January was able to perform on the high end of expectations, and an even more encouraging February gets underway this weekend with three key releases looking to give the domestic market some fresh mid-winter momentum.
Likely to lead the pack and dethrone Avatar: The Way of Water after seven weekends is M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin, arriving at an estimated 3,800 locations via Universal.
The auteur filmmaker has a long history of attracting his core fan base with mysterious and enigmatic marketing, with some of the more curious and casual of moviegoers occasionally turning out depending on the concept and star power. Knock has generated respectable social media buzz in recent weeks, and the horror/thriller genre has been a pillar of consistent success with its strong appeal to young audiences and the natural communal benefit of theatrical viewing.
Shyamalan’s latest is tracking best with male consumers between the age of 17 and 34, putting it in a slightly different category than the recent genre breakout of M3GAN as it catered to a more female-driven demographic. While the latter was original film, its own viral social buzz helped it behave like a quasi-franchise film on opening weekend thanks to high awareness — something Knock certainly has with Shyamalan’s name at the forefront.
Unfortunately, reviews are not yet available at the time of this report’s publishing and that’s a considerable factor in forecasts when it comes to this filmmaker. Audience sentiment is more reactionary to his films than other genre entries tend to be, so word of mouth will be important to consider in the days ahead with regard to where it lands on the spectrum of scenarios. The picture’s R rating may also skew comparisons with recent PG-13 genre standouts.
This weekend’s counter-programming trio continues with Paramount’s sleeper-in-the-making, 80 for Brady, going into more than 3,800 locations. The adult female-driven comedy is courting an under-served demographic with the potential of crossing over to football fans on a bye weekend before the NFL’s Super Bowl on February 12.
Brady‘s late-stage marketing has been very effective, driving strong pre-sales for several preview nights including early shows on January 28, a BFF Night Out event on January 31, and Wednesday’s Ladies’ Night Out — all before traditional 3pm Thursday previews and Friday’s true opening day.
Social media growth is the most conservative of metrics for Brady, though that’s to be expected with the target audience not factoring heavily in such consumer sample pools. Even by those standards, though, Brady is ahead of the curve with stronger engagement than the likes of Death on the Nile, Downton Abbey: A New Era, and Ticket to Paradise.
Last, but certainly not least, is the latest grassroots effort from Fathom Events and Angel Studios: The Chosen: Season 3 Finale. The hit faith-based television series is no stranger to theatrical success with several past episode premieres generating great returns for cinemas.
The highly anticipated finale of the series’ current season is tracking slightly ahead of the Season 3 Premiere, which consisted of two episodes and earned $8.77 million in its opening weekend without any Thursday previews back in December.
The Season 3 finale will have said Thursday previews leading into a full weekend at an estimated 2,000-plus theaters.
Meanwhile, due to a lack of reporting on Pathaan‘s weekday grosses and uncertainty around its second weekend location count, forecasts are not currently listed below for last week’s breakout Bollywood release.
Opening Weekend Ranges
80 for Brady
Opening Weekend Range: $13 – 19 million
The Chosen: Season 3 Finale
Opening Weekend Range: $8 – 12 million
Knock at the Cabin
Opening Weekend Range: $18 – 27 million
Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections
Current projection ranges call for a 32 to 42 percent increase from last weekend’s $62.3 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Studios||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, February 5||Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Knock at the Cabin||Universal Pictures||$23,200,000||$23,200,000||~3,600||NEW|
|80 for Brady||Paramount Pictures||$15,600,000||$15,600,000||~3,800||NEW|
|Avatar: The Way of Water||Disney & 20th Century Studios||$11,200,000||$636,800,000||~3,100||-30%|
|The Chosen: Season 3 Finale||Angel Studios & Fathom Events||$10,100,000||$10,100,000||~2,100||NEW|
|Puss in Boots: The Last Wish||Universal Pictures & DreamWorks Animation||$9,400,000||$152,700,000||~3,200||-10%|
|A Man Called Otto||Sony & Columbia Pictures||$4,700,000||$53,500,000||~3,300||-29%|
|M3GAN||Universal Pictures & Blumhouse||$3,500,000||$87,300,000||~2,900||-44%|
|Missing||Sony & Screen Gems||$3,000,000||$22,200,000||~2,600||-47%|
All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of opening previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are either studio estimates OR unofficial projections if preceded by “~”.
The 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.
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