By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Estimates by Baby Klady
Fox may have delivered its best DreamWorks Animation opening with its penultimate release, as Boss Baby‘s opening day is almost identical to the top DWA/Fox release, Home. The rest of the weekend will tell, but $50m+ is in the cards for this comedy that played more like a Termite Terrace homage than a Trump joke before The Orange Menace became president. To be clear, I don’t think anyone is going to see this movie because of the Trump thing. But it is undeniable… and Alec Baldwin makes it unavoidable.
Even if Beauty & The Beast once again has a strong 3.8x Friday multiple for the weekend, it won’t get to that $50 million mark. But don’t cry for Beast, as it will become the sixth fastest film to hit $400 million domestic on Wednesday or Thursday this week. It will probably take a couple more weeks to pass $1 billion worldwide.
Ghost in the Shell will open to a little better than half of Lucy‘s opening. Lucy is the comp. 100%, at least domestically. The passionate following for the original Ghost in the Shell – mostly the same group focusing on whitewashing – are valuable, but nowhere near large enough to change the box office profile. This is true of all comic book movies and most franchises, really. You have a few franchises, like Twilight and The Hunger Games, where the lookie-loos drop off and the large core stays in place through the whole run. What is fascinating about Ghost is that the critical Asian market for the new film is where the English language and white star will be most obvious… and could go really, really well for Paramount, more so than in the U.S. where these issues are political chatter.
So the answer is, Ghost is not going to be a big U.S. hit. But it could be a solid moneymaker based on international returns. Story TK.
The Zookeeper’s Wife continues to get curiouser and curiouser. 474 screens. When is the last time you saw a movie open with that count? It is rare, especially for studio divisions. Basically, it’s a dump count. The exception (kind of) was 2015, when Universal threw Everest out there on 545 in September and Sony put The Walk out on the tightrope on 440. Both movies had high ambitions. (Didn’t write that as a pun… but ha ha, it became one.) The Walk was a disaster at the box office, whereas Everest was just a failure.
Zookeeper out-opened its screen count. It performed yesterday like the foreign-language non-Hollywood domestic hits that do a big number for a weekend and then disappear. But Zookeeper is not that. It is an awards movie that opened, instead, in late March/early April… a victim of an overfilled (and excellent) Focus awards schedule. And its opening is bigger than any English-language major studio release on fewer than 650 screens in the last five years, with the exception of Everest and the original Pitch Perfect, which launched on 335 and did $1.8m on opening day. The closest actual comp I found in the five-year look was A Most Wanted Man, which Roadside released on 361 screens in July 2014 and opened to $717k on opening day. Prestige movie. Oscar talk. $17.2 million domestic. Zookeeper will do a bit better than that, probably passing $20 million. But that is probably the glass ceiling… limited by its programming… unless it breaks away in some unique way.