Weekend Forecast: Will ‘A Dog’s Way Home’ Or ‘The Upside’ Challenge the ‘Aquaman’ Reign?

January rolls on with a trio of new releases and one wide expansion this weekend, but Warner Bros.’ Aquaman is most likely to come out on top as it retains premium screens for another frame with minimal competition entering the market.

The best odds of an upset come from a pair of counter-programmers: Sony’s A Dog’s Way Home and STX’s The Upside. The former of the two could boast healthy appeal to families who’ve already checked out the various holiday season releases, while also benefiting from goodwill of W. Bruce Cameron’s source novel, its fans, and those who enjoyed 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose. The studio is expecting around $9-10 million this weekend, but pre-release signs indicate room for some over-performance.

On the other side of the spectrum, adults will be targeted with the star-driven remake of a 2011 international blockbuster (The Intouchables) with The Upside. Kevin Hart has a solid track record at the box office, while Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman bring the dramatic gravitas to balance out Hart’s comedic touch. The mix could prove fruitful with very few award season contenders vying for large audiences at this stage in the season. STX expects a debut around $10 million.

On the Basis of Sex expands nationwide in approximately 2,000 theaters after a solid limited run thus far, while Replicas opens as Entertainment Studios’ sixth wide release in their young history. Expectations vary between the two, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them land on the conservative end of forecasts and fight for a spot in the top ten. Entertiainment expects a $6-7 million opening weekend for the latter.

Top 10 vs. Last year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will earn approximately $95 million. That would mark a 27 percent decline from the same weekend last year, which was aided by the MLK holiday frame and a nationwide expansion from The Post as it and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ruled the box office.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, January 13 % Change from Last Wknd
Aquaman Warner Bros. $19,500,000 $290,000,000 -38%
A Dog’s Way Home Sony / Columbia $14,500,000 $14,500,000 NEW
The Upside STX $12,500,000 $12,500,000 NEW
Mary Poppins Returns Disney $9,300,000 $153,300,000 -41%
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Sony / Columbia $8,900,000 $147,900,000 -32%

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.

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