Weekend Forecast: Will Dumbo Soar Atop the Box Office?

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March comes to a close this weekend as the heart of the spring box office slate approaches its zenith, fresh off the massive success of last weekend’s Us and the continued staying power of Captain Marvel. Will Disney christen a new month with another box office winning remake from its vault of classic animated movies?

Dumbo
Opening Weekend Range: $45 – 65 million

PROS:

  • The beloved property is well known to several generations’ worth of families, and Disney has already proven successful at appealing to that audience with their live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and others.
  • Director Tim Burton brings with him a loyal fan base that helped drive the aforementioned Alice live action take to blockbuster success nine years ago.
  • Trailer Impact metrics have been comparable with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, while measurable social media activity has been even more bullish. Unofficial pre-sales observations are also leaning toward the bullish end of expectations.
  • Its PG rating and status as the first high profile film targeting parents with young kids to debut since How to Train Your Dragon 3 and Wonder Park could be advantageous toward the goal of counter-programming films like Us and Captain Marvel. A lack of films aiming for a similar audience will additionally aid April staying power.

CONS:

  • Unfortunately, critics have been lukewarm on this remake, giving it a 56 percent Rotten Tomatoes score as of Wednesday afternoon.
  • The story’s nature as one of the more melancholic narratives in the Disney pantheon might turn away some of those parents with more sensitive kids.
  • Despite instant name recognition, this remake arguably lacks the kind of fervor driven by fans of Disney’s recent blockbuster remakes.

Unplanned
Opening Weekend Range: $1.5 – 5 million

PROS:

  • The film’s unexpected R rating has caused a controversial stir among faith-based viewers that has received significant publicity from various media outlets of a certain political leaning.
  • A strong contingent of group sales could help the film beat initial expectations and current tracking trends, something that has occurred on occasion with past films aiming for a religious audience.

CONS:

  • In general, Pure Flix releases have opened within a steady range at the box office. This film in particular has tracked closely with titles like last October’s Indivisible ($1.5 million opening weekend at 830 locations) and 2016’s I’m Not Ashamed ($927K opening at 505 locations).

Other Weekend Notes

  • The Beach Bum (Neon) will open this weekend as Hotel Mumbai (Bleecker Street) will expand from its platform release. Neither studio has reported theater counts for the weekend ahead, though, so our forecasts below are highly subject to change.

Top 10 vs. Last Year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will earn approximately $144 million. That would represent a 25 percent increase from the same weekend last year when Ready Player One and Acrimony opened on Easter weekend as part of an overall $115.3 million top ten frame.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, March 31 % Change from Last Wknd
Dumbo Disney $60,000,000 $60,000,000 NEW
Us Universal $39,800,000 $134,700,000 -44%
Captain Marvel Disney / Marvel $20,000,000 $352,900,000 -42%
Five Feet Apart Lionsgate / CBS Films $6,000,000 $35,700,000 -30%
Wonder Park Paramount $5,100,000 $38,000,000 -42%
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Universal $3,800,000 $152,500,000 -42%
Unplanned Pure Flix $2,800,000 $2,800,000 NEW
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral Lionsgate $2,700,000 $70,000,000 -39%
The Beach Bum Neon $2,300,000 $2,300,000 NEW
No Manches Frida 2 Pantelion $1,100,000 $8,300,000 -38%

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

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

Alex Edghill contributed to this report

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