That was fast. We’re up to our last weekend of the fall movie season. Short-lived, but certainly not without its moments, fall ends with three new films in wide release: Jigsaw, Suburbicon, and Thank You for your Service. We’ve also got an overcrowded field of leftover films that have been in release in the last few weeks, so we’ll go ahead and get started.
Jigsaw is the likely winner this weekend, and I really don’t see a situation where it doesn’t top the charts. Tobin Bell, the face of the franchise, is the only recognizable name with this one, common for horror films of these sorts, and of course it’s the return of the Saw franchise (2004-present), which has had its place in horror history, both in terms of quality and longevity and also at the box office. The average opening for these films is $26 million, but with the heyday of this franchise long gone and this sort of acts as a soft reboot to the franchise, a number that high isn’t fair to assume will happen. Also add that marketing, while strong, can’t outweigh the lack of reviews, but because it’s Halloween in just a few days, that will help boost the opening above its tracking number, $12 million, and I’m going up to $16 million. With 2,941 theaters playing the film we’re looking at a per-theater average around $5,440.
If we’re playing on the assumption that Boo 2! A Madea Halloween performs the same way the first film did last year, that would mean a 39% drop, but we have to remember that’s when no new horror films were out for Halloween, and that was really the only option for a film themed around the spooky holiday(?). However, with Jigsaw out and Happy Death Day increasing its theater count, I don’t see that happening. I do see, however, a 45% drop and a second weekend of $11.6 million. That should outpace the other new releases and leftovers for second place.
Third place I have going to Suburbicon, which is tracking for $8.5 million, and if it wasn’t for the bad reviews out early from its festivals screenings and if it also held its Oscar chances like it had before those screenings, no doubt this would be doing better this weekend. Still, we do have a few highlights here: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac are in the cast, and George Clooney is a director and co-writer and a couple of the other co-writers here are Joel and Ethan Coen, so there’s a lot of talented people involved, but again that 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a killer, despite an okay marketing campaign that has released entertaining trailers and TV spots. I’m going lower than tracking and saying $7 million. Normally I’d go lower but the fans of actors and directors and writers like these are faithful, and despite only 2,046 theaters playing it, $3,421 is my per-theater average for the film.
For fourth place I’m going with Geostorm, which is going to fall 55%, thank God, and make another $6.1 million. And finally for fifth place I’ll take Happy Death Day, which benefits from more theaters and being a horror movie on Halloween weekend. Despite it falling 64% last weekend, I see a better result this time with only a 50% drop and another $4.6 million. That leaves Thank You for your Service outside the top five. Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Keisha Castle-Hughes, and Amy Schumer star, and Academy-Award nominated writer Jason Hall makes his debut as a director for this one, and his work on American Sniper (2014) was good enough to help that movie be an unexpected smash when it entered wide release in January of ’15, one that’s still talked about today, and while it’s subject matter will be similar, I don’t see that same effect coming. Not even close. The marketing has aimed at its target audience perfectly, but typically these films don’t open at the top of the charts, and with 78% of Rotten Tomatoes’ finest giving it the recommendation, it’s the highest rated of the new films this weekend. $5 million is the tracked number, but I’m going with $4 million. With 2,054 theaters going for it, $1,947 is the expected per-theater average.
Okay, now let’s revisit my predictions from last weekend and see how I did. I correctly predicted Boo 2! to win the weekend, and it made $21.2 million, a little lower than both tracking and my $25 million prediction. I incorrectly had Happy Death Day in second place with a 45% drop and $14.3 million, but instead it fell 64% and landed on $9.3 million in third place. My third place prediction Geostorm landed in second place with $13.7 million, which was actually extremely close to my $13.5 million guess, so that’s one that was in the wrong spot but nearly right number. Fourth place went to Blade Runner 2049, which went down another 52%, $7.3 million its earnings. I had it in fifth place with $6.9 million, so it held a little better than I thought it would. However, Only the Brave did not live up to my fourth place expectations of $8 million. It could only manage $6 million. I also had predictions for The Snowman and Same Kind of Different as Me, and both didn’t impress. The Snowman landed in 8th place with $3.3 million, not even close to my $6.7 million prediction. And for Same Kind of Different, my $4 million prediction was a dream scenario for them, it only managed $2.5 million in 12th place. Bad news for both films. Okay, let’s get going with the results this weekend and see how we do.