WB's The Mule landed in second place on Friday with an estimated $5.85 million and the film is looking at a three-day debut around $18-19 million. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Universal's Mortal Engines is bombing out of the gate, bringing in an estimated $3 million on Friday and is expected to finish with just $7-8 million for the weekend. The film received an "B-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is off to an excellent start, bringing in $3.5 million from Thursday night previews which began at 5PM. in 3,321 locations. This is just shy of the $3.8 million Ralph Breaks the Internet brought in from Tuesday previews back in November as well as topping the $1.4 million in previews from Big Hero 6, the $2.2 million for The LEGO Batman Movie and several others. In fact, it's the tenth largest preview gross for an animated feature ever. In fact, this compares well to the $3.6 million in previews for TRON: Legacy, which went on to open with $44 million.
MRC and Universal Pictures's Mortal Engines brought in $675,000 from 7PM previews in 2,600 theaters last night. This is just ahead of the $475k in previews for The 5th Wave.
We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: After last weekend saw no new wide releases hit theaters, resulting in the worst weekend of the year so far, this weekend offers up three new wide debuts led by Sony Animation and Marvel's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse alongside Clint Eastwood's The Mule and Universal's young adult adaptation Mortal Engines. Additionally, Fox is re-releasing Deadpool 2 in a PG-13-rated version with all-new footage while Annapurna will look for If Beale Street Could Talk to top the charts based on per theater average as it begins its run this weekend.
Looking to top the weekend is Sony Animation's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a brand new take on Marvel's webslinger, a character that has already generated over $1.9 billion domestically and over $4.8 billion worldwide for Sony from six previous films. This, of course, is the first time he's been featured in an animated theatrical release and that makes forecasting a bit more difficult.
Spider-Verse enters a marketplace where both The Grinch and Ralph Breaks the Internet are still attracting the attention of family audiences and not only that, Marvel fans are also getting a PG-13 re-release of Deadpool 2 over the same weekend. The film is perhaps less likely to appeal to the youngest of audiences, at least not to the same degree as either Ralph or Grinch, and while the Deadpool re-release isn't likely to steal a large percentage of the crowd, a few could find themselves deciding on one over the other. Coupled with that, December has never delivered a large opening weekend for an animated title, the largest of which would be Sing at $35.2 million as part of that film's $55.8 million five-day opening back in 2016. To that point, industry expectations are currently right around $35 million with Sony projecting a $30 million debut, but we're seeing room for a higher performance, though the waters do get a bit murky.
In terms of comps, we're looked at Disney's animated release of Big Hero 6, a Marvel title that debuted with $56.2 million back in early November 2014. That film, however, saw 72% of the audience made up of families. Can Spider-Verse carry the same demographics or does it appeal a bit more to the teen crowd? The LEGO Movie is another title that comes to mind and its $69 million debut back in February 2014 with 59% of the audience coming in aged 18 or older. One last note, the average opening for an animated title from Sony, debuting in this many theaters (3,813), is around $29 million. So just how much does that average climb due the the Spider-Man and Marvel factor?
For our forecast, we're currently anticipating a performance around $40+ million. That being said, the strong reviews from critics — 86 on Metacritic and a massive 98% on RottenTomaties — along with the Spider-Man and Marvel factors have us believing we may be low on this forecast. We'll get our first hint as to how big the film will be on Friday morning as previews begin at 5PM this evening.
We're expecting Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort The Mule to deliver a second place finish as the film debuts in 2,588 locations. The studio anticipates a a $17+ million opening this weekend and we're mostly aligned with those expectations. A look at IMDb page view data shows the film outperforming the likes of 12 Strong ($15.8m opening) over the two weeks leading up to release as well as Eastwood's The 15:17 to Paris ($12.5m opening). Overall, we're looking for the film to deliver around $15-18 million with our current forecast in line with studio expectations around $17 million.
From there, third, fourth and fifth place could be a dog fight. We anticipate Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet will finally give way to The Grinch, which is taking advantage of its holiday theme while Universal's release of Mortal Engines hopes to top them both, but that looks like it could be a tough ask.
MRC and Universal Pictures are releasing Mortal Engines into 3,103 locations this weekend with expectations for a meager, $10 million debut for the $100 million production. Our analysis points to a debut anywhere from $9.5 million on the low end with $14 million as the absolute ceiling, though our range boils down somewhere closer to $10-12 million. Comps we've been looking closely at are a pair of previous young adult adaptations in 2016's The 5th Wave ($10.3m opening) and 2013's The Host ($10.6m opening), both of which Mortal Engines is outperforming when looking at IMDb page views over the two weeks leading up to release. Overall, we're looking for the film to slightly over perform against studio expectations and narrowly deliver a third place finish around $11 million, though our confidence in that projection is wobbly at best.
Elsewhere, Fox's Once Upon a Deadpool delivered $910k on Wednesday as it opened in 1,566 locations and we wouldn't be surprised to see it work its way its way into the top ten, but right now we have it just outside, trailing Universal's Green Book for that last slot with $3.2 million.
In limited release this weekend, IFC will debut the R-rated version of Lars von Trier's The House that Jack Built in 33 locations following the one-night only screening of the director's cut raised such a fuss. Additionally, Annapurna will release Moonlight director Barry Jenkins's follow-up If Beale Street Could Talk into four theaters and Sony Classics will debut Capernaum in three theaters.
Finally, Fox Searchlight will continue to expand The Favourite into more locations this weekend, playing in 439 theaters (+348) and Neon is expanding the release of Vox Lux into 325 theaters (+319).
This weekend's forecast is 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.
- Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (3,813 theaters) - $40.0 M
- The Mule (2,588 theaters) - $17.0 M
- Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (3,756 theaters) - $11.7 M
- Mortal Engines (3,103 theaters) - $11.0 M
- Ralph Breaks the Internet (3,575 theaters) - $10.6 M
- Creed II (3,107 theaters) - $5.9 M
- Bohemian Rhapsody (2,213 theaters) - $4.1 M
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2,606 theaters) - $3.8 M
- Instant Family (2,860 theaters) - $3.7 M
- Green Book (1,215 theaters) - $3.3 M
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