Weekend Forecast: ‘Star Trek Beyond,’ ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’ & ‘Lights Out’

Three new wide releases will debut this Friday with hopes of toppling the stranglehold that first Finding Dory and then The Secret Life Of Pets have had over the box office for the last five weeks. With perhaps the best chance of unseating the holdovers, Paramount will unveil their third entry in the popular rebooted Star Trek franchise: Star Trek Beyond. Meanwhile Fox will bring their record-breaking Ice Age animated franchise back to theaters for a fifth time with Ice Age: Collision Course. Lastly, with the only non-sequel to open on the weekend, Warner Bros. / New Line will debut the horror Lights Out.

Star Trek Beyond

PROS:

– Star Trek is one of the most iconic franchises of all time, having spawned 12 feature films, numerous popular TV shows and a throng of spin-off merchandise. As far as name recognition worldwide Captain Kirk is right up there with James Bond and Luke Skywalker.

– The rebooted franchise has been a cash cow for Paramount over the past seven years, grossing over $750 million worldwide and handily surpassing all past films in unadjusted grosses.

– Social media awareness has been solid, especially on Twitter where it is running at just over double the buzz of the last film Star Trek Into Darkness over the last seven corresponding days.

– Reviews have been nothing short of spectacular thus far, with 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as of this column being published it is one of the best-reviewed films in the franchise to date.

– With animated films leading the box office for the last five weeks the market might be more than ready for an adult-only offering.

CONS:

– The heart and soul of the rebirth of the franchise was director J.J. Abrams, but with his departure as director is a big change that many fans were not pleased with, even if he did stay on as producer.

– The second film could not keep up with the domestic grosses of the original (or match its reviews) and left many fans new and old disappointed. Worry is that the third will continue the trend downwards domestically thanks to the mis-steps of the last film, regardless of how good the reviews are.

Ice Age: Collision Course

PROS:

– The Ice Age movies are one of the most consistent family-friendly franchises, with all four films grossing between $160 and $200 million domestically. Fox seems to have the formula for success right here as very few animated franchises have ever been as consistent over as many outings.

– With almost $3 billion worldwide across its four releases to date it is just shy of becoming the highest worldwide grossing animated film franchise of all time, ,a record currently held by Shrek and a mark it should surpass within a couple weeks of release.

CONS:

-Early reviews have been very poor for the film, with only a 15% fresh rating so far on Rotten Tomatoes, continuing the downward trend for the franchise. The first four had fresh ratings of 77%, 57%, 45% and 37% respectively.

– While it did amazingly well internationally, the last film in the franchise had the lowest return domestically ($161 million), and this could continue that downward trend.

– Animated CGI film fatigue will no doubt be an issue with both Finding Dory and The Secret Life Of Pets dominating the box office.

Lights Out

– With no direct competition in the market since The Conjuring 2 over a month before, the market should be more than primed for another horror offering.

– Horror genre superstar James Wan produces here (funny enough he also directs the aforementioned The Conjuring 2). With his long list of breakout horror successes as a director and producer the film has a lot going for it.

– The reported budget is only $5 million here which means that it really doesn’t have to do too much to make it into the black.

– Early reviews have been very strong, allowing it to be counted as the best reviewed wide-release horror of 2016 so far.

CONS:

– Wan has also had his losses as a producer (see Demonic and its $3 million worldwide gross).

– For any horror to breakout social media performance is almost always key and so far this has been far from spectacular (especially on Twitter). By comparison, The Conjuring 2 had more than four times the buzz of Lights Out over the past week relative to their releases. This seems to hint that any significant breakout will not be on the cards.

Top 10 Forecast

Box Office Pro forecasts this weekend’s top ten films will generate $179.5 million. That would mark a 26% increase from last year’s $138.4 million when Disney’s Ant-Man led the box office for a second weekend in a row with $24.9 million.

Check out our complete weekend forecast below.

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through
Sunday, July 24
Star Trek Beyond Paramount $61,000,000 $61,000,000
Ice Age: Collision Course Fox $33,000,000 $33,000,000
The Secret Life of Pets Universal $25,500,000 $257,500,000
Ghostbusters (2016) Sony / Columbia $20,750,000 $87,000,000
Lights Out Warner Bros. (New Line) $17,000,000 $17,000,000
The Legend of Tarzan Warner Bros. $6,300,000 $116,000,000
Finding Dory Buena Vista $6,200,000 $459,250,000
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Fox $3,450,000 $39,550,000
Central Intelligence Warner Bros. (New Line) $3,225,000 $123,600,000
The Purge: Election Year Universal $3,100,000 $77,500,000
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