Weekend Forecast: Can ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Dethrone ‘Black Panther’?

This weekend will see the wide release of four new films, only one of which is expected to challenge the reigning Black Panther for the box office crown as Disney takes on Disney.

A Wrinkle In Time marks the latest live action adaptation/reimagined work from Disney following their successful efforts with films like Beauty and the BeastThe Jungle BookOz the Great and PowerfulMaleficent, and Cinderella, among others past and forthcoming. Acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) and star Oprah Winfrey give the movie an added pedigree of talent — in addition to stars Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Zach Galifiankis, Chris Pine, and others.

Unfortunately, social media buzz has stalled in recent weeks as much of the film’s target audience remains enamored by Black Panther and its incredible word of mouth. Traditional tracking has also proven more modest than once expected. Relative to past Disney releases, Wrinkle is trending more in line with the likes of Tomorrowland and Pete’s Dragon than the aforementioned adaptations, while early reviews from critics have been mixed at 45 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (as of this publishing). As such, we currently expect the film to underperform against previously bullish forecasts and bow in second place this weekend behind Panther. The studio is expecting around $35 million.

Strangers: Prey at Night isn’t likely to surprise in the way many horror films have in recent years, but it has nonetheless shown stronger signs of life than expected several months ago thanks to a lack of horror releases in the early months of 2018. It has a reasonable shot at the top three this weekend if it can slightly overperform current forecasting models. Distributor Aviron expects a debut in the vicinity of high single digit millions, lining up with recent forecasts.

Meanwhile, The Hurricane Heist and Gringo are posting metrics similar to those of The Belko Experiment and Free Fire. While Entertainment Studios expects around an $8 million debut for the former of the two, our current models suggest a launch close to $5 million is more likely. STX hasn’t commented to Boxoffice on Gringo‘s prospects, but we currently expect a debut in the low single digit millions.

Top 10 Comparisons

This weekend’s top ten will again pale in comparison to the same frame last year when Kong: Skull Island crushed expectations with a $61 million opening weekend, part of an overall $149.4 million top ten cume. Boxoffice forecasts this weekend’s top ten will tally around $120.5 million, marking a 19 percent decline from that same three-day period in 2017.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, March 11 % Change from Last Wknd
Black Panther Disney / Marvel $39,300,000 $560,000,000 -41%
A Wrinkle In Time Disney $33,500,000 $33,500,000 NEW
Red Sparrow Fox $8,300,000 $31,300,000 -51%
Strangers: Prey at Night Aviron $8,000,000 $8,000,000 NEW
Game Night Warner Bros. / New Line $7,000,000 $44,000,000 -33%
Peter Rabbit Sony / Columbia $6,800,000 $93,300,000 -32%
Death Wish MGM $6,100,000 $23,300,000 -53%
The Hurricane Heist Entertainment Studios $5,000,000 $5,000,000 NEW
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sony / Columbia $3,300,000 $397,800,000 -25%
Gringo STX $3,200,000 $3,200,000 NEW

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