Weekend Forecast: ‘Finding Dory’ & ‘Central Intelligence’

After a string of disappointing sequels opening below their predecessors this month, Disney’s Finding Dory attempts to not only best its predecessor but obliterate a nine year old box office record in the process. Opening alongside it will be Central Intelligence from Warner Bros., yet another buddy comedy from Kevin Hart, this time featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  

Finding Dory

PROS:

  • Finding Nemo is one of the most beloved animated films of all time, not to mention one of the most profitable. Opening in 2003 it grossed over $930 million worldwide and according to numerous sources is the best-selling DVD of all time with over 41 million sales.
  • Early reviews are amazing, with only one critic giving it a thumbs down across 21 total reviews so far at Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Social media has been massive for the film, especially in recent weeks on both Twitter and Facebook. It pulled down the largest first-trailer and second-trailer buzz ever for an animated film on Twitter and has managed to lead the weekly upcoming film scorecard multiple times for both Twitter and Facebook which has only ever been accomplished before by last year’s Minions.
  • Disney has been on a roll in 2016 with three $300 million+ domestic earners: Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War.
  • Though The Good Dinosaur was a disappointment in comparison, Pixar is still a hit-making machine and this time last year its Inside Out managed $350 million domestically as a net new offering. Add in the Nemo brand and 13 years of anticipation and it’s undoubtedly an impending perfect box office storm.

CONS:

  • Sequel fatigue could feasibly spread to this as well as we have seen with numerous sequels offering tired returns at the box office in 2016.
  • With 13 years passing since the original perhaps some steam could be lost from the original fanbase.

Central Intelligence

PROS:

  • Both Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are top shelf talent in terms of box office drawing power.
  • Kevin Hart’s last film for Warner Bros. was the very successful buddy comedy Get Hard where he starred alongside Will Ferrell. Get Hard grossed over $90 million domestically after opening with just under $34 million in March of 2015.
  • In a summer packed with sequels this will offer some original content which might be exactly what audiences are looking for.

CONS:

  • Social media buzz has been very sparse in general. Twitter is understandably mute because of its common name, leading to a more complex search string to weed out false positives, no doubt getting rid of many relevant tweets as well. However, Facebook has no such problems and the film’s Facebook buzz is virtually neck and neck with Get Hard. No, it’s not a bomb — but given the summer start and star power involved, Warner Bros. would have undoubtedly hoped for more in terms of social media metrics.
  • With Ride Along 2 earlier this year opening below the first film, perhaps Hart’s appeal and brand of comedy is waning. More so, Central Intelligence being in a very similar vein as Ride Along (buddy comedy with two notable stars, one of which is Kevin Hart) might cause it to be viewed as a sidequel and also suffer from diminishing returns.

Top 10 Forecast

Box Office Pro forecasts this weekend’s top ten films will generate $233.9 million. That would mark a 2% drop from last year’s $238.7 million when Jurassic World posted a then-record second weekend haul of $106.6 million and Inside Out started with a hefty $90 million.

Check out our complete weekend forecast below.

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through
Sunday, June 19
Finding Dory Disney $131,000,000 $131,000,000
Central Intelligence Warner Bros. $34,000,000 $34,000,000
The Conjuring 2 Warner Bros. $21,000,000 $77,500,000
Now You See Me 2 Lionsgate/Summit $16,100,000 $48,500,000
Warcraft Universal $8,500,000 $40,375,000
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Paramount $7,000,000 $74,150,000
Me Before You Warner Bros. $4,600,000 $46,800,000
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox $5,000,000 $146,000,000
The Angry Birds Movie Sony / Columbia $3,600,000 $105,250,000
Alice Through The Looking Glass Disney $3,100,000 $68,900,000
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