Weekend Forecast: ‘Deadpool’, ‘Risen’, ‘Race’ & ‘The Witch’

Daniel Garris, Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

After last weekend’s break-out performance, Fox’s Deadpool will have absolutely no problem comfortably leading the box office once again this weekend. In recent years X-Men universe films have tended to experience sharp second weekend declines anywhere from 56 percent to 69 percent. But thanks to exceptional word of mouth, its strong daily percentage holds thus far for a film of its size and having already broken out beyond the typical X-Men audience, Deadpool appears set to experience a significantly stronger second weekend percentage hold than recent X-Men films.

This weekend will see Sony’s Risen, Focus’s Race and A24’s The Witch all enter the marketplace in wide release. With Deadpool dominating the overall marketplace, it will be especially tough for all three new releases to gain much traction this weekend. BoxOffice expects a tight three-way race for third place this weekend between Risen, Race and The Witch, with Risen having the very slight edge between the three.

Risen (Sony / Columbia)


– Sony has a very strong recent history with faith-based films. Recent faith-based hits for Sony have included last year’s War Room (which opened with $11.4 million and finished with $67.8 million) and 2014’s Heaven is for Real (which opened with $22.5 million and went on to gross $91.4 million).

Risen could prove to be a better alternative choice for moviegoers not interested in Deadpool than either Race or The Witch. Risen will also have a location count advantage in comparison to both Race and The Witch this weekend.


– Online activity levels on both Twitter and Facebook have been quite soft for Risen, even for a faith-based film. It should also be noted that because of their generic titles, Twitter activity levels are deflated for all three of this weekend’s new wide releases.

Risen is the first of four faith-based films entering the marketplace in wide release between now and April 1 (the other three being Focus’ The Young Messiah, fellow Sony release Miracles from Heaven and Pure Flix’s God’s Not Dead 2). Potential demand for Risen (and for the other three films) is likely to be limited by all of the direct competition.

Race (Focus)


– Jesse Owens is one of the most famous athletes of all-time. His name alone should transfer into at least some interest in Race among moviegoers.

– Over the same weekend last year fellow sports film McFarland, USA had a solid $11.0 million debut, before going on to gross $44.5 million.


– Online activity levels for Race on both Twitter and Facebook have been even softer than they have been for Risen.

– With the exceptions of 2013’s 42 and last year’s Creed, sports dramas in general have been in a downturn at the box office over the last few years.

The Witch (A24)


– Critical reviews are strong for The Witch, as the film currently boasts an 87 percent Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes. With that in mind, holding power for The Witch after opening weekend is likely to be strong by horror film standards.

– Last April A24’s critically acclaimed Ex Machina went on to gross $25.4 million during its run after initially rolling out with a two-week platform start.


– Like both Risen and Race, The Witch has been performing softly on Twitter as well. This is a bit more concerning for The Witch given the film’s horror genre.

The Witch represents A24’s first film to go directly into wide release without having an initial platform launch. This creates some extra uncertainty for the film this weekend.

Top 10 Forecast

Thanks in large part to the expected continued strength of Deadpool, BoxOffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will total $124.5 million. That would represent a healthy 19.9 percent increase over the same weekend last year. That weekend was led by the $22.3 million second weekend take of Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey, saw Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service place in second with a second weekend take of $18.3 million and the debuts of Disney’s McFarland, USA ($11.0 million), CBS Films’ The Duff ($10.8 million) and Paramount’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2 ($6.0 million).

Title Release Date Distributor Weekend Domestic Total Through Sunday, Feb 21
Deadpool Feb 12, 2016 Fox $65,000,000 $245,500,000
Kung Fu Panda 3 Jan 29, 2016 Fox / DreamWorks Animation $13,000,000 $117,700,000
Risen Feb 19, 2016 Sony /Columbia $8,500,000 $8,500,000
Race (2016) Feb 19, 2016 Focus $8,300,000 $8,300,000
The Witch Feb 19, 2016 A24 $7,000,000 $7,000,000
How to Be Single Feb 12, 2016 Warner Bros. / New Line $6,200,000 $29,600,000
Zoolander 2 Feb 12, 2016 Paramount $5,000,000 $23,200,000
The Revenant (2015) Dec 25, 2015 Fox $4,500,000 $165,800,000
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Dec 18, 2015 Disney $4,200,000 $922,100,000
Hail, Caesar! Feb 5, 2016 Universal $2,800,000 $26,200,000