Weekend Forecast: Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Rocketman, & Ma

With most schools out now in the post-Memorial Day corridor of the calendar, summer is in full swing as three new releases aim for markedly different audiences this weekend. Will any of them — or more than one — dethrone Aladdin?

PROS:

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters has a loyal fan base of adult males to rely on, particularly after the generally positive word of mouth of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. That pic cemented shared universe aspects with 2014’s Godzilla (whose opening weekend was driven by 58 percent men and 60 percent aged 25+), and this sequel. That audience isn’t targeted directly at the moment, although John Wick 3‘s third frame provides some minor crossover.
  • With a wide swath of PLF screens — including IMAX — at Godzilla‘s disposal this weekend, high average ticket prices could drive some upside to pre-release tracking. Our models have suggested the film is tracking ahead of The Meg (which opened to $45.4 million last summer), and not far behind Skull Island itself ($61.0 million).
  • Rocketman is aiming to soar with a variety of audiences thanks to Elton John’s diverse fan base, not to mention the film’s strong critical reviews and excellent marketing footprint (which began with a teaser trailer in theaters last summer). With what’s expected to primarily be an adult audience over the age of 35 looking for non-typical summer blockbuster fare, there is little direct competition in the market.
  • Tracking for Rocketman has been challenging to nail down thanks to the competitive market it enters, although general interest markers have hovered close to those A Star Is Born and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! A considerable run in Dolby Cinema this weekend serves as its own PLF benefit, and long staying power beyond the opening is more than reasonably expected.
  • The young adult-friendly appeal of Ma, as well as Oscar-winning star Octavia Spencer, stand as the best advantages for the latest micro-budget thriller from the Blumhouse world. Tracking models are comparable to those of Truth or Dare.

CONS:

  • Godzilla: KOTM‘s biggest disadvantage is likely to be the lukewarm reception of 2014’s predecessor, which didn’t go over as well with general audiences as it did with die hard fans of the genre — earning just a 2.15x multiplier off its $93.2 million domestic opening weekend. Meanwhile, reviews from critics are mixed for this sequel, which could further impact non-fan interest after opening day.
  • Rocketman enters a slightly more challenging market than did A Star Is Born or Bohemian Rhapsody when they opened last year, particularly with Aladdin‘s music-driven appeal to nostalgic adults and what should be a solid sophomore weekend performance from the Disney pic.
  • Unlike PG-13 rated Blumhouse pics Truth or Dare and Happy Death Day, an R rating for Ma could limit some of the target teen audience it will naturally appeal to. Mixed reviews may also hinder it.
  • Although Aladdin is benefitting from positive reception (currently at 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ new Audience Score metric), it will lose the vast majority of PLF screens this weekend and the premium pricing that comes with them — driving expectations for what could be a misleadingly sharp drop.

Weekend Ranges:

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($48 – 63 million opening)
  • Rocketman ($30 – 45 million opening)
  • Aladdin ($37 – 45 million second weekend)
  • Ma ($17 – 22 million opening)

Top 10 vs. Last Year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will increase approximately 90 to 95 percent from the same post-Memorial Weekend last year, when Solo: A Star Wars Story repeated atop the box office with $29.4 million as Adrift ($11.6 million), Upgrade ($4.7 million), and Action Point ($2.4 million) debuted within an overall $97.1 million top ten market.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, June 2 % Change from Last Wknd
Godzilla: King of the Monsters Warner Bros. $56,000,000 $56,000,000 NEW
Aladdin (2019) Disney $40,000,000 $181,000,000 -56%
Rocketman Paramount $35,000,000* $35,000,000* NEW
Ma Universal $19,900,000 $19,900,000 NEW
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Lionsgate / Summit $12,500,000 $127,400,000 -49%
Avengers: Endgame Disney / Marvel $9,500,000 $817,400,000 -45%
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Warner Bros. $7,700,000 $131,600,000 -43%
Booksmart United Artists Releasing $3,900,000 $14,700,000 -44%
Brightburn Sony / Screen Gems $2,800,000 $14,200,000 -64%
A Dog’s Journey Universal $2,000,000 $19,700,000 -52%

* = includes estimated earnings from Fandango screenings on May 18, which have not been previously reported or announced by the studio

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

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