Three new wide releases enter the fray this weekend, but will anything manage to dethrone Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Summer’s first blockbuster has already begun to display stronger holding power than recent Marvel sequels, but it won’t be an easy task fending off a veteran director’s return to a certain sci-fi horror franchise this weekend. Our final analysis and forecast:
- Five years after helming the divisive (and largely alien-less) Prometheus prequel, director Ridley Scott returns to the iconic franchise he helped create. This time, a promised return to its horror roots has the fan base giddy with excitement for what the series has missed for many years.
- Critical reviews have backed up as much with a fresh a 77 percent Rotten Tomatoes score as of this writing, which should be enough to convince the majority of die hard fans to give the franchise another shot.
- With very few offerings in the market for older males right now, Covenant arrives at a perfect time in the pre-Memorial Day window. Pre-sales reports have been very healthy.
- Social media activity has also been very healthy thanks to Fox’s massive marketing campaign, with Twitter and Facebook each delivering a high volume of mentions and daily fan growth in recent weeks.
- Despite fan anticipation for this prequel-sequel, there’s no getting around the fact that Prometheus put off both casual audiences and some fans from the series as it veered more heavily into the sci-fi realm and away from the series’ horror roots. Just like well-received sequels generate goodwill for their follow-ups, conversely, follow-ups pay the price for the sins of their predecessors.
- Although reviews are mostly positive, it’s debatable whether they’re strong enough to lure in casual viewers again. This is a franchise that’s leaning heavily on older males at this point (ala Terminator: Genisys two years ago), and that won’t likely change on opening weekend. We expect positive pre-sales to simply translate into a front-loaded opening day.
- The flip side of social media activity has been a declining sentiment score on Twitter, in addition to much of the activity being inorganic hashtag flooding.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
- The lack of new films targeting families with young children and tweens should be a strong advantage for this sequel.
- Twitter buzz is in line with 2012’s franchise entry, Dog Days — not to mention a stronger sentiment score.
- The franchise’s low production costs mean reaching the box office totals of earlier films is certainly not required for this to be successful.
- Removed five years from the most recent film in the series, and after having already displayed diminished returns through that point, there’s not much momentum left in this franchise.
- By contrast on the social media front, Flixster growth is tepid with just a 57 percent “want to see” score — notably falling below Middle School‘s 77 percent at the same point before release last October.
- Ultimately, with young boys being the target audience here, the film will still have to fight for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s third weekend audience leftovers.
- Based on a relatively popular young adult novel, this love story could find an audience among teens and young date night crowds.
- Social media buzz has turned out very positive in recent weeks as the film isn’t far behind the levels generated by last year’s Me Before You. Twitter sentiment is very encouraging.
- Unfortunately, the recent history of young adult adaptations is working against the possibility of a major breakout here. Still, the low-cost film could serve as a solid counter-programming option for its target audience in the weeks ahead if reception is positive.
- Social media trends aren’t quite as favorable when compared to Paper Towns, although that film over-tracked due to its author’s popularity spillover from The Fault In Our Stars.
Check out our weekend forecast in the table below.
|Title||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total through Sunday, May 21||% Change|
|Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||Disney||$36,000,000||$303,360,000||-44.84%|
|Everything, Everything||Warner Bros.||$9,500,000||$9,500,000||NEW|
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul||Fox||$9,000,000||$9,000,000||NEW|
|King Arthur: Legend of the Sword||Warner Bros.||$7,450,000||$27,880,000||-51.50%|
|Beauty and the Beast (2017)||Disney||$3,370,000||$498,720,000||-30.00%|
|The Fate of the Furious||Universal||$3,240,000||$219,930,000||-40.00%|
|The Boss Baby||Fox||$3,150,000||$166,420,000||-30.00%|
|How to be a Latin Lover||Pantelion||$2,120,000||$29,440,000||-45.00%|
Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.