Long Range Tracking: ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ ‘Aquaman,’ & ‘Bumblebee’

This week’s report takes a look at three key holiday releases slated for the penultimate weekend of 2018, less than one week before Christmas Day.

Note: due to the sometimes abnormal holding patterns of films around this time of year, tracking ranges and long-term forecasts are more volatile than with typical releases and could shift significantly in the weeks ahead.

Mary Poppins Returns
Opening 3-Day Weekend Range: $30 – 50 million

All signs point to another major holiday success from Disney with this long-awaited sequel’s appeal to multiple generations of fans. Star Emily Blunt (Into the WoodsA Quiet Place) has won early praise for her faithful take on the iconic Julie Andrews character, while co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) provides another marquee name for a film that is bound to capitalize on the wave of successful musicals at the box office.

Trailer reactions are enthusiastic, and early social media trends are very encouraging. Industry buzz is additionally notable after the film won over a group of exhibitors recently, with rumors bubbling that the studio could make a push for top line categories like Best Picture in the nearing Oscar race. The main question remaining at this point is if younger audiences will gravitate toward the nostalgia-driven film, or if competing films in the market will divide that key demographic.

Either way, we currently expect big results with staying power that should extend well out from the film’s Wednesday, December 19 opening.

Opening Weekend Range: $40 – 60 million

The DC cinematic brand will be tested again with the universe’s first chapter since last year’s Justice League under-performed. A strong contingent of fans are excited for this character’s first big-screen solo adventure, while Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, and the ensemble cast should help translate to fair appeal among both men and women.

Social buzz thus far is comparable to Ant-Man and the Wasp, although a less front-loaded run is likely given the time of year. Reviews and word of mouth, as always, will be key for the comic book adaptation, but Aquaman is effectively looking to serve as the top option for moviegoers interested in an action-driven spectacle around the holiday break.

Opening Weekend Range: $15 – 25 million

Our immediate concern is that the Transformers franchise has lost a significant amount of goodwill among general audiences after the last two films displayed sharp declines at the domestic box office. That will be the initial disadvantage for this 1980s-set prequel (along with the opening weekend competition), but early trailers have started to win over fans hoping for a freshtake on the brand thanks to a new and accomplished filmmaker (Kubo and the Two Strings‘ Travis Knight) at the helm with a character-driven tone advertised thus far.

While Bumblebee is likely to finish third among the December 21 weekend’s new releases, family appeal and word of mouth could go a long way toward giving it healthy legs into early 2019.

8-Week Tracking

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Release Tracking % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Forecast % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
11/2/2018 Bohemian Rhapsody $39,000,000 11% $117,000,000 6% 3,800 Fox
11/2/2018 Tyler Perry’s Nobody’s Fool $13,500,000 $36,000,000 2,400 Paramount
11/2/2018 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms $20,000,000 -5% $76,000,000 -5% 3,800 Disney
11/2/2018 Suspiria (Wide) n/a n/a n/a Amazon Studios
11/9/2018 The Girl in the Spider’s Web $13,000,000 -7% $38,000,000 -5% 2,900 Sony / Columbia
11/9/2018 Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch $69,000,000 -1% $290,000,000 4,200 Universal
11/9/2018 Overlord $9,000,000 -14% $25,000,000 -17% 2,500 Paramount
11/16/2018 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald $75,000,000 $222,000,000 Warner Bros.
11/16/2018 Instant Family $18,000,000 n/a Paramount
11/16/2018 Widows $16,500,000 -18% $65,000,000 -17% Fox
11/21/2018 Creed 2 $23,000,000 $80,000,000 MGM
11/21/2018 The Front Runner (Wide Expansion) n/a n/a Sony
11/21/2018 Ralph Breaks the Internet $50,000,000 $200,000,000 Disney
11/21/2018 Robin Hood $9,500,000 $26,000,000 Lionsgate / Summit
11/21/2018 Green Book n/a n/a Universal
11/30/2018 The Possession of Hannah Grace n/a n/a Sony / Columbia
12/7/2018 The Silence n/a n/a Global Road
12/14/2018 Mortal Engines $16,000,000 $55,000,000 Universal
12/14/2018 The Mule $14,000,000 $80,000,000 Warner Bros.
12/14/2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $22,000,000 $90,000,000 Sony / Columbia
12/19/2018 Mary Poppins Returns $40,000,000 NEW $350,000,000 NEW Disney
12/21/2018 Aquaman $45,000,000 NEW $175,000,000 NEW Warner Bros.
12/21/2018 Bumblebee $20,000,000 NEW $100,000,000 NEW Paramount
12/21/2018 Second Act $7,000,000 -22% $40,000,000 STX
12/21/2018 Untitled Deadpool Movie n/a n/a Fox
12/21/2018 Welcome to Marwen n/a n/a Universal

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Alex Edghill contributed to research for this report