Long Range Box Office Forecast: Blumhouse’s M3GAN Tracking for a Solid 2023 Lead Off

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures & Blumhouse ("M3GAN")

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.

Additional pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections for theatrical movies up to 12 months from release are available to clients. For more information on forecasts and pricing, please contact us.

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures & Blumhouse ("M3GAN")
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1553617519041-1'); });

News Stories