Weekend Forecast: Will Aladdin Enchant Audiences Over Memorial Day Weekend?

One of the busiest moviegoing weekends of the year is upon us as families seek out movie theaters to celebrate the end of school in most parts of the country. Our final pre-weekend analysis:

PROS:

  • Disney’s latest live action remake brings Aladdin back to the big screen after 27 years. The studio has found enormous success with recent live action efforts (The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, most notably), and casting Will Smith with his own twist on the Genie — made famous by the late Robin Williams — could give enough of a spin on the tale to interest nostalgic families with kids just being introduced to the property.
  • Pre-release tracking for the Aladdin remake has been solid overall with interest metrics and showtime booking data comparable to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which similarly opened over the four-day Memorial Weekend two years ago.
  • Excellent advance buzz and strong early reviews are in the favor of Booksmart this weekend, which hopes to counter-program the big studio release with young adult-friendly, R-rated comedy. Olivia Wilde (making her directorial debut) and the cast have helped the original film gain significant exposure with a strong marketing push in recent weeks.
  • Producer James Gunn will aim to attract comic book fans with Brightburn this weekend, offering a darker side to the usual origin story of superheroes.

CONS:

  • The poor online reception of a CG-generated Genie in early Aladdin trailers dampened the film’s buzz train early this year. Mixed critical reviews could also limit potential if audiences share the same sentiments.
  • While optimistic tracking models for Aladdin suggest a performance near that of last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story is on the table, the inherent Star Wars fan base skews those comparisons as Aladdin isn’t likely to be as front-loaded. Disney also has a history of delivering under-performers on Memorial Day weekend in recent years, playing into increasing conservative expectations.
  • While a strong turnout from genre fans could be reasonably expected for Brightburn on Thursday and Friday, we’re cautious in expectations when it comes to gaining traction among mainstream viewers — especially with Avengers: Endgame still earning healthy returns among the target male audience.

Opening Weekend Ranges

  • Aladdin ($68 – 85 million 4-day)
  • Booksmart ($8 – 13 million 4-day)
  • Brightburn ($6 – 11 million 4-day)

Top 10 vs. Last Year (4-Day)

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will decline approximately 15 – 20 percent from the same weekend last year, when Solo: A Star Wars Story opened to $103 million as part of an overall $218.1 million four-day holiday weekend.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 4-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Monday, May 27 % Change from Last Wknd
Aladdin (2019) Disney $75,700,000 $75,700,000 NEW
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Lionsgate / Summit $29,700,000 $106,400,000 -48%
Avengers: Endgame Disney / Marvel $22,400,000 $803,700,000 -25%
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Warner Bros. $18,000,000 $121,100,000 -28%
Booksmart United Artists Releasing $10,300,000 $10,300,000 NEW
Brightburn Sony / Screen Gems $9,000,000 $9,000,000 NEW
A Dog’s Journey Universal $6,200,000 $16,800,000 -23%
The Hustle United Artists Releasing $4,400,000 $30,400,000 -28%
The Intruder Sony / Screen Gems $3,300,000 $33,000,000 -18%
Long Shot Lionsgate / Summit $2,600,000 $29,700,000 -22%

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.

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Check out our interview with Booksmart co-producer Jessica Elbaum

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