Forecast: 'Captain America' Hunts $300M Domestic as 'Money Monster' and 'The Darkness' Hit Theaters

by Brad Brevet

May 12, 2016

Saturday AM Update: Friday estimates are in and Captain America: Civil War led the charge with an estimated $19.4 million suggesting the film is looking at something around a $73 million second weekend.

Coming in second on Friday, but likely to finish third for the weekend, is Sony's Money Monster, which scored an estimated $5 million on Friday along with a "B+" CinemaScore. The studio is projecting a $14.5-15 million weekend.

The weekend's other new wide release, BH Tilt's The Darkness, appears to be right on track if not slightly ahead of expectations. The micro-budgeted horror feature scored an estimated $2.13 million on Friday and is looking at a $5-5.4 million weekend. The film scored a "C" CinemaScore with opening day audiences.

You can see our complete chart of Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete weekend wrap-up.

Friday AM Update: Money Monster took in $600,000 from 2,387 locations on Thursday night. The studio offered Hail, Caesar! ($545K Thursday night, $11.4 million weekend) and Bridge of Spies ($500K Thursday night, $15.4 weekend) as comparisons, which suggests they may be looking at something a little over $10 million for the weekend.

The weekend's other newcomer, The Darkness, grossed $206,000 in previews last night. The opening is a bit below the $275,000 Thursday night The Green Inferno delivered, but just a shade below the likes of Criminal ($235k) and The Gunman ($220k), which went on to gross $5.7 million and $5 million for their respective opening weekends. The Darkness is still expected to pull in around $4-5 million this weekend.

We'll have more for you tomorrow morning once Friday estimates are revealed, for now you can read our full weekend preview below.

Weekend Preview: After a stellar opening weekend, Captain America: Civil War enters its sophomore frame with no real direct competition. This weekend's two new wide releases include the adult-targeted financial thriller Money Monster and the micro-budgeted Blumhouse thriller The Darkness. Neither are likely to have much of an effect, if any, on Civil War's second weekend, which has a shot at becoming one of the top five second weekends of all-time as the film will be creeping close to $300 million domestically by end of day Sunday.

Last weekend, Civil War's opening weekend actuals came in just a bit below estimates, but it was still more than enough for the film to score the fifth largest opening of all-time. Since then it has played in such a way that we're looking at a 55-58% drop this weekend, putting it in the position for a $75-80 million weekend. If it trends toward the lower end of that forecast it will be in a battle with Avatar and The Dark Knight for fifth and sixth position on the chart of highest grossing second weekends. However, if it can top $77.7 million it just might hit the $300 million mark after just ten days, as well as serve as enough to improve on Avengers: Age of Ultron's second weekend last year.

Moving to second we have a repeat of last weekend with Disney dominating the top two spots as The Jungle Book should maintain enough audience interest to best all newcomers. The film dropped just 44% last weekend and could have kept a few folks from seeing Civil War, a theory that could both contribute to a larger second weekend for Civil War. It could also deliver a steeper drop for The Jungle Book than we're forecasting, but don't count on that half of this theory to come true.

All told, The Jungle Book is losing only 174 theaters and a weekend around $14-16 million seems entirely reasonable as it will be pushing over $300 million this weekend.

In third we find the first of the weekend's newcomers. Money Monster is Jodie Foster's first time directing a feature film since 2011's The Beaver and with George Clooney and Julia Roberts in lead roles there's no shortage of name recognition. Adding to the glitz and glam, the film is premiering out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival only hours before it hits 3,104 U.S. theaters.

For the sake of comparison, in 2014 Draft Day released one week after Captain America: The Winter Soldier in about 400 fewer theaters and brought in $9.78 million. That same year Million Dollar Arm released up against Godzilla a few weeks later and opened with $10.5 million from 3,019 theaters.

Reviews for Money Monster have been decent so far with the RottenTomatoes score floating around 65-70% all day. As for a weekend range, the studio is expecting something around $10 million and that seems about right. Expect anything around $9-11 million for the three day with the outside chance it's able to climb just a bit higher.

Competing for fourth and fifth position are two films that couldn't be separated any further from one another in terms of audience demographics. First there's last weekend's strong holdover, Mother's Day, which saw a 32.5% increase in its second weekend. Of course, much of that was due to the smart release date positioning that saw the film taking advantage of its namesake holiday, but the question is then to wonder whether that's the only reason it performed so well.

A selection of films that saw similar second weekend success dropped, on average, 37.6% in their following weekend. However, the holiday timing and ho-hum opening weekend makes it tough to expect Mother's Day to follow suit. In fact, it could suffer a severe drop and pull in only $3 million, but something closer to a 52-60% drop seems like a smart range, delivering a weekend around $4.5-5.5 million

The other film looking for a spot in the top five is the latest Blumhouse horror The Darkness. The micro-budgeted feature stars Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell and BH Tilt is taking advantage of a digital-heavy marketing campaign with theaters chosen based on the fact they are historically frequented by die-hard genre fans. The approach is similar to how they targeted the release of Eli Roth's The Green Inferno last year, which brought in $3.5 million from 1,540 theaters. The Darkness will release in 1,755 theaters and the studio seems confident they can deliver a $4-5 million weekend, which lines up well when compared to Green Inferno's performance.

Opening in limited release this weekend Magnolia will bring Ben Wheatley's High-Rise to theaters; A24 will release Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster in four theaters; Well Go will release Tony Jaa's Kill Zone 2 into 13 theaters; Roadside will release Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship into four theaters; and Focus World is releasing Search Party into ten theaters.

Additionally, A24 is continuing to expand the release of Green Room, this time into 777 theaters, and The Weinstein Co. is bringing Sing Street to 372 more theaters, bringing the total to 525.

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.

  • Captain America: Civil War (4,226 theaters) - $77.03 M
  • The Jungle Book (3,970 theaters) - $15.18 M
  • Money Monster (3,104 theaters) - $10.31 M
  • Mother's Day (3,291 theaters) - $4.88 M
  • The Darkness (1,755 theaters) - $4.3 M
  • Zootopia (1,935 theaters) - $2.22 M
  • The Huntsman: Winter's War (2,511 theaters) - $1.94 M
  • Keanu (2,120 theaters) - $1.68 M
  • Barbershop: The Next Cut (1,333 theaters) - $1.49 M
  • The Boss (1,344 theaters) - $.99 M

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.

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