It wouldn’t be the final month of summer movie season without a weekend filled to the brim with a variety of new releases aiming for a variety of audiences — the majority of which aren’t expected to make big waves at the box office.
As audiences face the final weeks of vacation season and kids prepare to go back to school (with many already having done so in some areas of the country), it’s likely that holdovers Hobbs & Shaw, The Lion King, and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood will drive the lion’s share of business again this weekend. That said, one or two films could have significant upside in the frame ahead…
- Dora and the Lost City of Gold will aim for family audiences in a play that could be well timed as competition for that crowd has diminished with Lion King going into its fourth weekend and proving slightly more front-loaded than once expected. The built-in franchise awareness is a clear advantage for Dora, as well as the strong appeal to Latinx families which could help it perform above the studio’s expectation of “mid teen millions”. Early reviews are also positive and may be conducive to a strong multiplier.
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will aim to leverage producer Guillermo del Toro’s fan base, a teen-friendly PG-13 rating, and the relative lack of horror breakout hits this summer. Early trends indicate it has potential outstrip the performance of Crawl earlier this summer, although exhibitors are booking Stories at a slower pace in comparison.
- The Kitchen has received a fair marketing push from Warner Bros. as it hopes to counter the male-driven fare in the market with a potential “girls’ night out” candidate. Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Hadish, and Elizabeth Moss provide notable star appeal.
- The Art of Racing in the Rain marks the latest family-driven dramedy about man’s best friend hoping to draw families and fans of its source novel. This Is Us viewers could also turn out for star Milo Ventimiglia.
- Brian Banks will look to attract sports fans and lovers of inspirational dramas, timed well as football season begins to ramp up.
- While Dora doesn’t have much working against it at this stage, and Scary Stories has a low threshold to be considered successful (though could be boosted by Del Toro fan pre-sales), the remaining three films have a bigger challenge ahead this weekend. The Kitchen will need to curb the trend of female-driven revenge pics performing at generally modest levels (Widows and Miss Bala, for example), while Art of Racing is likely to feel the effects of diminishing returns from dog-centric movies, and Brian Banks has received a muted marketing push while boasting mixed reviews so far.
Opening Weekend Ranges:
- Dora and the Lost City of Gold ($15 – 25 million)
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark ($12 – 19 million)
- The Kitchen ($6 – 11 million)
- The Art of Racing in the Rain ($6 – 11 million)
- Brian Banks ($1 – 3 million)
Top 10 vs. Last Year
Boxoffice projects between a 1 percent decline and 4 percent increase for this weekend’s top ten films versus the same frame last year. That weekend generated $127 million across the top ten as The Meg ($45.4 million), Slender Man ($11.4 million), and BlacKkKlansman ($10.8 million) debuted.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, August 11||% Change from Last Wknd|
|Hobbs & Shaw||Universal||$29,000,000||$113,100,000||-52%|
|Dora and the Lost City of Gold||Paramount||$22,000,000||$22,000,000||NEW|
|The Lion King (2019)||Disney||$20,800,000||$474,000,000||-46%|
|Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark||Lionsgate / CBS Films||$15,900,000||$15,900,000||NEW|
|Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood||Sony / Columbia||$12,200,000||$101,100,000||-39%|
|The Kitchen||Warner Bros. / New Line||$8,500,000||$8,500,000||NEW|
|The Art of Racing In the Rain||Fox||$8,000,000||$8,000,000||NEW|
|Spider-Man: Far From Home||Sony / Columbia||$5,100,000||$370,800,000||-35%|
|Toy Story 4||Disney / Pixar||$5,000,000||$420,000,000||-32%|
Alex Edghill contributed to this report
Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.