Weekend Box Office Forecast: THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES, NEXT GOAL WINS, TROLLS BAND TOGETHER, and THANKSGIVING

Pre-Thanksgiving weekend will see the welcome release of four major studio films as the holiday corridor begins to ramp up with a variety of content.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Lionsgate

November 17, 2023 (WIDE)

Opening Weekend Range: $42M-$55M

WEEKEND PROS:

  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is generating healthy awareness and interest levels from female demographics with pre-sales currently outpacing those of The Marvels at the same point—especially for post-preview business on Friday.
  • Trolls Band Together opens in a vacuum of family-driven and animated content, this fall’s PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie having been the only significant release catering to that audience since summer. Early access shows a few weeks ago also performed well.
  • Eli Roth and a niche horror fan base could drive Thanksgiving as a solid counter-programming option this weekend as it hopes to benefit from a timely release date. An 85 percent approval rating from 20 critics on Rotten Tomatoes so far is also encouraging.
  • Similarly, Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins will appeal mostly to domestic soccer (international football) and the filmmaker’s own fan base.

Trolls Band Together

Universal

November 17, 2023 (WIDE)

Opening Weekend Range: $25M-$33M

WEEKEND CONS:

  • The Hunger Games prequel is tracking far below its core series predecessors that generated blockbuster-level earnings from 2012 to late 2015. While pre-sales are pacing ahead of The Marvels, and this film comes with a lower budget, there’s still a clear trajectory of diminished returns for the young adult-driven brand that also lacks Jennifer Lawrence’s star power this time around.
  • Trolls Band Together, as noted in previous forecasts, needs to overcome its brand exposure in recent years that included a straight-to-streaming movie and a Netflix series. Early reviews are modest with a 62 percent score from 34 critics, and its older female audience could opt for the Hunger Games film instead.
  • Horror films are tough sells after Halloween, and Eli Roth’s fans could create some skewed tracking for Thanksgiving that might translate to front-loading on Friday as previews begin late Thursday at 7pm.
  • Adjusting for theater counts, Next Goal Wins is currently tracking along the lines of Champions at the same point in its pre-sales cycle and boasts a modest 47 percent from 57 critics.

Thanksgiving

Sony / TriStar

November 17, 2023 (WIDE)

Opening Weekend Range: $10M-$15M

Next Goal Wins

Disney / Searchlight Pictures

November 17, 2023 (WIDE)

Opening Weekend Range: $3M-$7M

Current projection ranges call for a 24% increase from the comparable weekend’s top ten aggregate of $99 million in 2022 and a 37% increase from 2019’s $89.6 million frame.

Film Studio 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, November 19 Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed) 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Lionsgate $47,100,000 $47,100,000 3,700 NEW
Trolls Band Together Universal Pictures $28,200,000 $28,200,000 3,800 NEW
The Marvels Disney & Marvel Studios $16,000,000 $71,300,000 ~4,030 -65%
Thanksgiving Sony Pictures & TriStar $12,000,000 $12,000,000 3,200 NEW
Next Goal Wins Disney & Searchlight Pictures $4,200,000 $4,200,000 ~2,300 NEW
Five Nights at Freddy’s Universal Pictures & Blumhouse $4,000,000 $133,400,000 ~3,000 -55%
Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour AMC Theatres Distribution & Variance Films $3,100,000 $176,100,000 ~1,900 -49%
Priscilla A24 $2,800,000 $18,000,000 ~2,000 -42%
The Holdovers Focus Features $2,700,000 $8,400,000 ~1,600 -16%
Killers of the Flower Moon Paramount Pictures & Apple $2,600,000 $64,500,000 ~2,000 -43%

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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