Weekend Box Office Forecast: WONKA Hopes to Sweeten the Holiday Corridor

Photo by Jaap Buittendijk. © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

After back-to-back sleeper performances from Godzilla Minus One and The Boy and the Heron, Warner Bros. is set to kickstart the heart of the holiday season with this weekend’s debut of Wonka.


Warner Bros.

December 15, 2023 (WIDE)

Opening Weekend Range: $35M-$45M


  • With minimal competition ahead, familiarity across multiple generations gives this family-friendly franchise reimagining plenty of built-in awareness and potential appeal over the holiday corridor.
  • According to various sources, Thursday and Friday pre-sales are trending ahead of other preview and first day bows such as Wish, Trolls Band Together, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods as models continue to indicate a solid debut frame that should be followed by a leggy stretch into the new year.
  • Early reviews from critics are very encouraging with an 83 percent Rotten Tomatoes score as of December 12.


  • While generational appeal could play out, it’s also arguable that Wonka‘s brand bears some similarity to recent legacy IP-driven films that performed more modestly at the box office than expected, as adult moviegoers have begun to represent less of the modern theatrical audience.
  • Musicals have been hit and miss at the box office in recent years. Warner Bros.’ marketing campaign has made efforts to limit the obviousness of that aspect of the film, which could go one way or the other in terms of eventual word of mouth.

Current projection ranges call for a 52% decrease from the comparable weekend’s top ten aggregate of $151.4 million in 2022 and a 34% decrease from 2019’s $110.4 million frame.

* = Poor Things forecast removed due to incorrectly reported location count

Film Studio 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, December 17 Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed) 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd
Wonka Warner Bros. Pictures $37,500,000 $37,500,000 ~4,150 NEW
Godzilla Minus One Toho International $6,600,000 $36,300,000 ~2,600 -23%
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Lionsgate $5,300,000 $144,600,000 ~3,400 -43%
The Boy and the Heron GKIDS $4,500,000 $22,200,000 ~2,300 -65%
Trolls Band Together Universal Pictures $4,300,000 $88,900,000 ~3,200 -29%
Christmas With The Chosen: Holy Night Fathom Events $4,000,000 $10,400,000 ~2,200 NEW
Wish Disney $3,200,000 $54,200,000 ~3,100 -40%
Poor Things* Searchlight Pictures n/a* n/a* n/a* n/a*
Napoleon Sony Pictures & Apple $2,500,000 $57,300,000 ~2,500 -39%
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé AMC Theatres Distribution $2,200,000 $31,200,000 ~1,800 -60%

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 by Jaap Buittendijk. © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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