Weekend Box Office Forecast: Thor: Love and Thunder to Lead Again as Where the Crawdads Sing and Paws of Fury Open

Photo Credits: Disney & Marvel Studios ("Thor: Love and Thunder"); Sony ("Where the Crawdads Sing"); Paramount ("Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank")

Following the first pair of consecutive $100 million-plus domestic openers since June 2018, this mid-July frame is poised for a relative breather where new releases are concerned as the Marvel and Illumination blockbusters are likely to reign supreme.

Thor: Love and Thunder scored a healthy $144.2 million bow last week and will retain premium screens for its sophomore frame. We know from a slew of past Marvel comparisons that a sharp second weekend drop is inevitable, particularly for a summer release whose previews began at 3pm last Thursday. Word of mouth is also middle-of-the-road compared to the best of the MCU, so that’s another factor to watch for, although competition will be light.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is the favorite to retain second place again this weekend despite some minor competition entering the market (more on that shortly). Similar to its 2015 Minions predecessor, the film is so far meeting expectations in post-opening holding power. If there’s an outside chance of it slipping to third place, it would be due to one of the new releases on deck.

Contending for a potential top three debut this weekend is Sony’s adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing, opening at an estimated 3,625 locations. The film is scoring best in pre-sales and tracking with the novel’s female-driven fan base, and some over-indexing in southern regions could translate to a slight over-performance relative to the studio’s projected $9 million to $10 million start.

Crawdads is the recipient of underwhelming reviews, though, so it remains to be seen if post-opening shows will draw more casual audiences or if the market is crowded enough as is with other choices to entice general moviegoers. Early Access shows are being held Wednesday evening, followed by Thursday previews starting at 3pm.

After just crossing the $600 million domestic threshold and becoming Paramount’s highest grossing first-run release of all time, surpassing Titanic‘s $601 million in 1997-1998, Top Gun: Maverick will comfortably remain in the top five with nothing going after its audience or screens this weekend.

Of note, the Tom Cruise phenomenon is still chasing Titanic‘s $659.4 million lifetime gross, which includes all tracked re-releases by the James Cameron epic.

While Elvis has a shot to remain in the top five this weekend after strong holding power thus far in its run, that may be determined by how Paramount’s Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank performs in its debut. Tracking and pre-sales have left a great deal to be desired with family audiences focused far more on the Minions sequel right now.

As an original animated title, there’s a chance walk-ups could be stronger than expected, but forecasts are increasingly bearish for now. The film opens at an estimated 3,400 locations and will host previews starting at 3pm Thursday.

Meanwhile, Focus Features will distribute Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris at an estimated 978 locations this weekend, while A24 will expand indie hit Marcel the Shell with Shoes On to approximately 150 theaters. They’ll likely be in contention for a spot among the top ten.

Weekend Ranges

Thor: Love and Thunder
Second Weekend Range: $46 – 53 million

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
Opening Weekend Range: $5 – 10 million

Where the Crawdads Sing
Opening Weekend Range: $13 – 18 million

Weekend Forecast & Location Count Projections

Current projection ranges call for a 41 to 46 percent decline for this weekend from last weekend’s $237.3 million top ten aggregate.

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, July 17 Location Count Projection (as of Wed) % Change from Last Wknd
Thor: Love and Thunder Disney & Marvel Studios $50,000,000 $243,300,000 ~4,375 -65%
Minions: The Rise of Gru Universal & Illumination Animation $25,800,000 $264,300,000 ~4,100 -44%
Where the Crawdads Sing Sony 3000 Pictures $16,200,000 $16,200,000 3,625 NEW
Top Gun: Maverick Paramount Pictures $12,600,000 $618,700,000 ~3,500 -19%
Elvis Warner Bros. $7,900,000 $107,100,000 ~3,400 -29%
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank Paramount Pictures $7,500,000 $7,500,000 3,400 NEW
Jurassic World Dominion Universal Pictures $6,200,000 $361,200,000 ~2,900 -28%
The Black Phone Universal Pictures $5,100,000 $72,000,000 ~2,300 -34%
Lightyear Disney & Pixar $1,600,000 $115,900,000 ~1,400 -48%
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris Focus Features $900,000 $900,000 978 NEW

*All forecasts are subject to revision before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.

Theater counts are updated as confirmed by studiosThe 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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