The penultimate weekend of 2017 is the focus of this week’s Long Range Forecast, which is currently slated to see four films debut between Wednesday, December 20 and Friday, December 22 ahead of Christmas Day the following Monday.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has significant advantages in its favor: the combined star power of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black (not to mention Karen Gillan of Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Who fame), a release pattern similar to 2006’s Night at the Museum when Christmas last fell on a Monday, and what we think will be a healthy amount of nostalgic goodwill from the original 1995 film starring Robin Williams — which was a massive holiday sleeper hit that many 20- and 30-something audiences grew up on. Adjusted for inflation, that movie earned over $204 million domestically, which gives some indication of the potential here among family crowds.
- Downsizing will aim for adult and arthouse audiences with stars Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig in writer/director Alexander Payne’s newest project. An awards push for the satirical sci-fi/fantasy drama could give it some longevity at the box office into early 2018.
- Pitch Perfect 3 will rally fans of the franchise in what is reported to be the final film of the series (starring the current cast, anyway). A holiday release should help pad staying power relative to the second film’s slightly front-loaded run, especially as one of the season’s few releases with strong appeal to women.
- Father Figures is aiming to serve as the holiday corridor’s adult comedy option for those of age. A solid first trailer suggests some modest potential as a counter-programmer.
- The biggest hurdles for the Jumanji sequel to overcome will clearly be competition for family crowds against the holdover business of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as well as general sentiment for how the film stands up to the 1995 original.
- Downsizing‘s initial reviews — while mostly positive — suggest it may be slightly esoteric for mainstream audiences, similar to the way 2003’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind succeeded in greater ways critically and on the awards circuit than it necessarily did at the box office.
- As comedy sequels go, it’s rare for a franchise to improve upon itself once — let alone twice. We expect some diminished returns for Pitch Perfect 3 compared to the second film, but the perspective of this still generating a strong run relative to expenses and the first film’s unexpected sleeper success is important to keep in mind.
- Father Figures may have a tougher time finding the kind of audience as Why Him? last Christmas, but reviews and word of mouth will ultimately be what matters.
This Week’s Changes & Other Notes
- Thor: Ragnarok‘s strong reviews and marketing continue to impress, while traditional tracking has reportedly (but unconfirmed) now pegged it for a debut north of $120 million. Still, with Twitter activity closely mirroring that of Doctor Strange and trailing Spider-Man: Homecoming, we’re a bit more cautious with our increased forecasts this week.
- In addition to competing for the female portion of Thor‘s audience, A Bad Moms Christmas has shown social media patterns consistent with that of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. As such, we’re slightly lowering expectations ahead of next week’s release.
- On a similar track as A Bad Moms Christmas, Daddy’s Home 2 remains a candidate to follow in the footsteps of other comedy sequels to perform a bit more modestly than originally expected — particularly with increasing optimism around Murder on the Orient Express the same weekend.
- While measurable Twitter activity trails that of both Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman at this stage, Justice League‘s first “traditional” industry tracking this week is in line with the former and noticeably ahead of the latter. We’ve lowered forecasts to more closely match those expectations for now, although reviews could still sway things again in either direction throughout the coming weeks.
The 2-Month Forecast:
|Release Date||Title||3-Day Wide Opening||% Chg from Last Week||Domestic Total||% Chg from Last Week||Location Count||Distributor|
|11/1/2017||A Bad Moms Christmas||$17,500,000||-20%||$64,000,000||-25%||3,500||STXfilms|
|11/10/2017||Daddy’s Home 2||$24,000,000||-11%||$76,000,000||-11%||3,300||Paramount|
|11/10/2017||Murder on the Orient Express||$25,000,000||$94,000,000||3,100||Fox|
|11/17/2017||Justice League||$130,000,000||-13%||$312,000,000||-6%||Warner Bros.|
|11/17/2017||Roman J. Israel, Esq.||n/a||n/a||Sony / Columbia|
|11/17/2017||The Star||$13,000,000||$60,000,000||Sony / Columbia|
|11/22/2017||The Man Who Invented Christmas||n/a||n/a||Bleecker Street|
|11/22/2017||Polaroid||$2,500,000||$7,000,000||TWC / Dimension|
|11/24/2017||Darkest Hour||n/a||n/a||Focus Features|
|12/1/2017||(no films scheduled currently)|
|12/8/2017||The Disaster Artist||n/a||n/a||A24|
|12/8/2017||Just Getting Started||$8,000,000||$36,000,000||Broad Green Pictures|
|12/15/2017||Star Wars: The Last Jedi||$215,000,000||$742,000,000||Disney|
|12/20/2017||Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||$22,000,000||NEW||$175,000,000||NEW||Sony / Columbia|
|12/22/2017||Pitch Perfect 3||$40,000,000||NEW||$136,000,000||NEW||Universal|
|12/22/2017||Father Figures||$7,000,000||NEW||$41,000,000||NEW||Warner Bros.|
Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report