Weekend Forecast: Shazam!, Pet Sematary, & The Best of Enemies

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April’s first weekend is set to represent the last big studio push of spring before Marvel Studios unleashes Avengers: Endgame three weeks from now. How will the coming frame play out?

Shazam!
Opening Weekend Range: $45 – 55 million

PROS:

  • Strong reviews for this DC character’s first on-screen appearance have generated enthusiasm among fans, as well as casual audiences looking for lighter fare from the genre before Marvel’s epic Avengers finale opens later this month.
  • As the superhero genre continues to drive the industry, DC films have generally developed a growing habit of over-performing against expectations — most recently Aquaman ($67.9 million opening weekend) and Wonder Woman ($103.3 million).
  • Social media buzz has been very encouraging with each trailer release as overall sentiment suggests fans have an increasing faith in the evolving direction of DC’s solo projects.
  • The film’s overall tracking picture positions it well alongside early-in-the-year releases like The LEGO Batman Movie ($53 million opening) and ahead of Power Rangers (2017) ($40.3 million).
  • A generally clear runaway over the next three weekends leaves a wide open path for staying power to generate a strong multiple after opening weekend, especially given appeal to a wide age range.

CONS:

  • A general lack of familiarity with this character among the masses makes comparisons to previous DC films (even Aquaman) somewhat of a stretch. A more apples-to-apples comparison would be Marvel’s own Ant-Man, which opened to $57.2 million in July 2015 before legging out to $180.2 million domestically.
  • Given the record-breaking nature of Avengers: Endgame‘s first wave of ticket sales this week, and the continued performance of Captain Marvel, general moviegoers saving their cash for the next comic book movie might not rush out on opening weekend for this one.

Pet Sematary (2019)
Opening Weekend Range: $24 – 34 million

PROS:

  • The Stephen King brand is stronger than it has been in decades thanks to the blockbuster success of It nearly two years ago.
  • The horror genre has become no stranger to over-performers and breakouts lately — Jordan Peele’s Us being a strong recent example, as well as A Quiet Place when it opened one year ago this weekend.
  • Critics have awarded this remake strong marks entering the weekend.

CONS:

  • With Us expected to have another healthy turnout in its third frame, some of the target horror fan audience will be divided between these two films.
  • Excluding the outlier of It, horror remakes haven’t generated nearly as much demand as original films have at the box office in recent years — notably films like 2017’s Flatliners ($6.6 million opening weekend), 2015’s Poltergeist ($22.6 million), and 2013’s Carrie ($16.1 million).

The Best of Enemies
Opening Weekend Range: $4 – 11 million

PROS:

  • Stars Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell could provide intrigue among adult audiences not interested in the weekend’s other genre fair.
  • The absence of a high-performing, adult-driven drama in the market right now leaves an audience available for this.
  • Generally, tracking has been in line with films like Green Book ($5.5 million wide opening weekend) and Black or White ($6.2 million) — the latter of which is a more relevant comparison given the time of year and lack of an award season push to follow.

CONS:

  • With no reviews available at the time of this report’s publishing, it’s difficult to gauge what kind of word of mouth could transpire among moviegoers.
  • An estimated 1,600 theater count may limit potential.

Top 10 vs. Last Year.

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will increase between 2 and 7 percent from the same weekend last year, when A Quiet Place ($50.2 million), Blockers ($20.6 million), and Chappaquiddick ($5.8 million) debuted as part of an overall $140.9 million top ten market.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, April 7 % Change from Last Wknd
Shazam! Warner Bros. $50,000,000 $53,300,000* NEW
Pet Sematary (2019) Paramount $29,000,000 $29,000,000 NEW
Dumbo Disney $20,600,000 $74,800,000 -55%
Us Universal $15,900,000 $151,000,000 -52%
Captain Marvel Disney / Marvel $11,500,000 $370,200,000 -44%
The Best of Enemies STX Entertainment $7,000,000 $7,000,000 NEW
Five Feet Apart Lionsgate / CBS Films $3,800,000 $41,000,000 -39%
Wonder Park Paramount $3,200,000 $42,500,000 -36%
Unplanned Pure Flix $3,100,000 $11,400,000 -51%
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Universal $2,900,000 $157,200,000 -34%

* = includes earnings from Fandango screenings on March 23

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

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