Your Complete Weekend Box Office Tracking, Predictions, & Analysis (12.08.16)

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the box office-2 Box Office 12.8

Moana

$18.8 million

Office Christmas Party

$17.5 million

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

$11.4 million

Arrival

$4.8 million

Allied

$4 million

This weekend’s box office poses two interesting situations: which film will take the number one spot and the intakes of the films outside of the top five. Paramount is placing its new film, the extravagant office party film Office Christmas Party at taking in between $13 and $15 million this weekend. However, with its strong marketing campaign and numerous familiar faces, plus its promise of escapism, there should be an even larger audience draw, pushing the film into the higher teens. Yet there’s a very good chance Moana could overtake the newcomer and claim the top spot for one final week before the newest Star War film, Rogue One, bows in theaters. After all, Moana has received much better reviews than Office Christmas Party (read our own here) and has achieved near-universal accessibility, from kids to families and adults alike. With an expected intake close to $20 million, Moana will start to close in on $150 million domestically this weekend and while that’s still far off Frozen’s $400 million and Zootopia’s $341 million, the Polynesian-set film should have another surge once the holiday break arrives and kids are out of school again.

ocp-banner-1Paramount Pictures

Still, Office Christmas Party will put up a good fight this weekend and is expected to do better than both of last year’s holiday party movies, the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy Sisters and The Night Before, co-starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie. The former made nearly $14 million opening weekend, while the latter took in just under $10 million. But the newest romp is definitely hoping to have a run more like Sisters, which went on to make just shy of $90 million domestically, while The Night Before made just $43 million. Office Christmas Party also has the added benefit that it’s opening the weekend before the new Star Wars movie (and not the same, as Sisters did last year) and the films it’s up against are ones that don’t really overlap with it (aka family films and awards-contenders).

Opening Weekend Current Gross Facebook Likes Tweets
Moana $56.631 million $124.772 million 68,539 115,668
Office Christmas Party N/A N/A 206,894 19,118
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them $74.403 million $187.354 million 43,888 119,226
Arrival $24.074 million $75.220 million N/A N/A
Allied $12.701 million $31.069 million N/A N/A

Meanwhile, the rest of the weekend will be fairly par for the course. Fantastic Beasts is expected to drop around 37 percent and take in $11 million (and maybe a little more from the continued dedication of Harry Potter fans, as I’m predicting). It will get the film close to (if not over, depending on just how much it takes in) $200 million, domestically, which is still still a decent way off Prisoner of Azkaban’s $249.5 million domestic intake as the lowest of the Harry Potter films. Unless Fantastic Beasts is able to make a strong second showing over the holiday break, it might not best any of the original Harry Potter films. Still, at $611.7 million worldwide, it’s certainly a strong showing for Warner Bros., if still not quite in competition with what Disney’s franchises and films are doing.

Amy Adams (right) as Louise Banks in ARRIVAL by Paramount PicturesParamount Pictures

Arrival and Allied are expected to bring up the rear and remain on the top five for their last week. Allied will drop a little less than 50 percent but still, the film is nearly to the point of being a certifiable average film. On an $85 million budget, it’s only managed to make $57.2 million, and that’s worldwide. Looking ahead, it’s shaping up to be a film that simply comes and goes and doesn’t make any sort of impression. The exact opposite can be said for Arrival which is both making plenty of people’s lists for best movies of the year, as well as a more than decent intake at the box office. It’s now at $75.2 million domestically and $115 million worldwide. While not the biggest numbers in the world, they’re excellent for a small, drama-driven sci-fi film that’s also an awards contender.

     
Rotten Tomatoes IMDb Metacritic
Critics Users # of Ratings Stars # of Ratings  
Moana 96 93 32,993 8.2 13,732 81
Office Christmas Party 46 N/A 61 5.6 641 42
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 75 82 63,792 7.8 101,021 66
Arrival 93 82 45,753 8.4 78,458 81
Allied 60 70 15,161 7.2 11,322 60

And speaking of awards contenders, that’s where the other interesting situation will come in over the weekend. Frontrunner La La Land opens tomorrow — only in five theaters, not enough to make a huge impact on the box office this weekend, but it’ll be key to keep an eye on it as it opens in more and more theaters. Meanwhile, both Miss Sloane and Nocturnal Animals are opening in more theaters this weekend, over 1,000, but both films are expected to earn between $1 and $2 million each. Manchester by the Sea, another Oscar frontrunner, is opening in more theaters and many reports have it at a little over $2 million this weekend. While none of these numbers are particularly impressive at first, it’s similar to the intakes of past Oscar films like this year’s Best Picture winner Spotlight, which went on to keep making more money as it opened in more theaters and got more and more awards buzz. Perhaps one of the most interesting conversations this all begs is why awards films continue to be largely inaccessible to mainstream theater-goers, but that’s an essay for another day.

(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.)

 | Associate Editor
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