Two key Christmas weekend releases are the subject of this week’s report, as theaters hope to close out the year on a high note.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Warner Bros. Pictures

December 22, 2023

Opening Weekend Range: $32M-$42M
Domestic Total Range: $105M-$168M


  • With a slim release slate lacking many major event films toward the end of the holiday season, this sequel is theoretically in a prime position to draw general audiences.
  • The first film was a surprise blockbuster, earning $335 million domestically and $1.15 billion globally amidst a similarly modest late December theatrical slate in 2018.


  • The general audience appetite for comic book movies has evolved and narrowed substantially in the five years since the first Aquaman came out. DC films have seen a particularly sharp decline with under-performances by Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Blue Beetle this year.
  • Early pre-sales are pacing 25 percent ahead of the aforementioned Shazam! sequel and 62 percent behind Black Adam after one day of sample market tracking. The holiday release pattern could skew one-to-one comparisons in certain models.


Universal Pictures

December 22, 2023

Opening Weekend Range: $25M+
Domestic Total Range: $140M+


  • Universal and Illumination have become increasingly popular animation partnership for modern family audiences, most recently being responsible for the blockbuster success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie and last year’s Minions: The Rise of Gru. They also opened up a new franchise during the holiday season with 2016’s Sing.
  • A holiday corridor release several weeks after Disney’s Wish, followed by an early 2024 window with minimal competition, should be advantageous for staying power.


  • As an original animated film, rather than an established IP, forecast and tracking volatility should be expected as reviews and audience reception will key toward overall potential and long-term performance.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2023’s Upcoming Calendar
(as of 11/21/23)

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Distributor
12/1/2023 Godzilla Minus One $5,000,000 – $9,000,000   $9,000,000 – $18,000,000   Toho International
12/1/2023 Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé $27,000,000 – $36,000,000   $40,000,000 – $80,000,000   AMC Theatres Distribution
12/1/2023 The Shift $3,000,000 – $7,000,000   $6,000,000 – $21,000,000   Angel Studios
12/1/2023 Silent Night $4,000,000 – $9,000,000   $10,000,000 – $27,000,000   Lionsgate
12/8/2023 The Boy and the Heron         GKIDS
12/8/2023 Eileen (Wide Expansion; Platform Dec. 1)         NEON
12/8/2023 Poor Things (Limited)         Disney / Searchlight Pictures
12/15/2023 American Fiction (Limited)         MGM / MRC
12/15/2023 Concrete Utopia (Wide Expansion; NY+LA on Dec. 8)         Lotte Entertainment
12/15/2023 Wonka $25,000,000 – $35,000,000   $125,000,000 – $210,000,000   Warner Bros. Pictures
12/22/2023 All of Us Strangers (Limited)         Disney / Searchlight Pictures
12/22/2023 American Fiction (Expansion)         MGM / MRC
12/22/2023 Anyone But You         Sony / Columbia Pictures
12/22/2023 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom $32,000,000 – $42,000,000   $105,000,000 – $168,000,000   Warner Bros. Pictures
12/22/2023 The Iron Claw         A24
12/22/2023 Migration $25,000,000 – $30,000,000   $140,000,000 – $250,000,000   Universal Pictures / Illumination

Unless otherwise noted, all figures above represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation at the time of this report’s publication date. These are statistical snapshots, not final forecasts.

Additional pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections for theatrical movies up to 12 months from release are available to clients.

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