With the holiday season comes an onslaught of new movies so in that vein we’re going to be doing something a little different for the upcoming weekend. Rather than predicting the top five of the weekend, we’ll be taking a look at all the movies opening over the next few days (and previously) and what kind of impact they’re expected to have on the box office.
Assassin’s Creed: Hollywood’s next attempt at adapting a video game has so far been met with abysmal reviews — it’s currently at 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — despite the presence of alluring names like Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson. It’s so far made $7.5 million and over the weekend it’s expected to have an additional intake in the low-teens, giving it a total near $20 million once the holiday weekend is over. This could be a decent enough start, if the film didn’t have a whopping $125 million budget or if that $20 million total came from three days, not six (it’s six, not five, because Monday will be an observed holiday). As it stands, it’s so far looking like Hollywood still hasn’t cracked the code to make a successful video game adaptation.
Passengers: But Assassin’s Creed isn’t the only sci-fi film of the season that’s floundering. The Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence vehicle Passengers has so far made even less with $7.3 million on a $110 million budget (with both films opening in thousands of theaters). Similarly, it hasn’t been helped by bad reviews (it’s at 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and a lackluster response. However, Passengers is expected to take in far more over the weekend — between $25 and $30 million more — so it should have a relatively decent haul when the weekend is over. Still, clearly fans have chosen Rogue One as their sci-fi holiday film of choice.
Sing: The latest animated family film, Sing, set in an anthropomorphic world not unlike Zootopia but centered around a singing competition instead of a police investigation, is looking at a strong weekend. It’s so far made nearly $21 million over two days and is looking at another intake of $45 to $55 million over the weekend, approaching $80 million after the six-day weekend is all said and done. What’s going to help Sing is that it doesn’t have much in the way of competition (Disney’s Moana opened long enough ago to not pose a threat) and kids are currently out of school and spending time with their families.
Patriots Day: The Mark Wahlberg-starrer Patriots Day, about the Boston Marathon Bombing, has made $64,644 over the last two days in only seven theaters, giving it an average of nearly $10,ooo per theater, which is an impressive feat. While it won’t open wider over the weekend, it does have a particular draw that should pull in a good number of audiences. Look for it to make a bigger impact once it opens wide.
Why Him?: The R-rated comedy, which opens today, has so far made $975,000 in Thursday night previews, which is on par with the recent Office Christmas Party. It’s eyeing a total of $11-13 million over the next four days in nearly 3,000 theaters, shy of Office Christmas Party’s $16.8 opening haul but it’s less surprising given Why Him?’s reviews (41 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and given how crowded the movie slate currently is right now (between December 21 and December 25, fourteen new films will have opened, which poses strict competition).
Fences: In Thursday night previews, Fences, which is based on the play of the same name, has made $175,182 in four theaters alone. It’s expanding to 2,200 theaters over the weekend and looking at an opening total of around $5 million give or take. The film has been receiving good reviews and is poised as an awards contender, which alone should put eyes on the film. Its stars, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, who also appeared together in the play, will also be a draw (Washington also directed the film).
A Monster Calls/Silence: Both of these films are opening in four theaters over the weekend, before expanding come the beginning of January. Neither will make enough to make a particularly large impression before the year is out, but both films have plenty of buzz around them so we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them. Silence is Martin Scorsese’s passion project about 17th century missionaries in Japan, while A Monster Calls is a fantasy/sci-fi film about grief and strength, starring Rogue One’s Felicity Jones as well as Sigourney Weaver.
20th Century Fox
No film opening Christmas Day has a large enough opening to make or break the box office, but there are some notable titles worth paying attention to. The highly anticipated Hidden Figures, based on the real-life black women who worked at NASA in the 1960s to help launch John Glenn into orbit. The film is a potential Oscar-contender for several acting categories and has been receiving very good reviews from critics. There’s plenty of hype surrounding the film and we should see its numbers increase more and more as it expands.
Other films that are opening on Sunday include the awards contender 20th Century Women, Ben Affleck’s latest directorial film Live By Night (opening in four theaters), and the foreign awards contender Toni Erdmann (opening in three theaters).
La La Land will also be opening wider this weekend (into more than 700 theaters) and its intake should be particularly impressive given that it’s competiting with films opening in 2,000 to 4,000 theaters. Still, the movie to beat this weekend will be the repeat Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and to put any minds at ease — no film will beat it.
(Sources: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Tweets and Likes represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor