Look for 'The Last Jedi' to Become 2017's Highest Grossing Release Over New Year's Frame
by Brad Brevet
December 28, 2017
The last two times New Year's Day fell on a Monday were 2000 and, most recently, 2006. Both instances saw films in the top ten show significant growth over the weekend prior. Similarly, if we were to look at the years 2001, 2007 and 2012, where New Year's Day fell on Tuesday, we again see strong performances though 2001 shows The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring dipping in its second weekend and 2012 shows The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey dropping in its third. Similar to this year's holiday leader, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, both of those films still topped the weekend box office, all of which aided in our attempt to make sense out of what to expect over this final weekend in 2017.
For starters, look for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to once again finish #1 for a third weekend in a row. While the latest installment in the franchise saw a slightly steeper than we expected last weekend, the fact Christmas fell on a Monday played a big factor in that three-day dip. While we expect Last Jedi to show one of the larger drops, if not the largest, in this weekend's top ten, it won't be so hefty as to push it anywhere near second place. Right now we're looking at a drop around 18-21% and a three-day weekend around $57 million as Last Jedi will end the weekend as the highest grossing domestic release of 2017, topping Beauty and the Beast, which has held the top spot for the majority of the year.
Second place belongs to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle which played similarly to Mojo's expectations last weekend, debuting with $36.4 million over the three-day and topping $72 million in its first six days in release. One comparison we can't help but look to is 2006's Night at the Museum, which debuted on the Friday before Christmas and showed a nearly 21% gain in its second weekend. The fact Jumanji began on a Wednesday means we aren't expecting to see that kind of performance out of the family friendly title, but the film's "A-" CinemaScore and top-line talent does have us anticipating a jump this weekend, making a weekend in the high $30 millions a good possibility if not creeping over $40 million for the three-day.
Universal's Pitch Perfect 3 also performed as expected last weekend and audiences seemed to enjoy it, giving the film an "A-" CinemaScore to match its predecessor. However, the opening weekends for the second and third film didn't exactly align, with Pitch 3's $26.4 million four-day debut serving as only a fraction of Pitch 2's $69.2 million three-day bow in 2015. Not to say this result wasn't expected, and Pitch 3 should see a little growth this weekend if not perform on par with its opening. Right now we see it delivering around $21 million for its sophomore frame pushing the film toward $70 million domestic.
Look for Fox to round out the top five with The Greatest Showman and Ferdinand in that order with Showman showing a slight uptick as it adds a little over 300 theaters. Our three day expectations for the Hugh Jackman-led musical is right around $10 million followed by Ferdinand with an $8 million performance, pushing the animated film toward $50 million domestic.
Outside the top five, one tough title to forecast is the second weekend for Alexander Payne's Downsizing, which delivered a disappointing $4.9 million this past weekend and $7.6 million for the four-day. Audiences appeared turned off by the picture as well, giving at a "C" CinemaScore. So what to make of this weekend? Given the meager opening there isn't too far for it to go, which leads us to anticipate a flat performance, if not a slight drop, anywhere from $4-5 million.
Rounding out the top ten, look for last weekend's two expansions, Darkest Hour and The Shape of Water, to hang tough as both films add a few more theaters over the holiday frame.
We'll also be keeping an eye on TriStar's All the Money in the World, which opened on Christmas Day and is getting its first taste of the weekend box office this Friday. The film opened in 2,074 locations and is holding steady with that count this weekend. We're anticipating a $3+ million three-day performance.
This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated throughout the weekend as necessary. Happy New Year!
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (4,232 theaters) - $57.0 M
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (3,765 theaters) - $39.0 M
- Pitch Perfect 3 (3,468 theaters) - $21.0 M
- The Greatest Showman (3,315 theaters) - $10.0 M
- Ferdinand (3,337 theaters) - $8.0 M
- Coco (2,104 theaters) - $6.9 M
- Darkest Hour (943 theaters) - $4.3 M
- Downsizing (2,664 theaters) - $4.0 M
- Father Figures (2,902 theaters) - $3.6 M
- The Shape of Water (756 theaters) - $3.1 M
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