As for the week's new openers, Lionsgate's Knives Out is outperforming expectations after delivering an estimated $10.69 million on Friday and currently expected to hit around $27 million for the three-day and topping $40 million for the five-day. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Universal's Queen & Slim is delivering on expectations, taking in an estimated $4.3 million on Friday and looking at a $10+ million three-day performance and a five-day around $15 million. The film also received an "A-" 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.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: After delivering the fourth largest domestic opening for an animated title ever and the largest global debut ever for an animated title, Frozen II enters the Thanksgiving frame with sights set on a $100+ million five-day performance and perhaps a couple more records along the way. In addition to Frozen II's anticipated dominance, Lionsgate will release Rian Johnson's Knives Out, which has already generated nearly $4 million from previews, while Universal's Queen & Slim gets a moderate release in over 1,600 theaters this weekend.
Looking at an easy #1 finish is Disney's Frozen II, which delivered a monster $130 million domestic debut last weekend and should hold on extremely well this weekend. A look at some previous $100+ million animated openers shows films like Finding Dory and Toy Story 3 dipping ~36% in their second weekends. Last year, Incredibles 2 fell -56% after its monster, $182.6 million opening. These performances considered, a drop around -35% and a three-day performance around $85 million doesn't seem at all unreasonable.
Should our forecast hold, we're talking about a record three-day performance for any movie over the Thanksgiving three-day and should it push to $100+ million for the five-day it would challenge the $109.9 million performance for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire back in 2013, which is currently the largest five-day Thanksgiving performance for any film, opening or not. All told, we're expecting Frozen II to push over $275 million domestically by the end of the weekend and perhaps even pop higher overall, pushing the film's domestic cume over $300 million in ten days.
In second, look for Lionsgate's Knives Out to carve out its own place this weekend. The film enters its Wednesday opening having already held two separate sneak peek performances. Over this past weekend the film held preview showings on Friday and Saturday night in 936 locations, from which it generated $2.05 million. Then, last night it held preview screenings in over 2,500 locations and added another $1.66 million. Lionsgate will be adding all $3.7 million to the film's opening day with studio expectations, as of Monday, in the low-to-mid $20 million range. Meanwhile, industry expectations are leaning a bit higher, as are we, targeting a five-day performance anywhere from $25-29+ million over the five-day and considering the film has already brought in nearly $4 million it is well on its way.
One film we've been using as a comp is 2017's Baby Driver, which also opened on a Wednesday and delivered a $29.5 million five-day performance. A look at IMDb page views over the two weeks leading up to release shows Knives Out trailing just behind Baby Driver and hanging tough with Creed, which delivered a $42+ million five-day back in 2015.
All told, the comparisons bode well and have us anticipating a performance on the higher end of expectations, looking for a five-day debut around $32 million and should audiences take to it as critics have — 96% on RottenTomatoes and 83 on Metacritic — than it could very easily move into the $35+ million range and become one of the top 25 Thanksgiving five-day openers ever.
Also opening this weekend is Universal's Queen & Slim, debuting in 1,690 locations with the studio anticipating a five-day opening north of $10 million. Like Knives Out it has enjoyed strong reviews heading into its Wednesday release — 75 on Metacritic and 88% on RottenTomatoes — and recent tracking has suggested a five-day performance anywhere from $12-17 million is possible.
In terms of comps, films such as Breaking In, BlacKkKlansman and Widows opened with three day performances anywhere from $10-17+ million, though only BlacKkKlansman carried a similar theater count, but also had a lot of awards heat behind it. On top of that, all three were Friday releases making an apples-to-apples comp difficult, but given the strong reviews there doesn't seem to be any reason word of mouth can't propel this one to a $12+ million five-day performance.
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