Weekend Box Office Forecast: SUPER MARIO BROS. Eye Animation’s Best-Ever 3rd Frame as EVIL DEAD RISE and THE COVENANT Debut

Photo Credits: Universal ("The Super Mario Bros. Movie"); Warner Bros. ("Evil Dead Rise"); MGM & STXfilms ("The Covenant")

As The Super Mario Bros. Movie continues its historic run, coming off the best second weekend ever for an animated release at $92.3 million, the blockbuster will remain unchallenged in the coming frame as several studios opt for counter-programmers.


  • Mario‘s trajectory continues to impress as a third weekend over Incredibles 2‘s $46.4 million record looks like a given. The film faces no direct competitors for its target audience and will retain a wide swath of premium screens once again.

    In fact, only six films have ever exceeded $60 million in their frame. Mario is in the conversation to rival five of them: Avatar ($68.5 million), Avatar: The Way of Water ($67.4 million), Black Panther ($66.3 million), Avengers: Endgame ($63.3 million), and Avengers: Infinity War ($62.1 million). Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ $90.2 million is out of reach.

    Having earned $358.97 million domestically through Monday, the family movie event will pass the lifetime hauls by a number of animated films in the coming days — including Illumination’s previous best Minions: The Rise of Gru ($369.7 million) and the non-inflation-adjusted runs of Finding Nemo ($380.8 million), Frozen ($400.95 million), Toy Story 3 ($415 million), 1994’s The Lion King ($422.8 million), Toy Story 4 ($434 million), and — potentially — Shrek 2 ($441.2 million).

    Should the lattermost be usurped, Mario would be on the bubble of the top 25 films of all time domestically by the end of Sunday. The Dark Knight Rises currently sits in 25th place with $448.1 million.
  • Among openers, Evil Dead Rise looks to stand out the most with significant appeal to its franchise fan base. Pre-sales are trending toward a Thursday preview launch around $2 million, with some margin for error, while critics’ reviews are very positive at 95 percent from 57 reviews so far. Brand awareness is very healthy among the target consumer base.
  • Guy Ritchie’s latest makes a play for the 35-plus male audience this weekend as The Covenant opens in wide release. Tracking is ahead of the director’s recent Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, and early reviews are encouraging at 78 percent from 27 critics as this film could play strong to somewhat critic-proof military families.
  • Expanding to semi-wide release from A24’s strong limited debut last weekend, Ari Aster’s Beau Is Afraid should make its presence known in the top ten this weekend. The film’s $80,099 per-theater average at 4 theaters was the studio’s best since Uncut Gems ($107,448 from 5 locations) in December 2019.
  • Also debuting this weekend is Searchlight Pictures’ Chevalier at a non-studio estimate 1,300 locations, though forecasts are not provided at this time.


  • Marketing for Evil Dead Rise hasn’t made the same social splash with the under-30 crowd that 2013’s previous reboot did when it bowed to $25.8 million a decade ago. With an aging fan base in mind, plus the more gory aspects of the franchise’s visceral horror appeal, some initial front-loading should be expected.
  • The Covenant‘s pre-release tracking looks somewhat conservative compared to films like 65, Plane, Beast, and Ambulance. Social media reach is notably more quiet than those four, and pre-existing competition in the market from films like Air, John Wick: Chapter 4, and others could limit the ceiling here.
  • With a 71 percent audience score thus far, Beau Is Afraid may not crossover beyond the A24 niche in the way Everything Everywhere All at Once did last spring with a $6.06 million semi-wide play. Models are converging around a performance closer to Bodies Bodies Bodies‘ $3.3 million expansion last year.

Weekend Ranges

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Third Weekend Range: $58 – 73 million

Evil Dead Rise
Opening Weekend Range: $13 – 18 million

The Covenant
Opening Weekend Range: $3 – 7 million

Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections

Current projection ranges call for a 13 to 22 percent decrease from last weekend’s $142.6 million top ten aggregate.

Film Studio 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, April 23 Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed) 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd
The Super Mario Bros. Movie Universal Pictures $65,200,000 $444,200,000 ~4,100 -29%
Evil Dead Rise Warner Bros. Pictures $16,000,000 $16,000,000 ~3,300 NEW
Air Amazon Studios $5,100,000 $41,500,000 ~2,900 -35%
John Wick: Chapter 4 Lionsgate $4,900,000 $168,200,000 ~2,700 -39%
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Paramount Pictures $4,800,000 $81,700,000 ~2,900 -36%
Beau Is Afraid A24 $4,500,000 $5,000,000 ~1,200 +1,307%
Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant MGM & STX Films $4,300,000 $4,300,000 ~2,700 NEW
The Pope’s Exorcist Sony Pictures / Screen Gems $4,200,000 $16,000,000 ~3,178 -53%
Renfield Universal Pictures $3,800,000 $14,400,000 ~3,375 -53%
Suzume Crunchyroll / Sony $1,300,000 $7,900,000 ~2,100 -74%

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.

Photo Credits: Universal ("The Super Mario Bros. Movie"); Warner Bros. ("Evil Dead Rise"); MGM & STXfilms ("The Covenant")