The weekend following Thanksgiving is historically one of the slowest weekends of the year, almost as slow as Labor Day weekend. Plus, the first weekend of December is almost always a slow weekend, so those two factors combined are leading to some big drops this weekend, even to films that did well last weekend and to the lone newcomer in wide release, Incarnate. So with a slow week, I’ll try and keep this short.
Moana did quite well last weekend, both for its five-day weekend and the three-day weekend, and while animated and kids fare is usually pretty good in holdovers, I’m saying a 55% drop is in store for the film. That equals out to a $25.4 million weekend. Disney should be very happy with that result, and the running total should be close to $120 million after just 12 days. For a property that isn’t based on a well-known commodity that every kids knows and grows up with, that’s gotta be in the win column for the mouse house.
Fantastic Beasts will continue its run as well, and last week’s 39% drop was a good sign, but keeping in mind it was a holiday weekend, we have to consider that most fans will now be looking more forward to other big-budget films like Star Wars: Rogue One, which is what I’m calling it, not quite Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which Disney would like me to use, I’m sure, Assassin’s Creed, Passengers, and even Sing. I’m saying a 60% drop for its third weekend earning $18 million. That’s still pretty good for the Harry Potter spin-off. I have a kind of surprising twist for what will earn third place: Arrival. It does add almost 500 theaters this weekend and did spectacularly well last weekend. I’ll comment more on that later. I’m putting it at a 35% drop and a weekend total of $7.4 million. Also holding from last weekend in the top five is Allied, which did just fine last weekend and I think will have a gold hold. I’m saying a 45% drop and a second weekend total of $6.9 million, so that would mean it would remain in fourth place.
Now for the fifth place spot I’m going with Doctor Strange falling 55% and earning $6.1 million for this weekend. Since its opening in the first weekend in November, the movie has done spectacular business for being an unproven Marvel character. It’s looking like it has a shot of clearing $225 million by the end of the calendar year, and it’s already beat the first movies for other Marvel heroes like Thor, Ant-Man, and Captain America. That’s saying something.
Now for the non-starter that is Incarnate. Tracking for the film is the main reason I’m not seeing this getting a good start this weekend. Sure, we had Krampus (2015) open fairly well this weekend last year but it was in 67% more theaters than Incarnate will play in this weekend, and that film actually had a marketing campaign, and the buzz on the movie is soft. Very soft. Sure, Aaron Eckhart scored some great reviews from his work in Sully, which of course made the most money of any movie that opened in the fall movie season, but he’s not a box office draw, and no critic reviews isn’t a good sign. Tracking has it hitting $4 million, and I have it at $2.9 million. There’s even a chance it doesn’t hit the top ten for the weekend. Yeesh! It does play in 1,737 theaters and would average $1,770 per theater, which means it won’t be along for long. Also worth mentioning in new releases is best picture contender Jackie with Natalie Portman. Only 5 theaters will play it opening weekend, but it will expand in wide release in the next few weeks. Hopefully its in semi-wide or wide release by December 25th.
So now we’ll take a look at how we did last weekend. Moana earned $56.6 million, which was just below my expectations of $63.5 million, so it still did really great. Second place went to Fantastic Beasts and it fell 39% and earned $45 million, much better than my $39 million prediction. Third place was another correct pick with Doctor Strange, and it earned $13.7 million in its fourth weekend, just off from my $14.2 million prediction. Another good one was Allied in fourth place, and it earned $12.7 million opening weekend, again over its three-day haul. I had it a bit lower at $11 million. Fifth place was incorrect. I had Trolls grabbing it with an $8.7 million weekend, and it did better than that, but Arrival only fell 5% from its previous weekend. So when we’re talking which movie benefited the most from the holiday weekend, it wasn’t Moana or Fantastic Beasts, but Arrival. It earned $11.4 million. So again, this weekend will mainly just be some shifting in spots from last weekend and some big falls, but we’ll have more exciting talk in the next couple of weeks as Christmas looms.