Weekend Forecast: Frozen II and Knives Out to Lead First December Frame as Dark Waters Expands and Playmobil Debuts

Just as we give a lengthy focus to the week of Thanksgiving most years, the counter to that is typically a very brief look ahead to the weekend after. This year is no different as the major studios are sitting back and allowing November holdovers to prop up the early December market as prospective audiences are consumed by holiday shopping.

As expected for quite some time, Disney’s Frozen II is poised to win its third weekend of release. The blockbuster sequel set a Thanksgiving record with just shy of $86 million last weekend, its second frame, dethroning The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘s previous mark of $74.2 million. That film went on to drop nearly 65 percent one weekend later, although Frozen II is likely to generate a stronger hold with its broader family appeal.

Meanwhile, sophomore framers Knives Out and Queen & Slim should enjoy relatively sturdy holds with no new competition this weekend. Almost all titles will be impacted by the holiday hangover this weekend, but these releases drew strong enough word of mouth and over-performance in early days to indicate staying power ahead.

The lone new release this weekend is STX’s Playmobil: The Movie. Forecasts have been on the bearish side for quite some time, but we’re significantly lowering expectations with the film’s experimental variable pricing strategy being employed by exhibitors. Due to this, average ticket prices for the kiddie flick will be significantly lower than had been previously factored into pre-release models, though it’s difficult to say how low given the already modest turnout expected.

Last but not least, Dark Waters expands into more than 2,000 locations after an encouraging platform-to-limited release over the past two weekends. Current models suggest a wide release performance comparable to the likes of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Roman J. Israel, Esq. — the former of which similarly expanded into wide release one week after Thanksgiving.

Weekend Ranges

  • Frozen II ($35 – 40 million third weekend)
  • Knives Out ($13 – 17 million second weekend)
  • Queen & Slim ($5.5 – 7.5 million second weekend)
  • Dark Waters ($4 – 8 million expansion)
  • Playmobil: The Movie ($2 – 6 million opening)

Top 10 vs. Last Year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will increase approximately 12 to 17 percent from the same weekend last year. At the time, no new releases entered the market as the top ten was again led by Ralph Breaks the Internet‘s third frame as part of an overall $73.9 million top ten market.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, December 8 % Change from Last Wknd
Frozen II Disney $36,200,000 $337,500,000 -58%
Knives Out Lionsgate $14,300,000 $62,500,000 -47%
Ford v Ferrari Fox $6,900,000 $91,500,000 -48%
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Sony / Columbia $6,600,000 $44,500,000 -44%
Queen & Slim Universal $6,400,000 $26,500,000 -46%
Dark Waters Focus Features $5,000,000 $6,200,000 703%
21 Bridges STX $2,900,000 $23,800,000 -48%
Playing with Fire Paramount $2,400,000 $42,400,000 -43%
Midway Lionsgate $2,300,000 $53,700,000 -41%
Playmobil: The Movie STX $2,200,000 $2,200,000 NEW

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday

The chart above excludes releases and potential expansions from limited and platform films

Contact us for information about subscribing to Boxoffice’s suite of forecasting and data services

News Stories