Long Range Forecast: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Zombieland 2; Plus It: Chapter Two, Hustlers, and Downton Abbey Updates

This week’s report takes a dive into the middle of October with two of the fall season’s highest profile releases, currently slated to open on Friday, October 18. Read below for our analysis, plus notable updates on other upcoming films.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Opening Weekend Range: $30 – 50 million


  • The return of star Angelina Jolie is a big advantage considering her presence as one of Disney’s most iconic villains/antiheroes helped the 2014 predecessor power its way to a $69.4 million domestic opening weekend, finishing with a strong $241.4 million / $758.5 million global run.

  • On top of the fact that the Disney brand name is as safe a bet as there is among families, there are very few films — let alone any with built-in appeal — aiming to draw young female audiences between summer’s end and mid-November’s Frozen II. The corridor for a leggy run — smartly timed close to Halloween — certainly exists here.

  • This sequel’s trailers have thus far driven solid online activity across social media platforms, outperforming trends of recent Disney pics like Dumbo and A Wrinkle In Time.


  • Arriving five years after the first film, there’s reason to wonder if some of the heat from its success has cooled off and left this sequel in a position to experience diminished returns. An early comp in this arena would be the six year gap between Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. The latter sequel dropped 77 percent from its blockbuster predecessor’s domestic total, and this year has similarly seen several family franchises (such as The LEGO Movie 2 and Secret Life of Pets 2) experience sharp drops from their first films.

  • Competition from The Addams Family could be a factor if that animated title generates positive word of mouth among families starting one week before.

  • With Columbus Day landing on the Monday before release, opening weekend won’t be able to take full advantage of a no-school Monday.

Zombieland 2: Double Tap
Opening Weekend Range: $24 – 34 million


  • The original Zombieland has evolved into a cult classic over the past decade following its strong $24.7 million domestic opening in October 2009, onward to $75.6 million stateside and $102.4 million worldwide.

  • The return of its predecessor’s entire original cast (now even more prodigious thanks to the star careers developed by Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg) — as well as the film’s creative team in director Ruben Fleischer (also fresh off the success of Venom) and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool) — provide encouragement for a worthy sequel.

  • With a near-two-week lead on Halloween, the timing could be perfect for a solid box office run with no direct competition entering the market after this pic’s release date.


  • Similar to the other film covered in our report this week, it’s worth questioning whether or not the long wait for this sequel will hold back the kind of hype it might have had earlier in the decade. That said, fans will be more than fine with the wait if the sequel proves to be as crowd-pleasing as its predecessor.

  • Opening in Joker‘s third weekend isn’t a major concern, though it is a notable factor given similar target audiences and if the DC title generates significant staying power.

Notable Updates This Week

  • It: Chapter Two‘s range continues to fluctuate as this week’s first reactions from critics indicate potential for varying degrees of word of mouth. Combined with the film’s near-three-hour runtime and updated social media models, we’re lowering forecasts for the time being, but we still expect another blockbuster run in the grand scheme of things.

  • STX’s Hustlers is beginning to make its presence known in a big way as the ensemble-driven pic is garnering significant interest from a variety of audiences in multiple pre-release tracking reports. STX’s growing reputation for delivering appealing content to adult female audiences is another consideration in our improved outlook for this film.

  • The Downton Abbey film is off to a roaring start in pre-sales, per Fandango, indicating the fan base should drive a strong opening weekend. While we can’t rule out the possibility of heavy front-loading by the popular series’ most avid viewers, the feature film is making an early case for a solid box office run. We’ll offer more detailed forecasts when Focus Features confirms the extent of the film’s wide release.

8-Week Forecast

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Range 3-Day (FSS) Opening Forecast % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Forecast % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
8/30/2019 Don’t Let Go n/a n/a   n/a   n/a OTL
9/6/2019 It: Chapter Two $100,000,000 – $140,000,000 $119,000,000 -14% $290,000,000 -6% 4,200 Warner Bros. / New Line
9/13/2019 The Goldfinch $7,500,000 – $12,500,000 $9,500,000 -5% $31,000,000 -6%   Warner Bros.
9/13/2019 Hustlers $15,000,000 – $25,000,000 $21,000,000 62% $60,000,000 54%   STX
9/20/2019 Ad Astra $17,000,000 – $22,000,000 $20,000,000   $65,000,000     Fox
9/20/2019 Downton Abbey $14,000,000 – $19,000,000 n/a NEW n/a     Universal
9/20/2019 Rambo: Last Blood $11,000,000 – $16,000,000 $14,500,000   $35,000,000     Lionsgate
9/27/2019 Abominable $19,000,000 – $24,000,000 $22,500,000   $75,000,000     Universal
10/4/2019 Joker $70,000,000 – $95,000,000 $81,000,000   $180,000,000     Warner Bros.
10/11/2019 The Addams Family (2019) $16,000,000 – $21,000,000 $18,000,000   $70,000,000     United Artists Releasing
10/11/2019 The Current War (Expansion) n/a n/a   n/a     101 Studios
10/11/2019 Gemini Man $25,000,000 – $30,000,000 $28,000,000   $90,000,000     Paramount
10/11/2019 Jexi n/a n/a   n/a     Lionsgate / CBS Films / Entertainment One
10/18/2019 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil $30,000,000 – $50,000,000 $37,000,000 NEW $110,000,000 NEW   Disney
10/18/2019 Zombieland 2: Double Tap $24,000,000 – $34,000,000 $30,000,000 NEW $77,000,000 NEW   Sony / Columbia

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Alex Edghill & Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report