Weekend Box Office Forecast: Bullet Train to Repeat as Bodies Bodies Bodies Expands, Summer Slowdown Takes Hold

Photo Credits: Sony ("Bullet Train"); A24 ("Bodies, Bodies, Bodies"); Lionsgate ("Fall"); Gravitas Ventures ("Mack & Rita")

That oft-mentioned late summer slowdown is here, earlier than in past pre-pandemic years. The middle of August hasn’t always been known for blockbusters, but the industry will certainly be scratching and clawing for positive insights this weekend.

Last week, Sony’s Bullet Train opened on par with expectations in a $30 million debut that should give it some momentum among action fans for the next few weeks. The Brad Pitt-led pic will lose a chunk of its premium footprint this weekend, though — most notably IMAX, alongside partial showtime-sharing with other films in formats like 4DX, Dolby, RPX, and ScreenX.

If there’s to be a standout “new” release this weekend, it’ll actually be an expansion from A24. Bodies Bodies Bodies opened to almost $227K from just six locations last weekend, prompting the arthouse distributor to muscle up its rollout plans for their latest indie film. The most recent projections suggest the film could land in close to 1,800 locations this weekend, but the studio has yet to confirm that.

Tracking for Bodies is comparable to Men, which bowed to $3.3 million at 2,212 locations, and X ($4.3 million from 2,865) earlier this year.

Meanwhile, holdovers will be the name of the game across the remaining top ten. With no significant competition coming around, most films should see soft drops from last week. The caveat there is the rolling start of school across various regions and the final-chance-for-a-vacation season.

The biggest story among the many chase weekends going to bat this frame will be Top Gun: Maverick as it gets a long anticipated revival at some IMAX and premium auditoriums (part of the shared showtime situation mentioned in regard to Bullet Train).

Partaking in that rotating door of IMAX showings is the 40th anniversary re-release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. With only that premium format accounting for its expected location count, it may or may not quite make it into the weekend top ten.

That being said, expectations for the weekend’s true new wide releases — Lionsgate’s Fall and Gravitas Ventures’ Mack & Rita — aren’t particularly high at this point as they may bow outside the top ten, and below E.T. itself, despite wide footprints for the former two.

Meanwhile, Roadside Attractions and Bleecker Street will push Emily the Criminal and Summering, respectively, in limited release.

Weekend Ranges

Bodies Bodies Bodies
Semi-Wide Expansion Weekend Range: $3 – 5 million

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (40th Anniversary in IMAX)
Opening Weekend Range: $1 – 3 million

Fall
Opening Weekend Range: <$2 million

Mack & RIta
Opening Weekend Range: <$1.5 million

Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections

Current projection ranges call for a 29 to 34 percent decline from last weekend’s $88.0 million top ten aggregate.

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, August 7 Location Count Projection (as of Wed) % Change from Last Wknd
Bullet Train Sony Pictures $13,100,000 $53,800,000 ~4,100 -56%
DC League of Super-Pets Warner Bros. Pictures $8,300,000 $59,800,000 ~3,800 -25%
Top Gun: Maverick Paramount Pictures $6,800,000 $673,600,000 ~3,100 -3%
Nope Universal Pictures $6,200,000 $108,600,000 ~3,000 -27%
Thor: Love and Thunder Disney & Marvel Studios $5,700,000 $326,100,000 ~3,200 -26%
Minions: The Rise of Gru Universal & Illumination Animation $5,600,000 $344,700,000 ~3,100 -21%
Bodies Bodies Bodies A24 $4,000,000 $4,300,000 ~1,800 1536%
Where the Crawdads Sing Sony 3000 Pictures $3,900,000 $72,000,000 ~2,400 -31%
Easter Sunday Universal Pictures $3,000,000 $10,700,000 ~3,175 -45%
Elvis Warner Bros. Pictures $2,700,000 $141,500,000 ~2,100 -31%

*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.