October’s first full weekend marks the beginning of 2017’s fourth and final quarter at the box office. As in several recent years past, the month is set to kick off in a strong way with several new releases hitting the market and aiming for a variety of audiences.
- Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros. / Sony / Alcon) is drawing significant interest from fans of the original 1982 sci-fi classic with the return of Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott in a producing role, while also attracting younger and more casual crowds by way of Ryan Gosling (fresh off the massive success of La La Land) and director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, & Prisoners). Additionally, marketing has been very strong in the months leading up to release, driving social media activity and presales that are trending higher than similar films like Mad Max: Fury Road and War for the Planet of the Apes. The cherry on top: critical reviews are stellar with a 94 percent score and an 8.4/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Potential awards season buzz could help propel it even further, ala past October releases The Martian and Gravity in 2015 and 2013, respectively.
- The Mountain Between Us (Fox) will aim to draw fans of the 2010 romance-disaster novel by counter-programming against a market filled with male-leaning releases. Kate Winslet and Idris Elba will be of particular interest for older females and, potentially, some adult date night audiences in the weeks to come.
- My Little Pony (Lionsgate) is the latest nostalgia-driven animated pic to aim for young crowds, particularly girls and their parental generation that grew up on the property. Presales are significantly higher than expected in recent weeks, and Twitter activity has been stronger than Jem & the Holograms. Facebook growth is markedly ahead of that film, Leap!, and Ratchet & Clank. Columbus Day on Monday and Fall Break in some areas of the country should additionally help attendance with Sunday not being a school night for many young viewers. Also, Bronies.
- The main weak spot in Blade Runner 2049‘s ability to break out beyond opening weekend will be the lingering question of whether or not it will prove too esoteric for casual viewers. If so, that could limit staying power compared to like-minded October blockbusters of the past, but most indicators so far suggest it shouldn’t be a significant problem.
- The Mountain Between Us currently trails the Twitter and Facebook trends of last year’s The Girl on the Train, indicating a similar opening weekend breakout is unlikely (especially with the minor competition for adult females interested in seeing Gosling’s new film). Reviews are also modest with a 57 percent score and a 5.2/10 rating, although that’s not always a death sentence for this and similar genres. The marketing tone of a thriller, rather than a romantically-driven film, could also be confusing to some.
- After a number of under-performing animated films since late July, expectations have been reasonably conservative up until now for My Little Pony — especially since it hails from distributor Lionsgate, whose recent family-oriented and animated credits include the modest-to-underwhelming runs of Rock Dog, Middle School, The Wild Life, and Norm of the North. Presales could also be slightly misleading given the fan-driven nature of the property.
The Weekend Forecast:
|Title||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total through Sunday, October 8||% Change|
|Blade Runner 2049||Warner Bros. / Sony / Alcon||$54,000,000||$54,000,000||NEW|
|My Little Pony: The Movie||Lionsgate||$11,900,000||$11,900,000||NEW|
|The Mountain Between Us||Fox||$9,000,000||$9,000,000||NEW|
|IT||Warner Bros. (New Line)||$8,900,000||$304,300,000||-47%|
|Kingsman: The Golden Circle||Fox||$7,800,000||$79,600,000||-54%|
|The LEGO Ninjago Movie||Warner Bros.||$7,200,000||$44,100,000||-38%|
|Victoria & Abdul||Focus Features||$4,250,000||$6,030,000||+289%|
|Flatliners||Sony / Columbia||$3,000,000||$11,400,000||-54%|
|Battle of the Sexes||Fox Searchlight||$2,400,000||$7,580,000||-30%|
For client and media requests relating to box office analyses, please contact Shawn Robbins
Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report