Weekend Box Office Forecast: Could Smile Fend Off Amsterdam and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile Over Holiday Frame?

Photo Credits: 20th Century Studios ("Amsterdam"); Sony & CTMG -- All Rights Reserved. ("Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile")

The domestic market’s fourth quarter is officially underway as October’s first full weekend sees the counter-programming duo of Amsterdam and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile aim for autumnal moviegoers.

The pair of releases will be fighting to unseat Paramount’s sleeper hit Smile, which opened on the high end of expectations last weekend with a strong $22.6 million debut. The horror pic looks to begin stretching its legs as the month of Halloween typically proves fruitful for the genre, and word of mouth on the film is registering positive.

Smile may even have a shot at repeating in the top spot this weekend despite the new entrants. That being said, all three will be aiming for different audiences, so anything could happen. While Smile is strongest with both men and women under 35, Amsterdam‘s bread and butter should largely come from the flip side of that age demographic and Lyle will be drawing from parents and children.

That last note is an important one to consider. Long range tracking had been more bullish on the film than pre-sales indicate to be warranted, but walk-up business should, in theory, be strong for a movie with some IP attached, a few star names in Shaun Mendes, Constance Wu, and Javier Bardem, a holiday weekend, and a long drought of family-driven content that extends back to late July when DC League of Super-Pets opened.

Reviews aren’t yet available for Lyle, but it’s probably critic-proof to some extent given those other factors. The universe of social media, tracking, and pre-sales are coalescing around comparison films ranging from The Bad Guys on the optimistic end to, more moderately, The Addams Family 2 and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

One of Lyle‘s X factors will be how much business spreads out over the four-day weekend for those out of school in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday.

Sony is starting previews for at 3pm Thursday in an estimated 3,450 theaters before the estimated 4,300-plus rollout on Friday. Some premium screen footprint is in consideration for the $50 million-budgeted release. The studio expects $11 million to $12 million for the weekend, though they haven’t confirmed whether that represents the three- or four-day window.

The aforementioned Amsterdam will conversely follow a string of low-to-mid tier adult-driven titles to open in recent weeks. Disney has smartly amped up marketed around its star-studded cast led by Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, Robert de Niro, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, et al.

Unfortunately, critics haven’t taken to the film in a way usually expected of David O. Russell projects, whose name could still draw some ticket sales thanks to the success of The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle over the past 12 years. Critics pinned the film at just 35 percent across 60 reviews as of Wednesday morning.

Again, tracking was a bit more hopeful than it appears the film may be on course to reach, though some upside may come from walk-up business with no IP attached to drive any urgency in pre-sales. The X factor in this case is whether or not the giant ensemble of A-list talent and Russell’s name can overshadow the impact negative reviews (and a period time setting) might have on some moviegoers’ ticket-buying decision this weekend.

Considering the critics’ reception and potential long legs if audiences approve more than reviewers, Amsterdam‘s bottom line may not necessarily come down to its opening weekend alone.

Disney is distributing the 20th Century Studios film in over 3,000 domestic theaters, including 390 IMAX sites and more than 700 PLF screens with previews kicking off Thursday at 6pm. It also opens day and date in the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico, among other markets.

Overall, with another duet of openers, a strong holdover from last week’s top film, and a holiday weekend in play, the scenarios on the table this weekend are as veritable as the movies themselves, and more than has been the case over the past couple of months. Theater owners, and studios for that matter, are hoping that translates to some positive news.

Weekend Ranges

Opening Range: $8 – 13 million (3-day)

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Opening Range: $12.5 – 18.5 million (3-day)

Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections

Current projection ranges call for between a 2 percent decrease and a 3 percent increase (three-day only) from last weekend’s $56.8 million top ten aggregate.

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, October 9 4-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Monday, October 10 Location Count Projection (as of Wed) 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile Sony / Columbia Pictures $15,000,000 $15,000,000 $17,400,000 $17,400,000 ~4,300 NEW
Smile Paramount Pictures $14,100,000 $45,500,000 $16,000,000 $47,400,000 ~3,645 -38%
Amsterdam Disney / 20th Century Studios $10,700,000 $10,700,000 $12,000,000 $12,000,000 ~3,000 NEW
The Woman King Sony Pictures $4,700,000 $53,400,000 $5,400,000 $54,100,000 ~3,000 -31%
Don’t Worry Darling Warner Bros. Pictures $3,900,000 $38,800,000 $4,500,000 $39,400,000 ~3,400 -43%
Bros Universal Pictures $2,900,000 $9,500,000 $3,300,000 $9,900,000 ~3,350 -40%
Barbarian 20th Century Studios (Disney) $2,100,000 $36,300,000 $2,400,000 $36,600,000 ~2,300 -26%
Avatar (2022 Re-Issue) 20th Century Studios (Disney) $2,000,000 $22,500,000 $2,300,000 $22,800,000 ~1,600 -60%
Top Gun: Maverick Paramount Pictures $875,000 $714,700,000 $970,000 $714,800,000 ~1,200 -27%
Bullet Train Sony Pictures $725,000 $102,500,000 $830,000 $102,600,000 ~1,100 -46%

*All forecasts are subject to revision before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.

Theater counts are updated as confirmed by studiosThe above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.

Photo Credits: 20th Century Studios ("Amsterdam"); Sony & CTMG -- All Rights Reserved. ("Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile")

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