Weekend Box Office Estimates: I Still Believe Could Top $10M, But Onward and Holdovers Down 60%+ in Wake of COVID-19

Photo Credit: Disney, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Lionsgate

Saturday Update: Following yesterday’s report of the first official signs of COVID-19’s effect on domestic box office, Friday results and initial weekend estimates are in this morning — and that impact continues.

Across an initial sample of 22 reported holdover titles (only a few more will be added), the average Friday-to-Friday drop was a sharp 65 percent. This confirms a significant shift in stateside moviegoing habits following the news of the past week and reinforces the need for the industry to brace for the kind of domestic impact that has temporarily befallen other markets like Italy and South Korea in recent weeks.

For example, Pixar’s Onward declined 73 percent from last Friday and marked just a 72 percent jump from Thursday to $3.225 million yesterday — historically uncharacteristic numbers based on similar comps under typical market circumstances. Contrary to our early forecasts of a sophomore weekend topping $25 million (again, before Wednesday night and Thursday’s unprecedented news cycle hit hard on daily American life), Onward now looks to be on track for around $13 million this weekend.

The slight bit of good news today is that Lionsgate’s I Still Believe earned $4 million on opening day, including Wednesday and Thursday’s previews. It will hopefully land north of $10 million for the weekend, generally within expectations before release. The faith-based film from Kingdom Story Company is performing strongest in the south and midwest, according to studio representatives.

Sony’s Bloodshot took in $3.775 million on opening day Friday, including previews. That’s on par with The Last Witch Hunter‘s $3.77 million opening day a few years back and puts the film on a trajectory for at least $9 million this weekend.

Meanwhile, The Hunt scored $2.21 million on opening day and looks to finish around $5 million or slightly more through Sunday.

For the weekend, across all major releases, we expect an average drop of at least 65 percent from last weekend.

The major caveat to these and other estimates below is the fact that most of the country’s top cinema chains announced late Friday that they would be embracing “social distancing” by limiting capacity in their theaters. This is expected to take effect today (Saturday, March 14), and in turn, could further skew many weekend projections downward by the time actuals are reported on Monday.

We’ll be continuing to update as needed.

Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, MAR. 13 – SUN, MAR. 15

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Onward $13,000,000 -67% 4,310 0 $3,016 $62,758,687 2 Disney
2 I Still Believe $10,400,000 3,250 $3,200 $10,400,000 1 Lionsgate
3 Bloodshot $9,325,000 2,861 $3,259 $9,325,000 1 Sony Pictures
4 The Invisible Man $6,300,000 -58% 3,636 26 $1,733 $64,719,685 3 Universal Pictures
5 The Hunt $5,500,000 3,028 $1,816 $5,500,000 1 Universal Pictures
6 Sonic The Hedgehog $3,000,000 -61% 3,041 -676 $987 $146,231,328 5 Paramount
7 The Call Of The Wild $2,500,000 -63% 3,201 -713 $781 $62,365,911 4 20th Century Studios
8 The Way Back $2,300,000 -72% 2,718 0 $846 $13,320,873 2 Warner Bros.
9 Emma. $1,400,000 -71% 1,732 167 $808 $10,035,975 4 Focus Features
10 Bad Boys For Life $1,100,000 -64% 1,451 -708 $758 $204,292,401 9 Sony / Columbia
11 Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) $520,000 -76% 1,014 -1159 $513 $84,028,557 6 Warner Bros.

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Impractical Jokers: The Movie $450,000 -76% 900 -875 $500 $450,000 4 truTV
2 Jumanji: The Next Level $410,000 -69% 862 -541 $476 $316,772,404 14 Sony Pictures
3 My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising $390,000 -77% 500 -698 $780 $390,000 3 FUNimation Entertainment
4 Brahms: The Boy II $380,000 -69% 607 -748 $626 $12,608,803 4 STX Entertainment
5 1917 $353,000 -74% 766 -769 $461 $159,200,029 12 Universal Pictures
6 Fantasy Island $185,000 -79% 515 -847 $359 $26,366,179 5 Sony Pictures
7 Knives Out $100,000 -66% 221 -180 $452 $165,369,751 16 Lionsgate
8 The Photograph $85,000 -75% 198 -184 $429 $20,569,320 5 Universal Pictures
9 Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker $85,000 -57% 189 -80 $450 $515,200,774 13 Disney
10 Dolittle $73,000 -79% 256 -431 $285 $77,033,975 9 Universal
11 Baaghi 3 $65,000 -87% 257 -8 $253 $731,661 2 FIP
12 Spies in Disguise $65,000 -51% 136 -51 $478 $66,761,747 12 20th Century Fox
13 Frozen II $60,000 -58% 165 -64 $364 $477,386,134 17 Disney
14 Wendy $55,000 17% 165 96 $333 $153,367 3 Fox Searchlight
15 Las Píldoras De Mi Novio $55,000 -79% 133 -147 $414 $2,971,719 4 Lionsgate / Pantelion Films

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Heart Of Africa $35,000 20 $1,750 $35,000 1 Purdie Distribution
2 Never Rarely Sometimes Always $30,000 4 $7,500 $30,000 1 Focus Features
3 Jojo Rabbit $27,000 -68% 74 -85 $365 $27,000 22 Fox Searchlight
4 Ford v. Ferrari $10,000 -74% 55 -40 $182 $117,622,028 18 20th Century Fox
5 Downhill $3,400 -82% 24 -45 $142 $8,287,338 5 Fox Searchlight

Friday Update: Sony reports this morning that Bloodshot earned $1.2 million from last night’s opening domestic shows. Previews began at 5pm in 2,631 locations. For comparison purposes, the Vin Diesel comic book adaptation landed just behind Hellboy‘s $1.38 million start one year ago and on par with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage ($1.2 million) three years ago.

Lionsgate’s I Still Believe posted $780K in pre-Friday earnings. That includes $100K from Wednesday night’s IMAX screenings at 283 locations, plus another $680K from 2,600 locations on Thursday night. Early results are comparable to Five Feet Apart‘s $715K Thursday launch this weekend last year, while trailing the $1.3 million previews of I Can Only Imagine.

Meanwhile, The Hunt earned $435K from shows starting at 7pm in 2,200 locations yesterday. That figure is in line with Hell Fest ($435K) while trailing Truth or Dare ($750K), the latter of which also opened on Friday the 13th in April 2018.

For the weekend overall, Disney / Pixar’s Onward remains expected to stay on top.

We’ll continue to update this post on Saturday with further analysis and ongoing observations of COVID-19’s impact on North America should one present itself in the wake of this week’s news. For more coverage on what to expect this weekend, check out our previous weekend forecast.

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