Our preview of the holiday movie season continues this week as the Long Range Forecast takes a first look at what to expect from Thanksgiving weekend’s new releases. The spotlight will shine on Pixar’s Coco, while Death Wish and Molly’s Game also seek to find their target audiences over the extended frame. Our initial forecast:
- Coco (Disney / Pixar) will mark Pixar’s 19th feature film, and their first non-sequel since 2015’s The Good Dinosaur opened over the same holiday frame. Trailers have been warmly received by fans and families, helping to generate social media activity on par with the likes of Inside Out and Big Hero 6 at comparable points before release. The lack of blockbuster animated titles this year should further increase demand among parents, while the film’s central story and setting set it up to appeal strongly across the growing Latino and Hispanic communities.
- Death Wish (Annapurna / MGM) will aim to counter-program among older male audiences with Bruce Willis stepping in to remake the role Charles Bronson made famous in the 1970s. Director Eli Roth’s fan base could also turn out, giving this an interesting cross-section of potential moviegoers.
- Molly’s Game (STXfilms) hails from writer and first-time director Aaron Sorkin, whose considerable legion of fans will be relied upon here. Equally as important will be Jessica Chastain’s increasing stardom and the film’s potential award season candidacy. Early reviews from various screenings are very encouraging at this stage with a 93 percent Rotten Tomatoes score across 29 reviewers.
- There are very few factors working against Coco at this point in time. The only cautionary tale is to mention the film lacks a major star (ala Dwayne Johnson in last Thanksgiving’s Moana) to bolster opening weekend drawing power, but that’s only a minor concern with the Disney/Pixar brand power. The only thing that can genuinely hurt a holiday season Disney/Pixar title in the long run will ultimately be word of mouth, but their history generally speaks for itself at this point.
- Death Wish is unlikely to break out beyond target audiences with male-driven action flicks like Justice League and Thor: Ragnarok still likely to be heavy hitters over the holiday frame. Social buzz is also minimal this far out from release.
- Similarly, Molly’s Game will need more than Chastain and Sorkin’s fans to drive it (as exemplified by the lukewarm runs of Miss Sloane and Steve Jobs, respectively). Opening against Darkest Hour in limited release that weekend could also be a factor with Gary Oldman’s performance as Winston Churchill likely to attract similar adult moviegoers interested in prestige-level films.
This Week’s Notable Updates
- Fandango announced this morning — on the heels of an early review embargo lift from Warner Bros. — that Blade Runner 2049 is outselling Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, and Gravity at the same point in the pre-release cycle. For now, we’re maintaining our expectation of a strong debut somewhere between $40-50 million since those comps occurred before the company’s exhibitor and customer outreach expanded over the last 2+ years. That being said, the film’s current 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and intense fan interest could drive momentum even higher by the time our final forecast is published ahead of opening day next week.
- Lukewarm social media trends for Only the Brave have convinced us to lower expectations slightly, but it remains filed under “potential sleeper” for the time being.
- Jigsaw‘s prospects are improving somewhat with a planned IMAX and premium screen release in late October, not to mention a heavy dose of awareness building thanks to its trailer attachment in front of IT over the past few weeks.
- Suburbicon‘s first wave of reactions are underwhelming with a 41 percent score among 49 Rotten Tomatoes critics. At this point, the turnout by fans of Matt Damon, director George Clooney, and the scripting Coen Brothers will be crucial if the film is to generate staying power throughout the holiday corridor.
The Long Range Forecast:
|Release Date||Title||3-Day Wide Opening||% Chg from Last Week||Domestic Total||% Chg from Last Week||Location Count||Distributor|
|10/6/2017||Blade Runner 2049||$48,000,000||9%||$135,000,000||17%||3,900||Warner Bros.|
|10/6/2017||The Mountain Between Us||$11,500,000||$36,000,000||2,900||Fox|
|10/6/2017||My Little Pony (2017)||$7,000,000||-7%||$20,000,000||-7%||2,500||Lionsgate|
|10/13/2017||Happy Death Day||$20,000,000||$40,000,000||3,000||Universal / Blumhouse|
|10/13/2017||Professor Marston & the Wonder Woman||n/a||n/a||n/a||Annapurna Pictures|
|10/20/2017||Only the Brave||$15,000,000||-6%||$51,500,000||-6%||Sony / Columbia|
|10/20/2017||Same Kind of Different As Me||$4,500,000||$12,000,000||Pure Flix|
|10/20/2017||Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween||$23,500,000||$59,300,000||Lionsgate|
|10/27/2017||Thank You for Your Service||$5,000,000||$17,500,000||Universal|
|11/1/2017||A Bad Moms Christmas||$22,000,000||$85,000,000||STXfilms|
|11/10/2017||Daddy’s Home 2||$30,000,000||$95,000,000||Paramount|
|11/10/2017||Murder on the Orient Express||$23,500,000||$84,600,000||Fox|
|11/17/2017||Justice League||$150,000,000||$330,000,000||Warner Bros.|
|11/17/2017||The Star||$13,000,000||$60,000,000||Sony / Columbia|
|11/22/2017||Death Wish||$8,000,000*||NEW||$23,000,000||NEW||Annapurna / MGM|
* denotes 3-day (Friday-Sunday) forecast for films opening on Wednesday
For client or media requests relating to box office analyses and forecasts, please contact Shawn Robbins