Forgiving the usual “calm before the storm” descriptions assigned to early December weekends (particularly those preceding the release of a new Star Wars film), the market will again be relying on holdovers and award season players this weekend. Meanwhile, Coco should handily win the weekend again, while Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder look to cross the important $300 million and $100 million thresholds, respectively.
Here’s how things are shaping up:
- The Disaster Artist expands to approximately 800 locations following its excellent $1.2 million debut in just 19 theaters last weekend, although that theater count remains an unconfirmed estimate at the time of publishing. Award buzz combined with the considerable fan base of James Franco, Seth Rogen, et al should contribute to a strong semi-wide expansion. Social media buzz is impressive with nearly 100,000 Facebook fans and robust daily Twitter activity, both of which are rivaling those of fully wide releases that typically open in the $20 million+ range from 3,000 or more theaters. Direct comps are few and far between since this film is expected to continue expanding and play well through the holidays into the new year, but traditional tracking pegs it around $4 million to $6 million. Our more bullish models suggest this weekend could top $10 million if everything fires on all cylinders.
- Just Getting Started‘s cast of Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, and Tommy Lee Jones could appeal fairly well to older crowds, segments that don’t regularly represent a major share of pre-release tracking metrics.
- The Disaster Artist is a different beast from the usual Franco/Rogen fare in that it hasn’t received a widespread marketing campaign the likes of This Is the End or Sausage Party. Another outside-the-box, cult-driven comparison could be 2006’s Borat, which debuted to a surprising $26.5 million from just 837 locations in its first weekend. Still, that film had a major studio’s (Fox) marketing muscle behind it along with an earlier-in-the-season release date. A debut at even half that amount on pre-Star Wars weekend would be nothing short of stunning. This is a film most audiences are likely to discover over time as opposed to an immediate rush this weekend, especially the uninitiated who are unfamiliar with the source material.
- Unfortunately, Just Getting Started hasn’t been able to muster the same kind of pre-release interest and social buzz as the likes of Last Vegas and Going In Style.
The Weekend Forecast:
|Title||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total through Sunday, December 10||% Change|
|Coco||Disney / Pixar||$18,800,000||$135,600,000||-32%|
|Justice League||Warner Bros.||$9,100,000||$211,400,000||-45%|
|Thor: Ragnarok||Disney / Marvel Studios||$6,900,000||$301,800,000||-30%|
|The Disaster Artist||A24||$6,200,000*||$7,800,000||+412%|
|Daddy’s Home 2||Paramount||$5,100,000||$90,000,000||-33%|
|Murder on the Orient Express||Fox||$4,200,000||$91,600,000||-38%|
|Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri||Fox Searchlight||$3,700,000*||$19,100,000||-16%|
|Just Getting Started||Broad Green Pictures||$3,300,000||$3,300,000||NEW|
* = Theater counts were unconfirmed at the time of this report’s publishing.
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