Weekend Box Office Forecast: Focus Features Eyes Back-to-Back #1 Openers with Let Him Go

Photo Credits: Focus Features / Universal Pictures ("Let Him Go" and "Come Play"); Disney / Pixar ("Toy Story")

It’s been — and still is — a wild week for the United States and the entire world as the results of the presidential election remain unknown and the pandemic continues with consistent daily records of new cases. For those seeking some semblance of escapism in a safe and politics-free environment, however, this weekend will provide the latest new release hoping to provide theaters and audiences with fresh content: Let Him Go.

The western-drama-thriller starring Diane Lane and Kevin Costner is the latest offering from Focus Features, under Universal Pictures, during exhibition’s mid-pandemic restart. The studio just delivered the top film of last weekend with Come Play, a horror title delivering solid results under the circumstances.

Now, Focus is back in action again with what looks to be their second consecutive weekend atop the box office. Let Him Go has earned respectable social media footprints for a film aimed predominately at an audience not known for making significant online impacts with titles like these.

Trailers have been screening in theaters since the reopening began in late August, and television ads have been among the most widespread of any film during this period since Tenet. Given the current market, absence of direct competition, there could be room for some slight over-performance compared to titles like Unhinged and Honest Thief.

Reviews for the film stand at a positive 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (from 60 critics) as of Thursday evening, and its primary trailer has garnered a healthy 5.7+ million views on YouTube. The studio is distributing in an estimated 2,436 locations in North America this weekend, and it currently boasts an estimated 15 percent of all booked showtimes (per our parent company’s Showtimes Dashboard platform).

Re-Issues & Counter-Programmers

Also debuting this weekend will be Vertical Entertainment’s Jungleland in an estimated 277 locations. Starring Charlie Hunnam, the pic currently ranks among the top ten booked showtimes for domestic cinemas, giving it a shot at the top ten chart.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ will re-issue American Sniper ahead of Veterans Day next Wednesday. Given the limited sample of re-release returns for live action films recently, it’s challenging to predict what kind of impact this could have, although we expect generally modest results.

Likely the more high-profile re-issue will be Disney’s latest un-vaulting of a classic, Pixar’s original Toy Story. The film is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month and will take the place of recent films Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Monsters, Inc. Disney has confirmed re-issues of the latter three will no longer be in theaters as of this weekend.

Last but not least, re-releases of Goldfinger (in memory of Sean Connery’s recent passing) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail will also fill some screens this weekend.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, November 8 % Change from Last Wknd
Let Him Go Focus Features $3,800,000 $3,800,000 NEW
Come Play Focus Features $1,600,000 $5,700,000 -49%
Toy Story (2020 Re-Issue) Disney / Pixar $1,400,000 $1,400,000 NEW
The War with Grandpa 101 Studios $950,000 $12,850,000 -25%
Honest Thief Open Road $850,000 $10,900,000 -38%
Tenet Warner Bros. $675,000 $54,800,000 -24%
The Empty Man Disney / 20th Century Studios $320,000 $2,750,000 -45%
Vertical Entertainment
$190,000 $190,000 NEW
Spell Paramount $130,000 $395,000 -37%
American Sniper (2020 Re-Issue) Warner Bros. $100,000 $100,000 NEW

All forecasts subject to change before the first confirmation of weekend estimates from studios or alternative sources.

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Photo Credits: Focus Features / Universal Pictures ("Let Him Go" and "Come Play"); Disney / Pixar ("Toy Story")