Weekend Forecast: ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ & ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ to Battle for Runner-Up Debut Against ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Holiday movie season rolls on this weekend as two more films vie for November moviegoers. Meanwhile, the reigning box office champion — Thor: Ragnarok — is expected to benefit from strong word of mouth as it aims for what should be an easy repeat finish at the top of the box office.

PROS:

  • Murder on the Orient Express hails from director and star Kenneth Branagh, whose career credentials hardly need to be explained. He and the varied ensemble cast of this remake are expected to appeal in a significant way among adult moviegoers, making this a strong bit of counter-programming in a market where Marvel’s latest blockbuster is doing very well among families. Social media activity has been very positive thus far with Facebook growth topping that of Arrival and Gone Girl and Twitter activity on par with The Girl on the Train.

 

  • Daddy’s Home 2 is aiming to capitalize on the surprise success of its 2015 predecessor by adding John Lithgow and Mel Gibson into the mix with the returning Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, a duo that has proven very successful at the box office after the first film and 2010’s The Other Guys. Twitter activity has been comparable to that of Paul Blart 2, and the repeat holiday season release could open up some potential for modest staying power despite its status as a sequel.

CONS:

  • Reviews are modest but generally positive for Orient Express as the film stands at 64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. That could slightly hold back the film from a bigger breakout, but overall signs for the film remain largely in favor of a strong performance.

 

  • As noted and exemplified by last week’s Bad Moms Christmas, comedy sequels have a recent history of declining significantly from their predecessors. As such, Daddy’s Home 2 is another candidate to continue that trend. The flip side of its social media prowess is that it currently sits about 41 percent behind the total fan count of Paul Blart 2 on Facebook (at the comparable point before release). However, the film’s biggest disadvantage may be the direct competition for families as Thor: Ragnarok looks to have another strong showing this weekend — then again, the first Daddy’s Home succeeded in the shadow of a Star Wars film.

Other Notes:

  • A24’s Lady Bird is reportedly expanding this weekend after last week’s stellar platform debut in 4 locations. Unfortunately, the studio has not confirmed an exact theater count for the upcoming weekend, so we’ve excluded the film from our official forecast below. That being said, an expansion to 50 or more theaters could potentially land the film in this weekend’s top ten.

Top 10 Weekend Forecast:

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Sunday, November 12 % Change
Thor: Ragnarok Disney / Marvel Studios $57,500,000 $213,300,000 -53%
Murder on the Orient Express Fox $26,000,000 $26,000,000 NEW
Daddy’s Home 2 Paramount $22,500,000 $22,500,000 NEW
A Bad Moms Christmas STXfilms $9,800,000 $36,800,000 -42%
Jigsaw Lionsgate $3,000,000 $33,800,000 -54%
Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Lionsgate $2,300,000 $46,100,000 -49%
Geostorm Warner Bros. $1,900,000 $31,900,000 -41%
Happy Death Day Universal $1,500,000 $55,200,000 -44%
Thank You for Your Service Universal $1,400,000 $9,600,000 -37%
Blade Runner 2049 Warner Bros. / Sony / Alcon $1,300,000 $87,800,000 -44%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this forecast

Note: Forecasts are made prior to updated theater counts for many holdover films

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