This weekend sees the release of three new wide films, The Great Wall, Fist Fight, and A Cure for Wellness. While last weekend got the advantage of being the weekend before Valentine’s Day, this weekend gets the advantage of being President’s Day weekend, but don’t expect the numbers for this week’s newcomers to match those of last week’s releases. So now let’s take a look at what I think will fill out the top five.
The winner should be The LEGO Batman Movie, which didn’t come anywhere close to where I thought it would last week, but still did solid business. With no new releases this weekend caving in on the family or animated audience and really good word of mouth, I’d say we’re looking at a 30% drop and a second weekend of $37.1 million, which should be an easy win. I might be going out on a whim here, but I think second place will also be a holdover, John Wick: Chatper Two, which didn’t quite meet my high expectations last weekend but still did solid business. I’m anticipating a 35% drop and a second weekend total of $19.7 million.
Now for third place I’ll go with Fist Fight. The cast is a pretty good one, including Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, and Christina Hendricks, and the marketing campaign has been strong, but with reviews coming in and early signs pointing at a not so well received film critically speaking, and that might have helped this film. Again these are early reviews, so maybe they’ll turn around and it’ll be a mixed reception, but strong reception would have helped. Still, it does have 3,000 theaters playing it and that star power, so I think it’ll earn $18 million in third place. If John Wick doesn’t hold on as strongly, it could easily pass it to be in second place. Tracking has it coming in a little higher than my prediction, $20 million, but my prediction would mean an average of $6,000 per theater.
Fourth place looks like it will belong to The Great Wall starring Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe. The film’s marketing might actually be the weakest of the three new releases, and the early showings internationally brought in some money, sure, but not a great word of mouth. It currently sits at 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, action fans not smitten with John Wick or even LEGO Batman will probably check this one out, and it does play in 3,326, but I’m anticipating a disappointing $12.5 million weekend, which is considerably lower than the tracking number, $17 million. My number would mean $3,758 would be the average earning per theater. Fifth place looks like it will belong to last week’s hot and saucy release Fifty Shades Darker. The first film fell 73% in its second weekend, and while that number is very rare, I think the less than stellar reactions, even from its target audience, is a sign that we’re in for a similar number for this one: 75% off, which would mean a second weekend of only $11.6 million. Maybe I’m a little high there on that drop-off, so fourth place is still a possibility, but I’m leaving a little wiggle room in case The Great Wall does a little better than I’m guessing.
The other new release, A Curse for Wellness stars Dane DeHann and Jason Isaacs and was directed by Gore Vebrinski, the same man who brought us the American remake of The Ring (2002), and while the marketing for the film has been strong and the creepy nature of the film well-expressed in the trailers and spots, I’m just not sure it can be the next huge horror hit. I think that title might belong to next weekend’s Get Out. Still, a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes won’t win over those on the fence, and it’s only playing in 2,700 theaters, but I’ll go a bit above the tracking number, $7.5 million with an opening weekend of $8 million. That would mean a per-theater average of $2,963 and, yes, an opening outside the top five.
Now we’ll take a look at last week’s results. First place was correctly predicted for The LEGO Batman Movie, but my very high expectations were not even close to met. I had it making $85 million, which would be very close to the original Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)’s record, but it only took in $53 million. Still enough for first place, but even tracking had it higher at $76 million. Second place went to Fifty Shades Darker, which turned in $46.6 million, just a tad off my even $50 million prediction. Then came John Wick: Chapter Two, earning $30.4 million. I took a shot and said it would earn $38 million, but still it was much higher than the $23.5 million tracked number, so even if I was off, I still count that as a win. Fourth place was another good prediction for Split, which only fell 34% and earned $9.5 million, a bit higher than my $7.9 million 45% drop off. Fifth place was incorrectly predicted for A Dog’s Purpose. Instead Hidden Figures continued its incredible run and earned $8 million, only off 21% from the weekend prior. A Dog’s Purpose had to settle for sixth place and $7.2 million, much higher than my $5.2 million prediction. Still, four out of five is something I’ll pat myself on the back for, especially since the last couple of weeks have been rough. And this weekend might be a tricky one, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.