By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by 2 Weeks To X-Mas Klady
Not a ton that wasn’t evident yesterday. La La Land is not expected to reach quite the heights that Friday suggested, though the estimate could be low (or high) for today under the circumstance. Still… make no mistake… a per-screen monster. You almost need Alec Baldwin reading David Mamet’s box office report today: “First place, a $165 thousand Cadillac… second place, $19 thousand steak knives.”
There is nothing less than excellent about Jackie‘s $18,610 per screen expanding to 26 screens in its second weekend. It’s just that La La is dwarfing it for now.
Third place… not fired. Lion‘s $11,130 on 15. Good. Not breathtaking. But it is the third weekend and it is an expansion and on that basis, the number looks even better.
Only two other films managed $5,000 per theater this weekend. Office Christmas Party, the only big wide opener. And Manchester by the Sea, which is probably getting screwed in all the attention to per-screens and slower, later emerging awards movies. It’s at $8.3 million in 4 weeks, which is really excellent for a tough, tough (great) movie.
And so, with Fences, Hidden Figures, Patriots Day and Silence yet to open, here is my first awards box office chart of the year…
I think Sully is iffy in the Best Picture race right now, so Arrival could be the first BP nominee to $100 million and if there are more, they will come from those still in limited (under 1000 screens) or unreleased so far. La La Land and Hidden Figures seem the most likely candidates for this.
Moana is behind Wreck-It-Ralph by date, but Ralph had a 3-week head start. If Moana follows Ralph‘s trajectory, it will just pass $200 million, slightly bigger domestically than Tangled in the Walt Disney Animation family.
Fantastic Beasts will pass $200 million domestic in the next day or two. But it will be the lowest grosser in the JK Rowling universe, domestically and worldwide. But not by a ton. So the question will be how to pump up the next one. What didn’t the push for Beasts satisfy to qualify as a must-see? And how willing will Rowling be to chase a higher gross? Right now, this reminds me a lot (too much) of Amazing Spider-Man, where the number was pretty huge, but not what was aspired to by the studio, so the hit felt like a miss. Unfortunate.