At this point, second place is up for grabs with both Murder on the Orient Express and Daddy's Home 2 targeting opening weekends near $27 million. Orient Express brought in an estimated $10.75 million on Friday while Daddy's Home 2 brought in an estimated $10.88 million. Daddy's Home 2 received an "A-" CinemaScore, improving on the "B+" for the first film, while Orient Express received a "B".
Additionally, it looks as if A24's release of Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird may sneak into the top ten after bringing in an estimated $390k on Friday alone, pushing toward a three-day weekend around $1.2 million from just 37 theaters as the film's stock continues to rise.
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: Fox's Murder on the Orient Express got off to a strong start last night, pulling in $1.6 million from Thursday night previews in ~2,775 theaters. This compares favorably to two films referenced in our weekend preview below as it improves on Arrival's $1.45 million and The Girl on the Train's $1.23 million in previews. The only difference of note is Orient Express was in ~830 more theaters than Arrival and nearly ~375 more theaters than Girl on the Train played in on Thursday night. Nevertheless, this is a good start and suggests a $24+ million opening is looking more and more likely.
Similarly, Daddy's Home 2 took in $1.5 million from Thursday previews at approximately 2,800 locations. This is a $300k improvement on the first film, though the on caveat here is the sequel's previews began two hours earlier and were playing in ~900 more theaters.
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: The holiday season is underway with Disney and Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok getting things off to a nice start last weekend and ready to easily repeat atop the box office this weekend. Battling for second will be a pair of new films looking for $20+ million debuts in the form of Paramount's comedy sequel Daddy's Home 2 and Fox's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. We'll also be keeping a close eye on Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, which has become one of the most buzzed about titles of late following its strong reviews and excellent limited debut last weekend.
At the top, Thor: Ragnarok's $122.7 million opening last weekend was the fourth largest of the year so far and seventh largest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Additionally, the film crossed $500 million worldwide yesterday to become the fourteenth film in the MCU to cross that threshold. This weekend, we're expecting a drop anywhere from 54-56% for a weekend anywhere from $54-57 million, pushing the film's cume over $200 million after ten days in release domestically.
The weekend's runner-up will be one of the week's two new wide releases, but it could be a battle for second place supremacy. Industry expectations for both films is for openings over $20 million and while both could definitely deliver on those expectations, one of them may fall a bit short.
Paramount's Daddy's Home 2 feels like the most likely to top $20 million as it arrives on the heels of the 2015 original, which opened with $38.7 million on its way to a $150 million debut. Of course, that was over the holiday weekend when it debuted with an impressive $15.7 million on Christmas Day. The sequel will be looking more toward delivering solid returns this weekend, hoping to play well through Thanksgiving.
In terms of comparisons, Daddy's Home 2 is pacing ahead of The Internship ($17.3m opening) and looks to be a good comparison to Paul Blart 2, which opened with $23.7 million back in 2015 compared to the $31.8 million opening for the original, which grossed over $145 million. We're anticipating a comparable performance with an opening around $23.5 million.
Fox's Murder on the Orient Express is an even tougher title to nail down and while Fox is hoping for a debut over $20 million, a three-day around $18.5 million wouldn't seem the least bit surprising. The film is opening in 3,341 theaters and reviews haven't necessarily been glowing as it currently holds a rating of 52 on Metacritic. IMDb page view comparisons with two $24 million openers in The Girl on the Train and Arrival are favorable. Another comp to keep in mind is 2015's The Intern, which is pacing similarly to Orient Express at the same point in the release cycle. The Intern debuted just shy of $18 million and with the two films appearing to share a similar target demographic it could just prove to be a solid comparison. While we're not discounting the chance this one surprises and pops for $28 million or so, we're expecting a debut closer to $20 million at this point.
Fourth place should go to A Bad Moms Christmas, dropping similarly to the first film and delivering around $9-10 million in its second weekend. Lionsgate's Jigsaw should round out the top five, pulling in around $3+ million as it nears $35 million domestically.
Outside the top ten we'll have our eye on A24's Lady Bird, which is expanding to 37 theaters (+33). It's never easy to draw direct comparisons for platform releases, but to look at IMDb page view data we've noticed some patterns that make this film's IMDb performance comparable to last year's Best Picture winner, Moonlight. A24 is going with a similar second weekend expansion pattern as they did with Moonlight, which saw a 111% bump in its second weekend. Should Lady Bird follow suit we're looking at a weekend around $770k.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight debuts Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri into four theaters and The Orchard's Thelma will debut at the Angelika before opening in Los Angeles on the 24th. Reviews have been strong for both films with Thelma currently holding a 74 rating on Metacritic and Three Billboards with an impressive 87.
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.
- Thor: Ragnarok (4,080 theaters) - $56.8 M
- Daddy's Home 2 (3,575 theaters) - $23.5 M
- Murder on the Orient Express (3,341 theaters) - $20.0 M
- A Bad Moms Christmas (3,615 theaters) - $9.7 M
- Jigsaw (2,651 theaters) - $3.2 M
- Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (1,900 theaters) - $2.5 M
- Geostorm (1,856 theaters*) - $1.3 M
- Happy Death Day (1,561 theaters) - $1.2 M
- Blade Runner 2049 (711 theaters*) - $1.1 M
- Let there be Light (773 theaters) - $1.1 M * estimated theater counts
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