Weekend Forecast (Updated): ‘First Man,’ ‘Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween,’ & ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ Take On ‘Venom’ & ‘A Star Is Born’

Thursday, October 11 Update: Taking into account the holds of A Star Is Born and Venom over the past two days, we’re revising our earlier weekend forecast to now position the former in first place for a frame that could easily see a photo finish between the two hit films.

The Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga smash retained an excellent 10.4 percent of its weekend gross with Wednesday’s $4.59 million take, besting the 8.7 percent Wednesday retention of Gone Girl compared to its first weekend. The latter film eased just 29.6 percent in its sophomore frame.

Weekend Forecast (Revised):

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, October 14 % Change from Last Wknd
A Star Is Born Warner Bros. $30,200,000 $96,300,000 -30%
Venom Sony / Columbia $30,000,000 $137,500,000 -63%
First Man Universal $20,000,000 $20,000,000 NEW
Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween Sony / Columbia $18,600,000 $18,600,000 NEW
Bad Times at the El Royale Fox $8,300,000 $8,300,000 NEW

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Wednesday, October 10: The coming weekend is likely to be packed with a lot of good news, but perhaps some not-so-good news as well.

The good: Overall business is pacing to exceed the same post-Columbus Day weekend last year by close to 40 percent.  The bad: In a crowded market filled to the brim with appealing adult-driven movies — and another one on the horizon next week in the form of Halloween — something may have to draw the short straw this weekend.

Following an October record opening, Venom is considered the industry favorite to repeat in first place this weekend, but the usual front-loading of comic book pics will be doubled up by the fact that the film loses many IMAX and PLF screens to one of the weekend’s new releases. That could result in a close race for the top two spots as A Star Is Born continues to display excellent holding power in its early days and a sophomore frame north of $25 million looks increasingly possible based on our current models.

Debuting this weekend, First Man is hoping to capitalize on stellar critical reviews and award-favorite talent like star Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, and director Damien Chazelle at the helm. It’s important to keep in mind this film’s nature as a semi-biopic with a widely known outcome, making it more comparable to movies like ArgoBridge of Spies, Deepwater Horizon, and possibly Captain Phillips than to previous autumn blockbusters like The MartianInterstellar, and Gravity.

The film has been tracking as such, and even with a debut in the mid-to-upper teen millions it would be well positioned for a leggy run that could keep it in theaters well into Oscar season if audience word of mouth reflects the strong 88 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. We expect the well-marketed IMAX release will aid in opening weekend performance, but older males will be the target crowd as it will be challenging to distract adult women from A Star Is Born.

Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween may arguably have a clearer path to a potential third place opening this weekend as the first live action, family-aimed release in three weeks. The (sort of) absence of Jack Black and continued holding power from Smallfoot and The House With A Clock In Its Walls are likely to hold the sequel back from the 2015 film’s $23.6 million debut, but Haunted Halloween has been tracking positively across the usual metrics and certainly looks to continue the franchise’s financial success.

Meanwhile, Bad Times at the El Royale will hope to exceed industry expectations as a likely victim of bad release date timing. Despite a strong ensemble cast and generally positive reviews, tracking for the thriller is in line with titles like White Boy Rickmother!, and Crimson Peak — a concern given the hefty amount of competition it faces.

Top 10 v. Last Year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will earn approximately $125 million, representing a 41 percent increase from the same weekend last year when Happy Death Day and The Foreigner debuted in an otherwise soft October weekend that generated $88.8 million across its top ten.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, October 14 % Change from Last Wknd
Venom Sony / Columbia $30,000,000 $137,500,000 -63%
A Star Is Born Warner Bros. $27,000,000 $91,900,000 -37%
First Man Universal $20,000,000 $20,000,000 NEW
Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween Sony / Columbia $18,600,000 $18,600,000 NEW
Bad Times at the El Royale Fox $8,300,000 $8,300,000 NEW

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