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 Split's 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 January 27 - 29, 2017.
This weekend, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opens in more than 3,000 theaters, A Dog's Purpose debuts in 3,050 locations, and Gold plays in 2,200 theaters.
#1 - Split
We believe Split (read our review) will come in the top spot again. The latest original triller from M. Night Shyamalan impressed in its opening weekend with a stellar $40 million, and it has been leading the daily charts ever since. Bolstered by positive reviews, Split is perhaps the most buzzed-about title early in the new year thanks to a twist ending that's left viewers talking. With the consensus being Shyamalan has fully bounced back from his downward spiral, cinephiles and horror/thriller fans are going to be interested to check Split out and see what all the hype is about. It's rare for a January release to be in this high demand, but Split has generated excitement, which bodes well for its chances at a repeat.
#2 - A Dog's Purpose
Our pick for second is A Dog's Purpose, an adaptation of the best-selling novel about a dog who goes through several reincarnations and lives with different owners. The source material is definitely family friendly, and that demographic has largely been underserved since Sing opened up over Christmas. Paramount's Monster Trucks looked to satisfy that audience, but it failed to leave much of an impact and has faded into obscurity. A touching and inspirational story about dogs and they people they affect sounds like the recipe for a heartwarming hit. Unfortunately, there are a number of negatives that have to be discussed.
For starters, the film was dealt a massive PR hit when a video of animal abuse on-set went viral. A Dog's Purpose now faces serious backlash, especially from the animal community it was so eager to appeal to. Many are calling for a boycott of the movie, which would obviously damage its commercial prospects. Additionally, early reviews for the film have not been very positive, with many critics saying it's more manipulative than genuine. These factors do not bode well for A Dog's Purpose, and it's set for an uphill climb at the box office. While some believe it will still win the weekend with $17.5 million, others are projecting figures far lower than that, making it difficult to peg exactly where it will end up on the charts. But, Split undoubtedly has the more positive reception, so we're giving the edge to that movie.
#3 - Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Coming in third should be Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth and last installment in the Resident Evil film series. While the franchise has never been one to post huge numbers, it has performed consistently over the past 15 years, with most of the entries debuting in the $20+ million range. It's safe to say that the property has a loyal fan base, and the notion of this being the long in-development endgame gives The Final Chapter an event feel that helps it stand out from other action sequels that have come out this month - Underworld: Blood Wars and xXx: Return of Xander Cage. This isn't to say that it will achieve massive crossover success, but Resident Evil 6 should be able to do fine in its own right and please its target demographic.
Still, things aren't exactly shaping up the way Sony may have hoped. The early reviews are mostly negative, which does not do The Final Chapter any favors as it tries to compete amongst the holdovers and Oscar nominees that are gaining traction. Casual audiences are going to be more interested in those titles, especially if they never got on board with Resident Evil in the first place. Opening weekend projections are just $15.5 million, which would be the lowest debut in the franchise's history. That's really not all that surprising, considering 2012's Retribution was largely a non-starter in the United States.
#4 - Hidden Figures
Coming in fourth should be Hidden Figures (read our review), which was just awarded with three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. The space race drama has performed very well since it went wide earlier this month, grossing $86.9 million at this point in its run. Now that it continues to rack up the accolades, those looking to catch up on the Academy Award contenders will be seeking it out, giving Hidden Figures a nice boost.
#5 - La La Land
Rounding out the top five should be La La Land (read our review), which has demonstrated great legs ever since it expanded nationwide over Christmas. Damien Chazelle's acclaimed musical just tied the record for most Oscar nominations of all-time (14), meaning those who have yet to see will now be doubly curious to see what all the hoopla is about. La La Land is also seen by many as the frontrunner in several of the categories it's recognized in, so it's clearly one of the ones to watch this awards season.
Last Week's Recap
- xXx: Return of Xander Cage
- Hidden Figures
- La La Land
- xXx: Return of Xander Cage
- Hidden Figures
- La La Land
Next Week: Rings, The Space Between Us, and more!