Long Range Forecast: ‘Inferno’ & ‘Rings’

October 28, the weekend before Halloween, will see two new major wide releases. Sony hopes to set the weekend aflame with Inferno, with Tom Hanks returning as Robert Langdon. Paramount hopes that audiences like it so they put a ring on it, with their horror spinoff Rings.

Inferno (Sony)

PROS:

  • Tom Hanks returns for the third time as Harvard professor Robert Langdon, whose intellect and history knowledge are required to solve an urgent mystery, this one set in Florence, Italy. The previous films in the franchise, 2006’s The Da Vinci Code and 2009’s Angels & Demons, made $217.5 million and $133.3 million, respectively. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, the numbers are even more impressive — about $287.6 million and $160.8 million.
  • The source novel by Dan Brown was the highest-selling book of 2013, the year it came out. Among the books also in that year’s top 20 bestsellers, which Inferno beat: Catching FireGone Girl, The Fault in Our Stars,Fifty Shades of Grey, and Divergent.  All of those film adaptations earned at least $100 million.
  • This marks the first wide release with Felicity Jones in a starring role since her breakout in 2014’s The Theory of Everything, which earned her a Best Actress nomination.

CONS:

  • Could Tom Hanks fatigue be setting in? The Robert Langdon character was born in 1964, which would make him 49 years old in the book version of Inferno. Hanks is now 60 and recently became a grandfather. Langdon is most certainly not a grandfather. Could audiences no longer view Hanks as a thriller hero after a certain age, the same way Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Sylvester Stallone saw large declines in their box office draws over the past decade?
  • While Angels & Demons made good money, remember that it only sold about 55 percent as many tickets domestically as The Da Vinci Code.  While it still earned enough to greenlight a sequel, the fan base for the series could be slipping.

Rings (Paramount)

PROS:

  • The horror sequel takes place 13 years after the beloved 2002 film The Ring. That modern classic was about a haunted VHS tape that caused the death of anybody who watched it after seven days. This updated version is about an Internet video.
  • The original The Ring earned $129.1 million in 2002, or approximately $192.3 million adjusted for ticket price inflation. That’s pretty much the highest gross a studio could ever possibly expect for a horror release.
  • The timing shortly before Halloween could help, with Rings‘ October 28 release coming three days prior to the holiday.

CONS:

  • Ring sequel was attempted once before, with 2005’s The Ring Two, and that earned “only” $76.2 million. While certainly a respectable sum, it was coming hot on the heels of the first film and returned star Naomi Watts (this new installment doesn’t), yet only sold about half the tickets of the original. You might have noticed there wasn’t a The Ring Three.
  • Audiences might feel a bit of “Been there, done that” with regard to this new installment, since the trailer makes it seem very similar to the previous two films. Though virtually the exact opposite in terms of genre, a similar problem hurt the box office for The Hangover Part III.
  • Other horror films are being released around the same time to coincide with Halloween, including Ouija: Origin of Evil the weekend prior. Horror films typically have steep second-weekend declines, but the effect may be especially pronounced for Rings, since its second weekend arrives in early November, right after Halloween. That could potentially hurt its cumulative gross.

Check out the Boxoffice Pro official long range forecast predictions in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Inferno Oct 28, 2016 Sony $36,000,000 $100,000,000
Rings Oct 28, 2016 Paramount $16,000,000 $34,000,000
Ouija: Origin of Evil Oct 21, 2016 Universal $12,000,000 $29,000,000
Keeping Up with the Joneses Oct 21, 2016 Fox $11,000,000 $32,000,000
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Oct 21, 2016 Paramount $22,000,000 $62,000,000
I’m Not Ashamed Oct 21, 2016 Pure Flix $4,500,000 $17,000,000
Boo! A Madea Halloween Oct 21, 2016 Lionsgate $10,000,000 $26,000,000
The Accountant Oct 14, 2016 Warner Bros. $17,000,000 $60,000,000
Kevin Hart: What Now? Oct 14, 2016 Universal $11,500,000 $25,000,000
Max Steel Oct 14, 2016 Open Road Films $7,000,000 $24,000,000
The Girl on the Train Oct 7, 2016 Universal $24,000,000 $80,000,000
The Birth of a Nation Oct 7, 2016 Fox Searchlight $19,000,000 $78,000,000
Friend Request Oct 7, 2016 Freestyle Releasing $3,500,000 $8,000,000
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Oct 7, 2016 Lionsgate $5,500,000 $16,500,000
Deepwater Horizon Sep 30, 2016 Lionsgate $19,000,000 $62,000,000
Masterminds Sep 30, 2016 Relativity Media $11,000,000 $29,000,000
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Sep 30, 2016 Fox $18,000,000 $59,000,000
The Magnificent Seven Sep 23, 2016 Sony $49,000,000 $150,000,000
Storks Sep 23, 2016 Warner Bros. $21,000,000 $71,000,000
Bridget Jones’s Baby Sep 16, 2016 Universal $12,000,000 $39,000,000
Snowden Sep 16, 2016 Open Road Films $6,000,000 $16,000,000
Blair Witch Sep 16, 2016 Lionsgate $13,000,000 $30,000,000
Hillsong – Let Hope Rise Sep 16, 2016 Pure Flix $6,250,000 $21,000,000
Sully Sep 9, 2016 Warner Bros. $22,000,000 $81,000,000
When the Bough Breaks Sep 9, 2016 Sony $18,000,000 $39,000,000
The Wild Life Sep 9, 2016 Lionsgate $3,500,000 $9,000,000
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