Weekend Forecast: 1917 Tracking Surges on Golden Globe Wins, Could Break Out to $30-35M+ Wide Release

2020 hits full throttle this weekend as four new releases — two of them being wide expansions — look to shake up the market with a dose of post-holiday offerings for a variety of audiences.

In the lead, we expect Universal and director Sam Mendes’ 1917 to capture first place away from the reigning Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which has led the box office every day since its opening on December 20 (including three weekend titles). Moviegoer attention now turns to more prestige fair, though, and 1917 certainly offers that as it comes off two big Golden Globe wins for Best Picture Drama and Best Director last Sunday.

Following the film’s consistently strong platform release since Christmas Day, where its earned $2.4 million from just 11 theaters, 1917 mirrors the past January expansion of fellow war films like Lone Survivor, Zero Dark Thirty, and Black Hawk Down. Mendes’ cred from 2012’s Skyfall is certainly another asset, as has been a strong marketing campaign featuring trailers in IMAX and other PLF formats where the film should play quite well starting this weekend.

In terms of tracking, 1917‘s metrics had been comparable to those aforementioned titles ahead of its Globe wins a few days ago. Even though the film is sold more on its narrative and technical aspects than star power, momentum is now carrying the pic into the territory of tracking enjoyed by Ford v Ferrari back in November. According to Showtimes Dashboard, owned by Boxoffice PRO’s parent company, 1917 is currently booked for an average of 4.95 showtimes per day at an average of 2,910 locations from Thursday through Sunday — comparable to the 5.03 / 3,097 averages of FvF during its opening stretch.

While there might be an obvious comparison to Dunkirk as well, it’s important to keep in mind that title had the considerable boost from filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s fan base. We wouldn’t rule out an opening above and beyond expectations as momentum keeps building, but reaching the same $50 million+ plateau as that summer 2017 release is certainly on the extreme end of calculations. Still, it’s safe to expect some back-loading with another major holiday weekend on deck for 1917‘s second frame next week, plus a likely Oscar push ahead.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Star Wars trilogy finale should scoot down to second place this weekend as it loses most of its IMAX and PLF footprint to the war epic and chases the $500 million domestic and $1 billion global thresholds over the coming week or so. Jumanji: The Next Level should post another strong hold with minimal competition for family moviegoers.

Like a Boss is a contender to draw a strong female turnout thanks to Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, and Salma Hayek in an appealing “girls night out” option — though, again, MLK weekend in its second frame could result in some of the target audience holding out for the next brief holiday break. Current models are slightly behind those of What Men Want.

Little Women should post a strong hold itself to cap off the top five this week, although Warner Bros.’ Just Mercy will expand into wide release and could be in close proximity. While the drama isn’t tracking quite as highly as once expected a few months ago, sustained playability remains possible with MLK weekend around the corner.

Meanwhile, Fox’s Underwater — distributed by Disney — will aim to capture young adult viewers interested in another thriller following The Grudge‘s opening last weekend. Tracking for Underwater has underwhelmed, unfortunately, with our current models positioning it below fellow Kristen Stewart-led Charlie’s Angels two months ago and off target of last summer’s Crawl.

Opening Weekend Ranges

  • 1917 ($30 – 45 million wide expansion) ($20 million studio expectation)
  • Just Mercy ($7 – 12 million wide expansion)
  • Like a Boss ($11 – 16 million) (low teen millions studio expectation)
  • Underwater ($5 – 10 million) (near $10 million studio expectation)

Top 10 vs. Last Year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will increase approximately 26 to 31 percent from the same weekend one year ago when The Upside debuted atop the box office as part of an overall $96.8 million top ten aggregate.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, January 12 % Change from Last Wknd
1917 Universal $36,000,000 $38,800,000 +5821%
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney / Lucasfilm $16,800,000 $480,000,000 -51%
Jumanji: The Next Level Sony / Columbia $14,400,000 $258,500,000 -45%
Like a Boss Paramount $12,800,000 $12,800,000 NEW
Little Women (2019) Sony / Columbia $10,000,000 $75,800,000 -27%
Just Mercy Warner Bros. $8,400,000 $8,850,000 +10980%
Frozen II Disney $8,300,000 $462,100,000 -30%
Underwater Fox $6,500,000 $6,500,000 NEW
Spies In Disguise Fox $6,300,000 $56,700,000 -39%
Knives Out Lionsgate $5,800,000 $139,600,000 -35%

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday

The chart above excludes releases and potential expansions from limited and platform films

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