'LEGO Batman' to Lead Presidents' Day Weekend Over 'Fist Fight', 'Great Wall' & 'Cure for Wellness'
by Brad Brevet
February 16, 2017
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Universal's The Great Wall led the weekend's newcomers on Friday, bringing in an estimated $5.9 million on its way to what looks like a $17 million three-day and a four-day weekend that could top $20 million.
WB and New Line's Fist Fight won't be breaking out as it theorized it might in our weekend preview below after it brought in an estimated $3.8 million on Friday and is now looking at a $11.5 million three-day and a four-day around $13 million.
The third new wide release of the weekend is Fox's A Cure for Wellness, which is performing even worse than even the modest pre-release expectations as it pulled in an estimated $1.5 million on Friday and is looking at a three-day around $4+ million and a four-day unlikely to hit $5 million.
You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow with a weekend wrap-up, looking at the three-day weekend and estimates for the four-day.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Universal's The Great Wall brought in $970,000 from Thursday night previews beginning at 7PM in 2,470 theaters. This is $70k more than the $900k the Ben-Hur remake brought in and $170k more than Gods of Egypt to continue the comparisons used in the weekend preview below.
Warner Bros. and New Line's Fist Fight got started with $600,000. This is $135k less than Barbershop: The Next Cut brought in back in April 2016 before opening with $20.2 million.
Finally, Fox's A Cure for Wellness grossed $300,000 from 2,215 locations from Thursday previews which began at 8PM. To continue our comparison from our weekend preview, this is $44,000 behind The Lazarus Effect, which went on to open with $10.2 million back in February 2015.
You can check out our weekend preview below and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a look at Friday estimates.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: Presidents' Day weekend last year was a monster thanks to the $152+ million four-day opening for Deadpool. A year before that Fifty Shades of Grey took advantage of the fortuitous timing with a $93 million four-day opening. This year's new releasesóFist Fight, The Great Wall and A Cure for Wellnessówon't be making such big waves as only one looks as if it will find its way into the top three while the others take a backseat to a trio of second weekend holdovers. At the top, look for WB's The LEGO Batman Movie to secure a second weekend at #1 and will top $100 million by the end of the day on Monday.
The LEGO Batman Movie heads into the weekend with strong word of mouth ("A-" CinemaScore), solid reviews (75 on Metacritic) and it remains the widest release of the weekend as the only film playing in over 4,000 theaters. LEGO Batman opened with $53 million last weekend and we're anticipating a ~32% drop for the three-day this weekend, puling in somewhere around $36 million, which should escalate to $44 million for the holiday weekend. That said, while #1 is pretty much decided, #2-4 could offer some surprises.
Fifty Shades Darker has so far performed mostly as expected. The film brought in $46.6 million in its opening weekend last week and delivered big time Valentine's Day, pulling in $11 million, as its gross-to-date currently stands at $65.3 million. As for this weekend, the question is to obviously wonder just how far it will fall as Fifty Shades of Grey dipped a massive 74% in its second weekend.
As noted in our weekend wrap-up on Sunday, the opening performance for Fifty Shades Darker compared to Grey was comparable to the drop from Sex and the City to Sex and the City 2, the latter of which dropped 60% over its second weekend. One big caveat, however, is both Fifty Shades of Grey and Sex and the City 2 opened over holiday weekends, giving better reason for their hefty drops. All that said, we're still going with a 60% drop this weekend and a three-day around $18.6 million and a four-day that should finish up around $22 million for Fifty Shades Darker, which leaves an opening for one of the weekend's new releases to swoop in and take second place.
Warner Bros. and New Line's release of the Ice Cube and Charlie Day comedy Fist Fight is the first mainstream comedy of the new year. While reviews haven't been glowing (41 on Metacritic and 28% on RottenTomatoes) that shouldn't have too much of an effect on this film's opening weekend performance. Fist Fight is opening in 3,185 theaters and a three-day around $19 million seems a strong possibility which would mean a four-day a touch above $22 million. That said, there is every possibility this one could push to $25 million for the three day and $29 million for the holiday weekend.
In fourth we're anticipating a $17 million three-day, second weekend for John Wick: Chapter Two. The film delivered an impressive $30.4 million opening last weekend and received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences and currently holds a 8.4 user rating on IMDb, all of which are improvements over the first film. Question is, will that be enough to hold off the weekend's next new wide release, Universal's The Great Wall.
Starring Matt Damon, The Great Wall hasn't been without its share of controversy as claims of whitewashing began making the rounds well before release. The film, which is directed by Zhang Yimou (Hero), has already had a significant impact internationally where it has pulled in over $224 million since releasing in China in mid-December where it has pulled in over $170 million alone. Budgeted at a reported $150 million it has all the signs of being another film similar to Universal's 2015 feature Warcraft, which dominated internationally to the tune of $386.3 million, yet couldn't top $50 million domestically.
Reviews for The Great Wall have been mostly negative as it currently holds a 39 on Metacritic and 35% on RottenTomatoes and this is a film where strong critic reviews might have helped. As it is, looking at IMDb data shows The Great Wall trending below films such as the Ben-Hur remake and Gods of Egypt, and while we aren't expecting openings quite that low, a three-day debut around $15 million is where we currently stand, finishing around $17 million for the four-day.
Next we come to Fox's A Cure for Wellness, a thriller directed by Gore Verbinski debuting in 2,704 theaters. Industry expectations have this one opening around $6-8 million for the four-day weekend and there isn't a lot of room to argue. However, a look at IMDb page view data leading up to release does show a significant spike in interest following the film's first trailer and another following its Super Bowl trailer on February 5. The spikes and overall interest follow a similar trajectory to The Lazarus Effect, which opened with $10.2 million over the final weekend February 2015. While we are forecasting the film will only generate a $6.5 million three-day and around $8 million for the four-day, we'll be watching closely to see if it might be able to best our expectations.
Meanwhile, Hidden Figures will be looking to top $140 million domestically this weekend, Split should top $120 million, La La Land will be looking to go over $130 million and Arrival hopes to become the 29th release of 2016 to gross over $100 million domestically.
Elsewhere, Pantelion will debut Everybody Loves Somebody into 333 theaters and Reliance has two releases with Running Shaadi releasing in 51 theaters and Irada opening in 27 theaters.
This weekend's three and four-day forecasts are directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.
- The LEGO Batman Movie (4,088 theaters) - $36.0 M
- Fist Fight (3,185 theaters) - $19.0 M
- Fifty Shades Darker (3,715 theaters) - $19.0 M
- John Wick: Chapter Two (3,113 theaters) - $17.0 M
- The Great Wall (3,326 theaters) - $15.0 M
- A Cure for Wellness (2,704 theaters) - $6.5 M
- Hidden Figures (2,217 theaters) - $5.9 M
- A Dog's Purpose (2,391 theaters) - $5.3 M
- Split (2,442 theaters) - $5.2 M
- Lion (1,542 theaters) - $4.3 M
- The LEGO Batman Movie (4,088 theaters) - $44.0 M
- Fist Fight (3,185 theaters) - $22.4 M
- Fifty Shades Darker (3,715 theaters) - $22.3 M
- John Wick: Chapter Two (3,113 theaters) - $20.0 M
- The Great Wall (3,326 theaters) - $17.1 M
- A Cure for Wellness (2,704 theaters) - $7.9 M
- Hidden Figures (2,217 theaters) - $7.0 M
- A Dog's Purpose (2,391 theaters) - $6.3 M
- Split (2,442 theaters) - $6.2 M
- Lion (1,542 theaters) - $5.2 M
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.