The final weekend of March has been preceded by an onslaught of up-and-down news ranging from the restart of California theaters last week to Regal’s announced re-openings through April 16 and Disney’s bombshell news that will impact theatrical recovery throughout spring and early summer.
Fortunately, the “good news” items in that rundown are in play when it comes to the immediate situation at the box office.
After proving to be one of the most consistent suppliers of new movies to exhibition during the pandemic, Universal Pictures is back this weekend with the oft-shuffled Nobody. Starring Bob Odenkirk in a John Wick-esque send-up of revenge thrillers with a dose of dark comedy, the film is well-timed to capitalize on the aforementioned restarts of Los Angeles and New York City cinemas. It will release exclusively in theaters nationwide this weekend.
Not all theaters are choosing to open their doors again just yet, but slightly more than half of domestic theaters were open by the end of last weekend when Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon topped the box office for a third time in as many weeks of release.
With Nobody, the target audience of adult men has been one of the few reliable (relatively speaking) demos to show up during the pandemic. Other than family-driven titles, pics like The Little Things, The Marksman, Let Him Go, and Honest Thief have demonstrated consistent box office openings close to the $4-6 million range.
All of those films opened long before the higher-priced markets of Los Angeles and New York were back online in any capacity, and certainly before vaccines were being rolled out more effectively (if at all), further adding to Nobody‘s potential this weekend.
The film currently boasts a strong 84 percent score from 88 Rotten Tomatoes critics, suggesting it could be as much of a crowd-pleaser as the studio’s marketing campaign has suggested.
Audience accessibility looks even more apparent judging by social media impact where Nobody‘s combined universe of followers is outpacing that of similarly male-driven films release during the pandemic. The official trailer page on YouTube has drawn over 8.2 million views.
Nevertheless, the film is a bit more niche than mainstream fare like the family titles that have come to define most of March so far. As audience sentiment remains in flux (though trending upward), forecast ranges remain heavily volatile compared to pre-pandemic times. An opening anywhere between $4 million and $9 million is likely from the available marketplace based on pandemic era models.
On Showtimes Dashboard, Nobody currently leads all titles with an estimated 20 percent block of showings, followed by Raya at 14 percent and Tom & Jerry at 13 percent.
This Weekend vs. Last Weekend
Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will increase 10 to 25 percent from last weekend’s $15.5 million top ten haul.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, March 28||Location Count||% Change from Last Wknd|
|Raya and the Last Dragon||Walt Disney Pictures||$4,000,000||$28,800,000||2,212||-22%|
|Tom & Jerry||Warner Bros. Studios||$3,200,000||$38,000,000||~2,500||-16%|
|The Courier||Roadside Attractions||$1,300,000||$3,800,000||1,641||-31%|
|The Croods: A New Age||Universal Pictures||$550,000||$56,000,000||1,319||-12%|
|The Marksman||Open Road Films / Briarcliff Entertainment||$375,000||$14,800,000||851||-20%|
|Wonder Woman 1984||Warner Bros. Studios||$325,000||$45,900,000||~1,050||-19%|
|The Father||Sony Pictures Classics||$275,000||$800,000||~900||-12%|
All forecasts subject to change before the first confirmation of weekend estimates from studios or alternative sources.
Theater counts are updated as confirmed.
Forecasts above do not necessarily represent the top ten, but rather films with the widest theatrical footprint based on studio confirmations entering the weekend.
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