Strong is the biggest release and it is also earning the best reviews, although its Tomatometer Score is just 50% positive. Den of Thieves isn’t opening as wide, while its reviews are not as good. It also shares its target audience with 12 Strong, which will hurt its box office chances even more. Finally there’s Forever My Girl, which is barely opening semi-wide and will likely miss the top ten. This weekend last year, Split had a shockingly big opening. In fact, the second place film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, opened with just over $20 million, which is more than any film is expected to earn this weekend. 2018’s mini-winning streak is about to come to a painful end.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will cross $300 million this weekend. The only real question is if it will top Thor: Ragnarok on the 2017 domestic chart along the way. I don’t think it will get there, at least not by the end of Sunday. That said, I think it will earn just under $17 million, which is close, while keeping it on pace to reach the top five for 2017.

12 Strong is inspired by the real-life story of some of the first soldiers to go into Afghanistan after 9/11. The film’s reviews are 50% positive, which won’t help its legs, but are still the best of the three wide releases coming out this week. The buzz isn’t great, but it is the loudest of the week. Perhaps it could challenge for first place with $16 million, but there’s also a chance it will open with less than $10 million. I think the higher end is slightly more like than the lower end and I’m going with an opening weekend of $13 million.

The Post should be right behind with just over $12 million over the weekend for a total of $44 million. The film was nominated for a PGA and the winners are announced this weekend, so that could help its chances. Even if it doesn’t win any major award, it will still become a solid midlevel hit.

The Greatest Showman crossed $100 million on Tuesday and it is showing incredible legs. It will remain in fourth place yet another week with just over $8 million over the weekend.

Paddington 2 should be right behind with just under $8 million. Its 100% positive reviews and its family friendly nature should help its legs, but it opened so poorly that it might not matter.

Den of Thieves likely won’t open in the top five, mainly because 12 Strong is also opening this weekend. 12 Strong is opening in more theaters, is earning louder buzz, and is earning better reviews. The competition could be enough to push it below the Mendoza Line with just under $5 million during its opening weekend. I’m not that pessimistic, but I’m also far from optimistic. Look for just under $6 million during its opening weekend.

Forever My Girl’s marketing campaign uses the phrase, “If you like Nicholas Sparks...” Most critics hate Nicholas Sparks and the same is happening here. Its reviews are just 14% positive. Furthermore, it is opening in barely more than 1,000 theaters. It could miss the Mendoza Line with under $2 million. In fact, I think that’s likely.

- 12 Strong Comparisons
- Den of Thieves Comparisons
- Forever My Girl Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Greatest Showman, Thor: Ragnarok, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Post, Den of Thieves, 12 Strong, Forever My Girl, Paddington 2, Nicholas Sparks