This report dips its toes in the waters of 2023 for the first time with a look at independent tracking on Universal and Blumhouse’s latest collaboration, M3GAN, set for release on Friday, January 6.
Additionally, the latest updates on James Cameron’s highly anticipated Avatar sequel are below.
- M3GAN‘s current trajectories are very encouraging for an original horror/thriller film four weeks out and with a fairly busy holiday slate still to come on the schedule.
The film’s marketing has gone viral with the titular AI doll and her gone-viral dance scene — featured prominently in trailers — driving sharp activity on TikTok and other platforms. Initial models compare favorably to recent non-IP sleepers such as The Black Phone and Smile, and ahead of pre-pandemic Blumhouse hits like Happy Death Day and Truth or Dare.
- One week out from a day James Cameron and Avatar fans have waited for since 2009, Avatar: The Way of Water continues to build steam ahead of its imminent release.
Social media review embargoes dropped immediately after a coordinated global premiere earlier this week, with many critics praising another technological leap forward by the film’s visual effects alongside a a heartfelt adventure narrative that should attract fans of the original movie.
Online social sentiment and pre-sales are reacting accordingly as Way of Water‘s box office ceiling looks to be increasing from what were already event-level expectations.
- If there’s any significant headwinds for M3GAN to face, it will be entering a holiday holdover market that’s likely to still see The Way of Water running strong and commanding a high share of premium format screens. Reviews and word of mouth will be important as well, depending on whether the film lives up to its viral status (ala Smile).
- Though not necessarily a negative against it, some degree of caution is still wise when extrapolating Avatar: The Way of Water‘s possible trajectories. Expectations for a more back-loaded run than the likes of a comic book tentpole remain the status quo, particularly given the 192-minute runtime.
The unknowns regarding general audiences’ willingness to return to 3D-heavy screenings, and how they’ll react to high frame rate presentations, remain wild card elements.
Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2023’s Upcoming Calendar
(as of 12/9/22)
|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|
|12/16/2022||Avatar: The Way of Water||$167,000,000 – $192,000,000||+9%||$662,000,000 – $861,000,000||+9%||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/21/2022||Puss In Boots: The Last Wish||$14,000,000 – $23,000,000||$95,000,000 – $160,000,000||Universal Pictures / DreamWorks Animation|
|12/21/2022||The Whale (Expansion; Platform on Dec. 9)||A24|
|12/23/2022||Babylon||$6,000,000 – $12,000,000||+36%||$27,000,000 – $52,000,000||+36%||Paramount Pictures|
|12/23/2022||I Wanna Dance With Somebody||$10,000,000 – $15,000,000||$65,000,000 – $115,000,000||Sony Pictures / TriStar Pictures|
|12/23/2022||Women Talking (Platform/Limited)||United Artists Releasing|
|12/30/2022||A Man Called Otto (LA / NY Platform)||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|1/6/2023||M3GAN||$20,000,000 – $35,000,000||NEW||$49,000,000 – $77,000,000||NEW||Universal Pictures|
|1/6/2023||A Man Called Otto (Limited)||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
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.
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