'Aquaman' Ready for Fourth Week at #1; 'Dog's Way Home' & 'Upside' Compete for Runner-Up
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: STXFilms's The Upside is enjoying a stellar debut, bringing in an estimated $6.95 million on Friday with weekend expectations now reaching as high as $19-20 million. The film received an "A" CinemaScore. As a result we're looking at a new #1 this weekend as The Upside will easily push Aquaman into second after the film pulled in an estimated $4.56 million on Friday, heading toward a $15-16 million weekend.

Sony's release of A Dog's Way Home is looking at a third place finish with an estimated $3.26 million on Friday, heading toward an $11+ million three-day debut. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore.

Focus Features's expansion of On the Basis of Sex is looking at a solid expansion into 1,923 locations (+1,811) after pulling in an estimated $2.1 million on Friday, heading toward a $6.5 million three-day performance. The film received an "A" CinemaScore.

Finally, Entertainment Studios's Replicas is dead on arrival, opening with an estimated $950k on Friday, heading toward a meager, $2.4 million three-day debut. The film received a "C" 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: STXFilms's The Upside is off to a strong start, bringing in $1.1 million from Thursday previews, outperforming the likes of Wonder ($749k from previews) and The Intern ($650k in previews). In fact, the performance is just ahead of star Kevin Hart's Ride Along, which brought in $1.06 million in previews before debuting with over $41.5 million back in mid-January 2014.

Sony's A Dog's Way Home took in $535,000 from previews beginning at 5PM in 2,657 locations. While Sony is still saying they expect a $9-10 million debut, this performance is actually ahead of the $455k in previews A Dog's Purpose brought in from previews before debuting with $18.2 million back in January 2017.

Lastly, Entertainment Studios's Replicas grossed $200,100 in previews from 1,630 locations with showings beginning at 7PM. This trails previews for The Lazarus Project ($344k), Self/less ($325k) and Transcendence ($850k).

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: With the new year underway, this weekend sees three new releases vying for a spot in the top ten, though once again not one of them is likely to dethrone Aquaman from the weekend's top spot, which is where WB's latest entry into the DC Extended Universe looks to remain for the fourth straight weekend in a row. As for the week's new releases, STX will debut The Upside, a remake of 2012's global hit The Intouchables, into over 3,000 theaters; Sony will give family's a new option with A Dog's Way Home; and Entertainment Studios debuts the Keanu Reeves thriller Replicas. At the same time Focus will go nationwide with the release of On the Basis of Sex after two weeks in limited release and Annapurna will do the same with If Beale Street Could Talk.

After holding on even better than expected last weekend, look for WB's Aquaman to again top the weekend box office, this time dropping around -41% and delivering a weekend over $18 million for a domestic cume pushing toward $290 million. While the film has already become the largest global release among the six films in the DC Extended Universe, by the end of this weekend it will likely still be just a bit shy of Man of Steel's domestic run, which topped $291 million back in 2013. Aquaman will certainly top that figure next week, but it is still pacing a bit behind Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman and just a hair behind Suicide Squad at the same point in the release cycle. All that said, the film topped $970 million worldwide as of Wednesday and will soon become the first film in the DC Extended Universe to top $1 billion worldwide and only the third based on a DC Comic property following The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight.

In second is where we're looking to find the first of the weekend's new releases, that being Sony's family feature A Dog's Way Home, debuting in 3,090 locations. Studio expectations are for a performance anywhere from $9-10 million for the weekend while we're looking for something a bit higher, though it doesn't appear to be pacing on the same track as Universal's early 2017 release of A Dog's Purpose, which was also based on a novel by W. Bruce Cameron and debuted with $18.2 million. A look at IMDb page views show Dog's Way Home well behind A Dog's Purpose over the two weeks leading up to release, though it should be remembered A Dog's Purpose was facing a bit of controversy leading up to release, which could have inflated it's interest on IMDb in advance of release. That being said, we're currently anticipating a performance anywhere from $12-14 million, though, like last weekend where Sony's Escape Room vastly outperformed expectations, don't be surprised if this one does as well.

Third and fourth place could be a bit of a battle between Disney's Mary Poppins Returns, which is entering its fourth week in release, and STX's release of The Upside starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. As for Poppins, it dipped a bit more than we were expecting last weekend, which puts a little pressure on this weekend's performance. Right now we're anticipating a drop around -41% and a three-day pushing toward $9.35 million, which is just behind industry expectations for The Upside, which the studio is expecting to debut around $10 million.

A remake of the 2012 film The Intouchables, which grossed a massive $426.5 million globally, The Upside stars Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston and will debut in 3,080 locations this weekend. The studio is comparing to St. Vincent in advance of release, which platformed back in October 2014, going wide in its third weekend in release with $7.7 million. The release pattern itself makes for a difficult comparison, but the comedy/drama nature of the film is apt. We've also been looking at films like Burnt, Grudge Match and Last Vegas as potential comps, which has us looking for a performance anywhere from $10-12 million with the potential for a $13+ million three-day. One thing that has us hesitating to project anything above $12 million, however, are the relatively soft reviews ever since the film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival all the way back in September 2017 when it was still a Weinstein Co. release, only to end up shifting hands in the wake of the Weinstein bankruptcy settlement.

Rounding out the top five, look for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to edge out Bumblebee this week, pulling in $9+ million for a domestic cume right around $146 million by the end of the weekend.

Outside the top five, it isn't until eighth where we find Entertainment Studios's release of Replicas, a sci-fi thriller starring Keanu Reeves and Alice Eve set to debut in 2,327 locations. Studio expectations are currently anticipating an opening in the range of $6-7 million, which is pretty much lining up with what we're seeing based on comps vs. IMDb page view data for films such as Transcendence, Self/less and I, Frankenstein. That being said, we are seeing a smattering of evidence the film could over perform to the tune of $8+ million using comps such as The Lazarus Effect, which opened with $10 million back in February 2015. That film, however, had the benefit of 339 additional theaters, which is why we're going with a $7 million forecast for this weekend.

Two other films we'll be watching closely are the nationwide expansions of Annapurna's If Beale Street Could Talk and Focus's expansion of On the Basis of Sex. We expect Beale Street to fall short of the weekend top ten as it expands into 1,018 locations (+683), but Focus's On the Basis of Sex should be able to secure a spot in the top ten as it expands into 1,923 locations (+1,811) nationwide. Last weekend the Ruth Bader Ginsberg story delivered $1.6 million from just 112 locations and this weekend we're looking for it to deliver around $4-5+ million, landing in the weekend's tenth position.

Also expanding this weekend, Roadside's Ben is Back will begin playing in 598 locations (+439) while Fox will be adding a few more theaters to the release of Bohemian Rhapsody in the wake of its two Golden Globe wins with over 750 locations debuting a "sing-a-long" version of the film.

In limited release, Lionsgate will open Pantelion's Perfect Strangers into 132 theaters.

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.

  • Aquaman (3,863 theaters) - $18.3 M
  • A Dog's Way Home (3,090 theaters) - $13.0 M
  • The Upside (3,080 theaters) - $11.0 M
  • Mary Poppins Returns (3,253 theaters) - $9.3 M
  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (3,029 theaters) - $9.2 M
  • Bumblebee (3,303 theaters) - $8.7 M
  • Escape Room (2,717 theaters) - $8.0 M
  • Replicas (2,327 theaters) - $7.0 M
  • The Mule (3,329 theaters) - $6.8 M
  • On the Basis of Sex (1,923 theaters) - $5.0 M

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