Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.
For a recap of last week’s box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Rings‘ opening weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.
Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of February 10 – 12, 2017.
This weekend, The LEGO Batman Movie opens in 4,008 theaters, John Wick: Chapter 2 debuts in 2,900 locations, and Fifty Shades Darker premieres in 3,710 theaters.
#1 – The LEGO Batman Movie
Coming in first should be The LEGO Batman Movie, a spinoff of 2014’s popular The LEGO Movie. Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s film was one of the surprise hits of that year, earning much critical acclaim en route to $257.7 million domestically. LEGO Batman was a key supporting character in that movie, and this new production obviously revolves around him. So not only is The LEGO Batman Movie following up a blockbuster smash from a few years ago, it stars one of the world’s most recognizable superheroes who has long been a box office draw in his own right. And, it’s arriving in theaters at the peak of the comic book movie’s viability. With the marketing campaign promising a humorous treat for fans young and old, this is shaping up to be a monster hit.
Fortunately for Warner Bros., there’s little standing in The LEGO Batman Movie‘s way. The film is the recipient of overwhelmingly positive reviews, praising it as a fun time with a nice message for the audience. Additionally, it’s the first high-profile animated film opening since Sing over the holiday season, meaning that it’s primed to deliver for an underserved segment of the moviegoing public. Family movies are typically a sure bet commercially, especially when the Dark Knight is involved. Tracking indicates $80 million in the first three days, which is well beyond what The LEGO Movie did.
#2 – Fifty Shades Darker
We believe Fifty Shades Darker will come in second this weekend. The romance film is the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, which was a decent hit back in 2015 (in a similar release window). Grey grossed $85.1 million in its opening weekend and finished with $166.1 million total domestically. That shows the movie did not have the strongest legs and struggled to maintain an audience after its opening. Much of that was due to the very poor critical reception, and unfortunately that should continue to be the case here. Fifty Shades Darker has been widely panned, which means it won’t appeal to the uninitiated and is mainly just for die-hard fans of the source material.
The expectation going in is that Fifty Shades Darker won’t be able to measure up to its predecessor in terms of ticket sales. Projections are currently set at $46 million for the weekend, and Universal is even planning for something less than that. The fad (and morbid curiosity) about the property seems to have worn off a bit, and there are other – more traditional – Valentine’s Day options for couples this weekend (i.e. La La Land). Readers of the books will show up to support the film, which will help, but this installment won’t be a record-breaker.
#3 – John Wick: Chapter 2
Our pick for third is John Wick: Chapter 2, the sequel to 2014’s cult action hit. The original film grossed a modest $43 million in the States, but anticipation for the followup is quite high after John Wick attracted a sizable following. Just about everyone who saw the first installment left wanting to see more, and thankfully, the sequel promises to be another entertaining thrill ride. The early reviews have been positive, with the implication being that the second verse is just as fun as the first. Genre fans have been eager for this one to open, and it apparently lives up to the hype.
Since John Wick‘s box office haul was somewhat small (even though it was an ultimate success), it could have trouble beating out either of its two competitors over the weekend. However, that doesn’t mean Chapter 2 shouldn’t be a fruitful endeavor. It’s going after a wildly different demographic than the other two new releases, meaning there’s little that stands directly in its path. Action fans were largely let down in January with a string of underwhelming sequels, so the chance to see something that has the critics raving will be too good to pass up. Estimates have it pegged for $26.5 million for the first three days, nearly double what the first one brought in during that time span.
#4 – Split
Look for the three-time reigning champion, Split (read our review), to fall to fourth in its fourth weekend. The new thriller from M. Night Shyamalan has done very well over the course of its run, grossing $102.1 million domestically to date. That said, it will not be able to contend with three new wide releases. After dominating the marketplace for an extended period of time, business is going to start to decline.
#5 – Hidden Figures
Rounding out the top five should be Hidden Figures (read our review). The Oscar-nominated drama has posted strong figures since it went wide in mid-January, taking advantage of the limited competition during that time. However, like Split, this holdover probably won’t be able to top any of the flashy new wide releases, so it too will slide down the charts.
Last Week’s Recap
- Hidden Figures
- A Dog’s Purpose
- La La Land
- A Dog’s Purpose
- Hidden Figures
- La La Land
Next Week: The Great Wall, A Cure for Wellness, and more!