Weekend Forecast: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ & ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ Look to Ring In Strong Start to Holiday Movie Season

Holiday movie season is officially upon us as the first weekend of November promises to be once again kick-start a promising slate of movies to close out the year. Our forecast:


  • During what has been a benchmark year for comic book films both commercially and critically, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok is poised to continue the trend. Critics have awarded the sequel by far the best rating of the three Thor movies with a 96 percent entering Wednesday, while the film’s first wave of international debuts have gone very well. Marvel continues to be an immensely powerful brand name — as this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming once again solidified — and the combination of multiple top-tier characters from the franchise gives Ragnarok some hefty pull (as well as anticipation for Cate Blanchett’s lead antagonist). We also expect the lack of family-friendly blockbusters since summer to spur moviegoer attendance over the weekend and beyond.


  • Following the sleeper success of last year’s original hit, A Bad Moms Christmas will aim to counter-program among women this weekend as the “girls’ night out” effect continues to show its power. The franchise’s social media footprint remains healthy, particularly on Facebook where it claims over 1 million fans. As a mid-range comedy sequel, the threshold for success at the box office isn’t particularly high either. With the holiday theme this go-around, some staying power could be expected through the holidays as opposed to the usual front-loading of sequels. The film’s midweek opening will also serve to spread out demand. Last but certainly not least, this could be well-timed in the market as very few high profile movies have successfully appealed to women in recent months.


  • There’s very little working against Thor: Ragnarok. As a point of fact, though, it’s worth keeping in mind that Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened to $95 million while similarly boasting strong reviews and a combination of franchise leads. Also, Marvel’s previous efforts in the November corridor — namely last year’s Doctor Strange and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World — all opened in the $80-90 million range. While the former’s debut was impressive as an origin story, it could be the latter film’s somewhat underwhelming reception that might arguably hamper broader enthusiasm for the newest Thor chapter going into the weekend. Still, we continue to bet on Ragnarok‘s numerous other advantages to outweigh that factor, while also expecting the growth of premium screen formats in the past four years to significantly boost this sequel’s average price per ticket sold.


  • Comedy sequels have generally had a rough time at the box office in recent years as the likes of Neighbors 2Ted 2Horrible Bosses 2, and various others all performed well below the level of their predecessors. With a review embargo in place for A Bad Moms Christmas until late opening night Wednesday, as well as more muted Twitter engagement than the first film’s strong pre-release buzz, some diminished returns should be reasonably expected. Meanwhile, Marvel and Thor‘s not-insignificant female audience share will be tougher to contend with than Jason Bourne was as the first Moms‘ head-to-head opening competition.

The Top 5 Weekend Forecast:

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Sunday, November 5 % Change
Thor: Ragnarok Disney / Marvel Studios $109,000,000 $109,000,000 NEW
A Bad Moms Christmas STXfilms $17,500,000 $21,500,000 NEW
Jigsaw Lionsgate $5,900,000 $28,460,000 -65%
Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Lionsgate $5,100,000 $43,400,000 -49%
Geostorm Warner Bros. $2,500,000 $28,260,000 -58%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this forecast