Long Range Forecast: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ & ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ Set to Kick Off Holiday Movie Season

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This week’s Long Range Forecast welcomes the addition of two new wide releases scheduled to debut on Friday, November 3, officially kicking off the holiday movie season. Our early analyses and forecasts:

Thor: Ragnarok
Disney / Marvel Studios

PROS:

  • The most obvious and well-publicized asset for this film will, of course, be the fact that Marvel Studios has become a franchise brand name unto itself with event-level appeal to virtually all ages.
  • The promise of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk joining Chris Hemsworth’s Thor for a feature film could give this sub-franchise sequel an added boost of intrigue. Although not featured in marketing (so far), the same can be said of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, not to mention the casting of Cate Blanchett as the central villain and Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster character.
  • Early marketing has employed a more musically-driven, playful tone in the vein of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, something that has been generally well received by fans and offers a different expectation than we’ve come to expect from Thor movies.

CONS:

  • The previous Thor film, The Dark World, was a modest success by Marvel standards. Financially, the film certainly held its own, but it was generally regarded as one of the rare “filler” chapters of the overall MCU (as shown by its status as one of the most front-loaded Marvel movies to date). That could potentially lead to some minor audience fatigue as far as Thor-centric films go.
  • Much like the case was in 2013 when Dark World faced stiff mid-November competition with The Hunger Games: Catching FireRagnarok will run into the widely anticipated release of Justice League during the former’s third weekend. Word of mouth for both films will be key to each one’s success as they aim for similar audiences.
  • Although not necessarily a negative sign by any means, recent social media trends are more comparable to Doctor Strange than either of this year’s previous Marvel entries (Guardians Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming).

A Bad Moms Christmas
STXfilms

PROS:

  • The first film was a runaway sleeper hit during summer 2016, earning over $113 million domestically from a $23.8 million opening.
  • The counter-programming potential is generally strong on opening weekend, particularly among “moms’ night out” audiences. Similarly, the holiday theme of the film is purposefully and obviously tied to the shift toward a holiday season release.

CONS:

  • Although it should only be a minor effect, the female-driven comedic sequel will still have to contend with the fact that Thor: Ragnarok is led by one of Marvel’s more popular characters among women. This will then face another comedy sequel in its second weekend with Daddy’s Home 2 slated to open on November 10.
  • On the whole, comedy sequels have been very hit-and-miss at the box office in recent years, with examples like Horrible Bosses 2Ted 2, and others proving to perform well below the standards set by their predecessors.

This Week’s Changes & Other Notes

  • mother! has shown encouraging signs of social media activity since marketing kicked in a few weeks ago. That said, we remain concerned about its release proximity to IT, which is likely to still post a strong second weekend.
  • Likewise, the Flatliners remake has shown improving signs on social media of late. The film’s latest trailer this week could spur additional interest from teen moviegoers.

The Long Range Forecast:

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
9/15/2017 American Assassin $14,500,000 $40,000,000 3,000 Lionsgate
9/15/2017 mother! $11,200,000 7% $38,400,000 7% 2,800 Paramount
9/22/2017 Friend Request n/a n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
9/22/2017 Kingsman: The Golden Circle $42,000,000 $107,700,000 3,500 Fox
9/22/2017 The LEGO Ninjago Movie $42,500,000 $146,600,000 4,000 Warner Bros.
9/29/2017 American Made $15,000,000 $50,500,000 Universal
9/29/2017 Flatliners (2017) $12,000,000 20% $29,000,000 12% Sony / Screen Gems
9/29/2017 A Question of Faith n/a n/a Pure Flix
10/6/2017 Blade Runner 2049 $44,000,000 $115,000,000 Warner Bros.
10/6/2017 The Mountain Between Us $8,000,000 $25,000,000 Fox
10/6/2017 My Little Pony (2017) $7,500,000 $21,500,000 Lionsgate
10/13/2017 The Foreigner $10,000,000 $27,700,000 STXfilms
10/13/2017 Happy Death Day $20,000,000 $40,000,000 Universal / Blumhouse
10/13/2017 Marshall $12,000,000 $39,000,000 Open Road
10/20/2017 Geostorm $12,000,000 $27,800,000 Warner Bros.
10/20/2017 Only the Brave $16,000,000 $55,000,000 Sony / Columbia
10/20/2017 Same Kind of Different As Me $4,500,000 $12,000,000 Pure Flix
10/20/2017 The Snowman $11,000,000 $31,000,000 Universal
10/20/2017 Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween $23,500,000 $59,300,000 Lionsgate
10/27/2017 All I See Is You n/a n/a Open Road
10/27/2017 Jigsaw $10,000,000 $21,600,000 Lionsgate
10/27/2017 Suburbicon $14,000,000 $45,000,000 Paramount
10/27/2017 Thank You for Your Service $5,000,000 $17,500,000 Universal
11/3/2017 A Bad Moms Christmas $30,000,000 NEW $85,000,000 NEW STXfilms
11/3/2017 Thor: Ragnarok $100,000,000 NEW $250,000,000 NEW Disney

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.