The final set of major releases for 2022 are on deck in this week’s report as Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Babylon, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody are set to hit theaters over the core Christmas runway.
- Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is the first IP-driven animated film to hit theaters since July’s DC League of Super-Pets, and the follow-up to a successful to 2011 spin-off that generated $149.3 million domestically at the time. Landing one month after Disney’s Strange World, the comedy-driven toon is well timed for the holidays as the prime family option outside the Avatar sequel.
- Babylon is leaning on the star power of Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, as well as the critical acclaim of writer/director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land, First Man) for an adult-driven, prestige comedy.
- Whitney Houston fans are expected to drive I Wanna Dance with Somebody as the latest music biopic featuring the story of an international pop star. Again, this is the kind of counter-programmer that has historically done well over the holidays. Appeal to women over 35 will be key, not unlike the target of Elvis last summer, and 2019’s Rocketman.
- With an 11-year gap since the previous film, Puss in Boots isn’t exactly at the center of pop culture discussion in the way the character and broader Shrek franchise were in the 2000s (though a resurrection of Shrek memes among today’s youth makes for an intriguing aside to that point). Early models lean conservative for now as animated sequels, more often than not, tend to see diminishing returns in this day and age.
- Early industry reviews for Babylon have been mixed, which is a bit of a concern since that audience should be in the wheelhouse of such a film. Period films and movies about Hollywood are also tough sells for mainstream audiences, and the three-hour-plus runtime further inspires an uphill battle for this film to connect at the box office despite the marquee names attached. Initial tracking is comparable to that of Amsterdam.
- If there’s any notable caution toward I Wanna Dance with Somebody at the moment, it’s simply that — unlike Elvis — there isn’t an element of casting star power to help extend appeal beyond Whitney Houston fans. That’s not necessarily a detriment to potential, though, as long as reception is positive.
Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2022’s Upcoming Calendar
(as of 11/25/22)
|Release Date||Title||3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range||Domestic Total Low/High Range||Distributor|
|12/2/2022||Emancipation||Apple Original Films|
|12/2/2022||Quintessential Quintuplets Movie||Crunchyroll / Sony|
|12/2/2022||Violent Night||$8,000,000 – $13,000,000||$21,000,000 – $42,000,000||Universal Pictures|
|12/9/2022||Empire of Light (Limited)||Searchlight Pictures|
|12/9/2022||Father Stu: Reborn||$500,000 – $1,500,000||$1,000,000 – $3,750,000||Sony / Columbia Pictures|
|12/9/2022||Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies (Expansion; Limited Dec. 2)||Focus Features|
|12/9/2022||The Whale (Platform)||A24|
|12/16/2022||Avatar: The Way of Water||$140,000,000 – $175,000,000||$492,000,000 – $720,000,000||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)||A24|
|12/23/2022||Babylon||$4,000,000 – $9,000,000||$18,000,000 – $39,000,000||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|
Unless otherwise noted, 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.
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