Long Range Box Office Forecast: Encanto, House of Gucci, and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Photo Credits: Disney ("Encanto"); MGM, UAR, & Dariusz Wolski ("House of Gucci"); Sony Pictures ("Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City")

The holiday movie season is picking up steam as November rolls along. This week, we take a preliminary look at the box office prospects of Disney’s Encanto, MGM and Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, and Sony’s Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City when they open for the extended Thanksgiving weekend.

All three films will be exclusive to movie theaters upon release.

Check out our most current forecasts for those and other upcoming films in the table below this analysis. Additional updates, if necessary, will follow in next week’s report.

Encanto
Walt Disney Pictures

PROS:

  • Disney’s latest original animated offering is also their first in-house animation to be released exclusively in movie theaters since Frozen II (excluding Pixar’s Onward in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic). With reports that 1 million children between the ages of 5 and 12 are expected to be partially vaccinated by November 11, many parents could begin to relax their cautious approach to bringing kids back to movie theaters over Thanksgiving weekend in time for this family-driven pic.
  • Pre-pandemic, the studio’s animated offerings were a staple of the Thanksgiving corridor — most recently debuting Frozen II to $130.3 million the week before the holiday in 2019. As actual Thanksgiving opening weekends go, Disney holds the top 7 all-time openings (and 10 of the top 11) across its in-house and Pixar releases.
  • With strong appeal to Latinx families, Encanto‘s release timing is strategized similarly to Pixar’s Coco, which earned $72.9 million in its first five days over the same holiday frame in 2018. That film’s opening box office footprint was driven by 53 percent women, 36 percent age 12 and under, and 73 percent families.
  • Pent-up demand for animated and family-friendly movies could double down on the positive impact of vaccines for kids, especially with the holiday season traditionally marking the time when casual moviegoers come out to cinemas.

CONS:

  • The impact of kids’ vaccines remains difficult to project. Health officials estimate that even those children being vaccinated immediately upon eligibility won’t be considered fully inoculated until at least early December, and there may yet be some parents who opt to wait before vaccinating their children. As such, all box office comparisons to pre-pandemic releases remain volatile at best.
  • While the film will have theatrical exclusivity upon release, it will be for a shorter window (30 days) than Disney’s pandemic era live-action counterparts so far (45 days).

House of Gucci
MGM / United Artists Releasing

PROS:

  • The combination of a well-known true crime story, Ridley Scott’s directorial clout, and an all-star cast led by Lady Gaga (fresh off her widely praised performance in A Star Is Born), Adam Driver, Jared Leto, and Al Pacino could be significant driving forces for adult audiences who have yet, or who have only just begun to, return to movie theaters during the late stages of the pandemic. Any potential award season buzz would add another advantage.
  • Marketing impact has been growing in recent weeks as the studio pushes to be the adult alternative in movie theaters against Encanto and the second frame of Ghostbusters: Afterlife over Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a period where films like Knives Out and the Creed franchise have previously found great success.

CONS:

  • Adult-driven dramas have been slower to restart at the box office than blockbuster tentpoles this year, notably including Scott’s own The Last Duel during October. This is partly due to the more cautious older audience, as well as some consumer expectation that films of a certain breed are bound to be on streaming platforms far earlier than they were before the pandemic.
  • Reviews and word of mouth will be key to drawing the target crowd here under the challenging circumstances, both of which remain unknowns in pre-release modeling as screenings have only just begun and no official reviews published.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Sony Pictures / Columbia

PROS:

  • The established brand could be appealing to video game fans interested in this prequel to the previous six films in the franchise. Social media sentiment has become slightly more positive since the first trailer release, with overall engagement tracking similarly to Sony’s fellow Don’t Breathe 2 among pandemic era comparisons.
  • Targeting a young male audience, with some upside toward older males who grew up with the video game series, is advantageous over the holiday frame and into a slow first half of December as that audience has been at the center of moviegoing’s pandemic rebound.

CONS:

  • Some diminished returns were seen by the previous 2017 entry (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) when its $13.6 million opening weekend declined 35 percent from 2012’s Retribution ($21.05 million). Featuring an all new cast this time around and facing some constrictions in the market (including a lack of premium screens) could result in further shedding of pure box office dollars.
  • Competition for the target male audience may be challenging if Ghostbusters: Afterlife, also expected to lean on those moviegoers, draws strong word of mouth since it opens just five days before this film.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2021 Calendar
(as of 11/12/21)

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 Estimated Location Count Distributor
11/19/2021 C’mon C’mon           A24
11/19/2021 King Richard $5,000,000 – $10,000,000 -22% $12,000,000 – $37,000,000 -27% 3,300 Warner Bros. Pictures
11/19/2021 Ghostbusters: Afterlife $40,000,000 – $60,000,000 -8% $115,000,000 – $175,000,000 -8% 4,000 Sony Pictures / Columbia
11/24/2021 Encanto $20,000,000 – $35,000,000   $75,000,000 – $135,000,000   3,700 Walt Disney Pictures
11/24/2021 For the Love of Money         750 Freestyle Releasing
11/24/2021 House of Gucci $8,000,000 – $13,000,000   $30,000,000 – $65,000,000   3,200 MGM / United Artists Releasing
11/24/2021 Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City $7,000,000 – $12,000,000   $20,000,000 – $35,000,000   3,000 Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures
12/3/2021 Red Rocket           A24
12/3/2021 Wolf           Focus Features
12/10/2021 Don’t Look Up           Netflix
12/10/2021 National Champions           STXfilms
12/10/2021 West Side Story (2020)           Disney / 20th Century Studios
12/17/2021 Nightmare Alley           Disney / Searchlight Pictures
12/17/2021 Spider-Man: No Way Home           Sony / Columbia / Marvel Studios
12/22/2021 The King’s Man           Disney / 20th Century Studios
12/22/2021 The Matrix Resurrections           Warner Bros. Pictures
12/22/2021 Sing 2           Universal Pictures
12/25/2021 A Journal for Jordan           Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures
12/25/2021 American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story           Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company
12/31/2021 (no releases scheduled)            

All above figures represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation before release. These are not final forecasts.

Pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections are available exclusively to Boxoffice PRO clients. For more information on forecasts, pricing, and availability, please contact us.

As always, the news cycle is constantly evolving as the pandemic dictates. Projections are subject to change amid breaking announcements.

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