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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by 2 Weeks To X-Mas Klady

Weekend Estimates 2016-12-11 at 9.59.45 AM copy

Not a ton that wasn’t evident yesterday. La La Land is not expected to reach quite the heights that Friday suggested, though the estimate could be low (or high) for today under the circumstance. Still… make no mistake… a per-screen monster. You almost need Alec Baldwin reading David Mamet’s box office report today: “First place, a $165 thousand Cadillac… second place, $19 thousand steak knives.”

There is nothing less than excellent about Jackie‘s $18,610 per screen expanding to 26 screens in its second weekend. It’s just that La La is dwarfing it for now.

Third place… not fired. Lion‘s $11,130 on 15. Good. Not breathtaking. But it is the third weekend and it is an expansion and on that basis, the number looks even better.

Only two other films managed $5,000 per theater this weekend. Office Christmas Party, the only big wide opener. And Manchester by the Sea, which is probably getting screwed in all the attention to per-screens and slower, later emerging awards movies. It’s at $8.3 million in 4 weeks, which is really excellent for a tough, tough (great) movie.

And so, with Fences, Hidden Figures, Patriots Day and Silence yet to open, here is my first awards box office chart of the year…

Oscar Box Office 2016-12-11

I think Sully is iffy in the Best Picture race right now, so Arrival could be the first BP nominee to $100 million and if there are more, they will come from those still in limited (under 1000 screens) or unreleased so far. La La Land and Hidden Figures seem the most likely candidates for this.

Moana is behind Wreck-It-Ralph by date, but Ralph had a 3-week head start. If Moana follows Ralph‘s trajectory, it will just pass $200 million, slightly bigger domestically than Tangled in the Walt Disney Animation family.

Fantastic Beasts will pass $200 million domestic in the next day or two. But it will be the lowest grosser in the JK Rowling universe, domestically and worldwide. But not by a ton. So the question will be how to pump up the next one. What didn’t the push for Beasts satisfy to qualify as a must-see? And how willing will Rowling be to chase a higher gross? Right now, this reminds me a lot (too much) of Amazing Spider-Man, where the number was pretty huge, but not what was aspired to by the studio, so the hit felt like a miss. Unfortunate.

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38 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by 2 Weeks To X-Mas Klady”

  1. Geoff says:

    I would have no problem with Hacksaw Ridge or Arrival getting several nods, but would LOVE to see Hell or High Water get some attention….is it really still in the hunt? I would think an outside chance of supporting nods for Bridges or Foster would be the best bets.

  2. Bulldog68 says:

    Can someone please start a campaign for John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane.

  3. Sideshow Bill says:

    ^^Yes to both posts. Ben Foster is an overlooked actor. he always brings it. And Goodman was truly menacing. the moist un-John Goodman like performance he’s ever given, at least since Barton Fink

  4. Geoff says:

    Sorry Bulldog – Goodman’s deserving but the film came out in March and Paramount already has their hands full with Silence, Arrival, and Fences right now.

    Has John Goodman ever been nominated??

  5. Movieman says:

    A bit late to the party:
    Went into it w/ considerable suspicion because of previous oversold Weinstein Oscar bait, but “Lion” really works.
    Hard to believe it won’t at least place in the Oscar race, or connect w/ a substantial audience once it goes nationwide.
    Gave me a nice cathartic cry, and I doubt whether I’ll be in the minority w/ that assessment. Try not to at least sniffle during the last 10 minutes: I dare you.

  6. Geoff says:

    Fox/DreamWorks Animation has actually had a pretty solid year – Kung Foo Panda 3 did over $500m WW while both Trolls and Ice Age will end up doing over $400m WW, all making more than Home did last year.

  7. Bulldog68 says:

    Goodman has never been nominated. I know the chances are slim Geoff. And Silence is more of an Oscar friendly movie, given the Director and subject material for sure. Once in a while Oscar can surprise you in a nice way, like the nods to Mad Max last year. There is no where near the groundswell of support for Goodman as there was for Mad Max but I’ll still hold out a glimmer of hope. I’m not even sure what category they would put him in, lead or supporting?

  8. palmtree says:

    Wow, Goodman never nominated? That’s crazy.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    “Moana is behind Wreck-It-Ralph by date, but Ralph had a 3-week head start. If Moana follows Ralph‘s trajectory, it will just pass $200 million, slightly bigger domestically than Tangled in the Walt Disney Animation family”

    This is one of the stranger comparisons I’ve seen in some time, and the comparisons to FROZEN I keep seeing, which was a singular phenomenon, are strange as well, given the virtually right-in-line, day/date opening vs TANGLED.

    I realize STAR WARS and SING present greater competition than what TANGLED was up against, but MOANA already has built up a $30 million lead. Even a -50% drop next weekend would build on that lead (and that seems unlikely given that ROGUE ONE obviously skews darker than TFA). $250 million is highly likely here, not “slightly over $200 million,” especially given the through the roof audience reaction.

    People are overestimating how much oxygen STAR WARS will suck out of the room. I keep reading how “everything will tank!” except SING. People seem to forget there were a whopping six other $50 million+ grossers between TFA and the end of year, including four at $70 million+. Given that yes, ASSASSIN’s CREED looks like a bomb, studios appear less aggressive with the Oscar expansions, and ROGUE one is looking at -40% over TFA, I don’t get the “run for the hills! It’s Star Wars!” theme out there.

  10. EtGuild2 says:

    Along that line, WHY HIM? seems like a $100 million grosser, given that DADDYS HOME did $150 million last year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see WHY HIM? get to $175 actually, or stay at $75, given that on the former end it seems like literally everyone thinks it looks funny, but on the latter you can never overestimate the internet’s over-inflation of James Franco and Walter White.

    SING seems like $225. CREED at $35. LA LA $50 by New Years, on an average rollout pace prediction. BEAUTY $40.

    PASSENGERS is definitely the question mark, but the most likely peg is for it to limp to $100 million I think.

  11. spassky says:

    ew aaron taylor johnson

  12. Geoff says:

    Oh yeah I can easily see Why Him? clearing $100 million domestic…just strange that it also seems to be a hard-R rating which is obviously going to keep it from even approaching Focker-like Holiday heights.

    You know with all of this anticipation towards ‘Rogue One, it honestly doesn’t seem like the other studios are ducking for cover – releasing Sing five days later is an aggressive move on Universal’s part and probably one that is going to pay off. Also I could be way off but I do see Passengers taking off for some reason – no early reviews as of yet so it could be god-awful – but it just feels like the kind of project that has big stars at the top and KNOWS how to best utilize them which is always key.

    Collateral Beauty is a big question mark – Warners seems to have confidence in it and that cast is pretty damn stellar as well – but folks forget that even with his diminished star power, Will Smith will still bring eyeballs to just about any film. Last year, Focus did about $150 million worldwide on a $50 million budget so if this is reasonably priced, there’s no reason that can’t be duplicated again.

    And if Assasin’s Creed does only $35 mil wow, that would be a death-knell for the video game genre. I can see it doing at least double that which would probably still make it a money loser but at least not a total disaster.

    Domestic Predictions for the rest of the big films coming out:

    Rogue One – $510 million
    Sing – $230 million
    Passengers – $140 million
    Patriot’s Day – $110 million
    Why Him? – $85 million
    Assassin’s Creed – $70 million
    Collateral Beauty – $65 million
    Fences – $50 million

    Both Patriot’s Day and Fences are going wide by the end of the year right?

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    “it honestly doesn’t seem like the other studios are ducking for cover – releasing Sing five days later is an aggressive move on Universal’s part and probably one that is going to pay off.”

    It might not seem like it, but this is actually the lightest Big Studio post-mid December holiday schedule, with four wide releases (Im not counting off-major fare or Oscar expansions here, but at the moment that looks way lighter than normal as well) since at least 2005. Note that PATRIOT’S DAY isn’t going wide until mid-January, and Paramount has pulled FENCES’ wide rollout at the last second.

  14. palmtree says:

    230 seems low for Sing. I’ve seen it, and it plays like a huge crowd-pleaser for the whole family. Zootopia minus the allegory and plus American Idol. I think it’ll end up in the 280-320 range.

  15. Geoff says:

    Well ok I wasn’t sure about Patriots Day and Fences – I could still see Patriots Day doing Long Survivor-like numbers with a wide roll-out in January.

    “230 seems low for Sing. I’ve seen it, and it plays like a huge crowd-pleaser for the whole family. Zootopia minus the allegory and plus American Idol. I think it’ll end up in the 280-320 range.”

    Yeah I guess it DOES seem a bit low for Illumination – it would actually be their lowest domestic grosser since The Lorax in 2012….but I’m thinking of when it’s being released. Has there ever been a December that launched two $300 million domestic grossers? I can’t think of one.

    I’m thinking of $230 million as the ceiling for Sing since that’s about as high as any other family-oriented blockbuster has gotten as the SECOND highest grossing blockbuster of the month: Chipmunks in 2009, National Treasure 2 in 2007….all of them topped out at below $220 million so for Sing to gross THAT much higher in the wake of a $500 million grosser like Rogue One would be pretty unprecendented.

  16. palmtree says:

    Yes, that’s true about December. And while it doesn’t technically count…in 2013, two $400m grossers opened Thanksgiving weekend (Hunger Games 2 and Frozen), which is a week before December. But yeah, the odds for two 300m grossers are not great.

    BUT also, I think Sing will be more appealing to a wider audience than Alvin or some of the other examples. And the repeat viewings of large families and women could drive it to more leggy heights. We shall see.

  17. EtGuild2 says:

    The closest precedent is def 2009, with ALVIN and SHERLOCK HOLMES launching days after AVATAR. Does SING appeal to audiences more than the siren song of chipmunks in something referred to as a “Squeakquel?” You’d think, but MOANA is more competition than “Princess and the Frog,” and I think ROGUE ONE skews younger than AVATAR as well.

  18. Bulldog68 says:

    At least the kid friendly films are spaced out and have some breathing room. I just remembered the clusterfuck of 2011. Puss in Boots on 10/28. Happy Feet 2 on 11/18, then Arthur Christmas, Hugo, and The Muppets all released on 11/23. Then Alvin on 12/16. 6 Films aimed at the same audience in just over 7 weeks. Looks like the studios learned their lesson.

  19. Charles Mayaki says:

    @EtGuild2 @Geoff

    Why him? is definitely guaranteed to cross 100 milion.

    I have seen the movie and it is the funniest movie of 2016; Franco’s best comedic performance ever.

    Fox just didn’t push the movie for awards. He would have been Golden Globe nominated for sure.

    Keegan is also absolutely hilarious.

    I haven’t laughed this loud at a comedy since bridesmaid.

    Okay. I laughed a lot at We’re the Millers. But this is funnier.

    It’s really good. A sleeper hit because the ads don’t really communicate how funny it is.

  20. Charles Mayaki says:

    @Geoff Make Why him on your prediction list at least 130

  21. Geoff says:

    LOL ok Charles – sure thing if you think it’s going to do blockbuster numbers, then so be it. 🙂 Honestly I’m not sure what the history is with R-rated comedies opening over the Christmas Holiday…hell Django, Wolf of Wall Street, and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo were all hard R-rated Christmas launches that did over $100 million domestic so I guess it’s not that uncommon.

    One thing that did catch my eye was that John Hamburg directed this – I really enjoyed I Love You Man (pretty much peak Paul Rudd) but he really hasn’t directed anything else in the SEVEN years since then?? Pretty surprising.

  22. Charles Mayaki says:

    @Geoff. I didn’t realize Hamburg directed it. I liked I love you man but wasn’t totally crazy for it.

    I just think it’s really funny. Not like haha funny. It’s has some big out laughs funny scenes. Variety thinks so too. The reviewer loved it.

    Well, I jus think that once a movie is really funny, it always finds the audience.

    And I don’t work for Fox. I saw it a test screening three months ago.

  23. Stella's Boy says:

    Why Him? does look funny. It’s got a great cast. The TV spots spend so much time selling Franco vs. Cranston (with brief bits of Mullally) that I had no idea how many other funny people are in it. I think $130 million is a bit of a stretch, but it’s not hard to imagine it finding an audience over the holiday period. Also I hope it’s funnier than We’re the Millers. I know that film has its fans and made a lot of money, but it didn’t do much for me.

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    Aaaaand, on the other end of the spectrum, COLLATERAL BEAUTY is the most ludicrously cloying movie I’ve ever seen.

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    Oh I believe that. The TV spot with the cast sharing how uplifting and inspirational the movie is is one of the most saccharine things I’ve ever seen.

  26. EtGuild2 says:

    I want to freeze frame those spots with the rave quotes, so we can either prosecute them for willfully fraudulent statements or send them to the funny farm.

  27. Sideshow Bill says:

    I wanted to throw my stuff at the screen when I saw the Collateral Beauty trailer. Will Smith makes some puzzling choice in his pursuit of an Oscar. I like the guy. I didn’t like Suicide Squad but I liked him in it. He’s done great work. But this looks like something Eddie Murphy would have accepted.

  28. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Ooh, that’s a bit of a cheap shot. Will Smith has never descended to Murphy’s lows, true, but if you compare their careers then I think Smith has never ascended to Murphy’s highs either. I suggest a rewatch of Eddie’s Brest / Hill / Landis imperial phase to remind you of his once scorching talent.

  29. Sideshow Bill says:

    Maybe I was unclear. CB looks like some TODAY’S Eddie Murphy would have accepted. I agree Smith has never done anything as great as 48Hrs, et al. But he also did Pluto Nash, Meet Dave and 1,000 Words. I have not see CB but those sound comparable.

    Maybe that’s a better explanation of what I meant. Maybe not. Or maybe we disagree.

  30. EtGuild2 says:

    COLLATERAL BEAUTY is a different beast than NORBIT. You know what you’re getting. BEAUTY was doomed to fail due to its concept, but regardless it’s the biggest A-list ensemble train wreck since the ALL THE KING’S MEN remake.

  31. Bulldog68 says:

    Sight unseen, I don’t see the comparison between something like Pluto Nash, Norbit, Holy Man, Best Defense, Showtime, and something like Collateral Beauty. Murphy has had way more duds and out and out terrible movies, whereas Smith greatest sins have been critical misfires at their worst, but they were never painful to watch. IMO.

  32. Geoff says:

    Honestly we’re REALLY going to just equate Will Smith’s choices with Eddie Murphy’s….the folks on this blog are way too smart to fall into that kind of racial stereotyping seriously??

    A once-huge box office star chasing an Oscar with a cloying sentimental film…..and the first comparison you come up with is Eddie Murphy?? 🙂 Come on now: Tom Hanks (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Terminal), Nicholas Cage (Family Man), Jim Carrey (The Majestic), Julia Roberts (Mona Lisa Smile), and Robin Williams has WAY too many to mention! MOST big stars go this shameless route….I’ll give Will Smith the benefit of the doubt on this one especially considering the cast he surrounded himself with on this one.

  33. JS Partisan says:

    Collateral Beauty, seems to be some next level cheesy Eddie Murphy shit. HOW DOES THAT FILM GET MADE? LITERALLY? HOW?

    Geoff, hates when I post this, but I need to do it again: THIS MOVIE DIDN’T NEED TO BE MADE!

  34. Hallick says:

    “Honestly we’re REALLY going to just equate Will Smith’s choices with Eddie Murphy’s….the folks on this blog are way too smart to fall into that kind of racial stereotyping seriously??”

    Up until now…nope, not so much.

    For the type of actor he is, skin color aside, his real male equivalent would be somebody like Tom Cruise. For the most part, both of them have been squandering their potential over the last ten years, although I don’t think Smith’s decade has a great movie in it like “Edge of Tomorrow”.

  35. EtGuild2 says:

    PASSENGERS is getting savaged by critics. Perhaps $100 million isn’t a guarantee after all, as original sci-fi is perhaps the most word-of-mouth driven genre there is. So much for a single good major-studio release aimed squarely at adults this holiday season!

  36. Sideshow Bill says:

    I completely fucking resent my comments being interpreted as racist in anyway. They were about a talented performer once again choosing second rate, pandering material, possibly because he badly wants an Oscar. If I had said it was similar to Kevin Spacey being a cat would that have been OK.

    My comment may have been ill-conceived or poorly explained but to imply it’s racist is bullshit. And genre aside if you can’t see the similarities in choosing something like 1,000 Words or Mr. Church and Collateral Beauty then you’re not looking hard enough.

    Geoff makes a great point citing Hanks, Carrey, et al. I’m not denying it. But I chose Murphy because he has a bigger history as of late, in my view, of making shit that he never should have considered. Plus it’s very obvious how badly Smith wants an Oscar. Fine. Then do good work rather something even a dummy like I can tell is embarrassing junk.

    But I will concede that a point is taken. But don’t label me or my comments racist just because I compared 2 actors of the same race, please. I sat through Patch Adams. I know it’s not a color thing. In my mind I was comparing 2 once untouchable mega-stars.

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    Can’t say the Passangers reviews surprise as the promotional campaign has been weak. What about Fences Ethan? That’s wide on Christmas right?

  38. Geoff says:

    Sideshow Bill, my apologies if you thought I was labeling you as “racist” – I don’t think you’re racist, I just think it’s a bit weird how Eddie Murphy is the first comparison you throw out there.

    Looking back, I SORT of get it…when Fresh Prince of Bel Air was first launched, I remember several articles and/or reviews actually referring to Will Smith as “the next Eddie Murphy” though of course, this was the early ’90’s and just before Denzel, Snipes, and Samuel L. Jackson were becoming household names – the field of African American stars was much smaller back then.

    But still, Eddie Murphy has NOT had the gumption to even TRY dramas for the most part….let alone weepies like Collateral Beauty. If you want to go WAY back like 30 years almost….there was even talk that Murphy would first try “drama” with a big screen adaptation of FENCES, yeah the same one too. 😉 It was never to be – instead of barely dipping into the genre, he pretty much stuck HARD to comedies through to the 21st Century, just more kiddie comedies sadly. The closest he has MAYBE come is Holy Man which I never saw but have been told was much more serious than it was marketed.

    So yes a more apt comparison is Robin Williams or Tom Hanks…hell even Harrison Ford at his PEAK was unwilling to step outside of his comfort zone except for cloying melodrama like Random Hearts or Regarding Henry.

    The comparison between Cruise and Will Smith is mostly apt – they are pretty much contemporaries except that Cruise started acting at least 10 years prior. But even a key difference between them is that at least Will Smith has allowed himself to play his age – his characters can be older with full grown children – which Cruise STILL seems mostly unwilling to do even approaching his mid ’50’s now. I mean wow look at the evolution over time: Color of Money in ’86, Jerry Maguire in ’96, Mission Impossible III in 2006, and now the Mummy remake next year in 2017….that’s approaching FOUR DECADES passing and he’s basically gone from playing 22 to 32! 😉 Sorry for the tangent, just an interesting observation – I cannot think of another star aging THAT slowly in his roles.

    JS, I’m not going to argue with you – now that I have heard what the REAL story is for Collateral Beauty, I see no issue with that film never getting made….WOW really?? 🙂 And with THAT cast?? I first suspected watching that first trailer, “Why does Edward Norton actually seem to be playing a very NICE character this time? Seems weird.” And of course…..

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