Weekend Box Office Forecast: Freaky Looks to Repeat at #1 as Vanguard Debuts on Pre-Thanksgiving Frame

Photo Credits: Universal / Blumhouse ("Freaky"); Universal / Focus Features ("Let Him Go"); Gravitas Ventures ("Vanguard"); Walt Disney Pictures ("The Santa Clause")

This week’s report is fairly short and to the point as major studios take a break from new releases — particularly Universal, which has claimed the top spot for the past three weekends with the debuts of Freaky, Let Him Go, and Come Play. The latter two, of course, were Focus Features titles.

As we head into the pre-Thanksgiving corridor and the same parent studio readies Croods: A New Age for release next Wednesday, cinemas are looking to Gravitas Ventures’ release of Vanguard — starring Jackie Chan — in an estimated 1,376 locations, the largest release in the company’s 12-year history.

Loyal fans of the veteran action star will be the target audience here, and theater owners are currently booking the film for 9 percent of all available screenings, according to The Boxoffice Company’s Showtimes Dashboard platform. That ties The War with Grandpa as the third best showtime footprint for all films between this Friday and next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Disney is offering up its latest re-issue of a classic film — this time with 1994’s original The Santa Clause. The studio’s re-releases have had a scattershot history at the box office in recent weeks with Guardians of the Galaxy and Pixar titles Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Coco delivering more modest results than the likes of Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Empire Strikes Back in September and October.

Given the pre-holiday window and classic nature of a film that kicked-started a franchise for the studio that lasted three films into 2006, its possible the Tim Allen holiday comedy could perform more in line with the latter bunch. Still, there are reasons to be cautious as noted below.

Last but not least, TriStar Pictures will distribute The Last Vermeer in an unconfirmed number of theaters. Showtimes Dashboard currently samples 869 locations with locked-in showtimes, so its possible the final tally will approach or exceed 1,000 for an unofficial wide release designation.

Not to be forgotten is the aforementioned Freaky, as well as holdovers Let Him Go, Come Play, War with Grandpa, Honest Thief, and Tenet. All of them should continue to pad the market with minimal competition in play.

The caveat to all of this is that COVID-19 cases continue to set daily records in the United States, forcing more people to stay at home and renewed curfews/lockdowns/closures in certain regions of the country.

While strong holds would normally be expected on such a weekend that isn’t coming off a major holiday and isn’t seeing any significant competition enter the fray, the reality is that audiences may not have moviegoing on the mind right now — especially as families prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday next week.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, November 22 % Change from Last Wknd
Freaky Universal Pictures $1,800,000 $6,200,000 -50%
Vanguard Gravitas Ventures $1,000,000 $1,000,000 NEW
The War with Grandpa 101 Studios $870,000 $16,300,000 -34%
Let Him Go Focus Features $850,000 $8,100,000 -51%
The Santa Clause (2020 Re-Issue) Disney $750,000 $750,000 NEW
Come Play Focus Features $600,000 $8,100,000 -44%
Tenet Warner Bros. Studios $515,000 $57,100,000 -30%
Honest Thief Open Road Films $490,000 $13,050,000 -37%
The Last Vermeer TriStar Pictures $300,000 $300,000 NEW
Guardians of the Galaxy (2020 Re-Issue) Disney / Marvel Studios $180,000 $670,000 -56%

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

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Photo Credits: Universal / Blumhouse ("Freaky"); Universal / Focus Features ("Let Him Go"); Gravitas Ventures ("Vanguard"); Walt Disney Pictures ("The Santa Clause")