Weekend Forecast: 'Uncle Drew' & 'Sicario 2' Offer Blockbuster Alternatives

by Brad Brevet

June 28, 2018

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Sony's release of Sicario: Day of the Soldado brought in an estimated $7.48 million on Friday from 3,055 locations. Current industry expectations are for a three-day opening around $18-20 million. The film received a "B" CinemaScore.

Lionsgate's release of Summit Entertainment's Uncle Drew took in an estimated $6.13 million on Friday from 2,742 locations. Current industry expectation is for a debut over $16 million. The film received an "A" CinemaScore.

Additionally, Fox International's release of Sanju brought in an impressive $770k from just 356 locations and is expected to deliver an opening around $2.5 million.

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: Lionsgate's release of Summit Entertainment's Uncle Drew delivered an impressive $1.1 million from preview showings on Thursday night in 2,200+ locations. Compared to the films we used in our preview below, this is much better than Barbershop: The Next Cut ($735k), Boo 2! ($760k) and Keanu ($560k), continuing to support the idea Uncle Drew could deliver a $20+ million debut, though Lionsgate remains conservative, citing industry tracking for a $10-13 million debut. The film opens today in 2,742 locations.

Sony's Sicario: Day of the Soldado one-upped Uncle Drew, delivering $2 million from Thursday night previews starting at 7 PM in 2,669 locations. Once again, this is better than all of the films we considered comps in our preview below — Den of Thieves ($950k), American Assassin ($915k) and John Wick ($870k), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ($1.3m), The Accountant ($1.35m), ,The Commuter ($700k) and 3 Days to Kill ($325k). Like Lionsgate, Sony remains conservative, anticipating a $12 million opening, though these numbers certainly suggest an opening in the mid-teens if not higher.

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: Last weekend delivered the largest overall June weekend ever. The top twelve films grossed a combined $271.2 million, of which the top two films — Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2 — accounted for 84% of that gross. While this weekend's two new wide releases — Summit's Uncle Drew and Sony's Sicario: Day of the Soldado — offer an alternative to summer blockbuster fair, last weekend's chart toppers will once again dominate, expected to combine for over $100 million alone.

Overall, Summer 2018 has grossed over $2 billion thus far, pacing ~18% ahead of last year's dismal returns, which resulted in the worst summer movie season in over ten years. This year's summer grosses are contributing to a year that is currently pacing 9% ahead of 2017 while the month of June alone is pacing 16% ahead of last year, currently positioned as the second largest June ever. This weekend looks to keep that pace, expected to deliver a combined gross ahead of the same weekend last year.

After a strong debut last weekend, surpassing expectations with a $148 million debut, this weekend will likely determine where Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's domestic run ends up. Jurassic World dipped just 49% in its second weekend in 2015, but to expect a drop that small from the sequel would be asking for a bit too much. The comparison we're looking at is to Furious 7, which delivered a $147 million opening and dropped 59.5% in its second weekend. Fallen Kingdom's daily grosses since release don't exactly mirror those of Furious 7, largely due to the fact schools weren't out of session when the Fast and the Furious sequel hit theaters, and that could actually result in an even steeper drop this weekend, but for now we're expecting a 60% dip and a second weekend just shy of $60 million, pushing the film's domestic cume over $260 million come the end of the weekend.

Internationally, Fallen Kingdom has grossed $604.2 million so far for a worldwide cume totaling nearly $800 million. This weekend the film adds no new major overseas markets. Japan is the lone remaining key market yet to open where the film will debut on July 13.

For a second straight weekend, second place will go to Disney and Pixar's Incredibles 2, which is living up to its title and should bring in another $46 million or so this weekend for a domestic cume nearing $440 million as it begins its third week in release. Internationally, Incredibles 2 currently totals $156.9 million and will debut in Brazil, Netherlands, Taiwan, Belgium, New Zealand and Portugal this weekend

Next we come to the weekend's new wide releases, which could be in a dogfight for third place. That said, we're looking at Uncle Drew to edge out the Sicario sequel, though the expected ranges for the two films do show some overlap.

Lionsgate's release of Summit's Uncle Drew debuts in ~2,700 locations and, according to studio sources, the film is tracking for a $10-13 million debut. However, we're seeing evidence of a slightly larger debut pushing near $15-18 million, though even that evidence has its contradictions. For one, looking at IMDb page view data shows Uncle Drew pacing ahead of films such as Barbershop: The Next Cut and Boo 2!, yet behind Keanu. Overall, the film's IMDb page view performance leans more toward the Barbershop comparison than it does to Keanu, but if we're to use those films as comps, the disparity in opening weekends can't be overlooked.

In addition to those comps, online ticket retailer tells us Uncle Drew is also outpacing all three films at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle, suggesting a debut near $20 million isn't at all unlikely. For now, we're forecasting a $17+ million bow, but we'll be keeping a close eye on how this one performs as the weekend unfolds.

That said, we'll also be keeping close tabs on Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the sequel to Lionsgate's 2015 sleeper hit starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. However, Blunt isn't back for the sequel which Sony is distributing with a storyline centered on del Toro and Brolin's characters. Sony is anticipating a $12 million debut for the $35 million feature, which we have at the lower end of our expectations, with the higher end around $17 million. Though, once again, that could prove a bit low.

Using IMDb page view comparisons again, Soldado is outperforming the likes of Den of Thieves, American Assassin and John Wick over the two weeks leading up to release. In fact, it's even outperforming Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Ben Affleck's The Accountant. Added to that, Fandango again reports similar findings, telling Mojo the film is outpacing John Wick, The Commuter, American Assassin, 3 Days to Kill and The Accountant at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle.

At this time, we're remaining what feels a bit conservative given the theater count and comps, anticipating a $17 million opening. Yet, these comps seem to suggest we could see a better weekend out of both of the week's new wide releases than we're currently forecasting.

Rounding out the top five is WB's Ocean's 8, which held on very well last weekend and we're expecting a drop around 40% as it enters its fourth week in release. The weekend should finish around $7 million for a domestic cume nearing $115 million.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Focus is going nationwide with their Mister Rogers documentary Won't You be My Neighbor?, expanding the film's reach into 654 theaters (+348). We're expecting the film to show about a 9-10% increase this weekend, once again rounding out the top ten with nearly $2 million, pushing the film's domestic cume over $7 million.

Outside the top ten, Fox International is releasing Sanju in 356 locations where it should bring in around $1.2 million or so.

In limited release, Bleecker will release Leave No Trace in nine theaters; Neon will debut Three Identical Strangers in five locations; and A24 will release Woman Walks Ahead.

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.

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (4,485 theaters) - $59.2 M
  • Incredibles 2 (4,410 theaters) - $46.1 M
  • Uncle Drew (2,742 theaters) - $17.3 M
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado (3,055 theaters) - $17.1 M
  • Ocean's 8 (3,426 theaters) - $7.0 M
  • Tag (3,176 theaters) - $4.4 M
  • Deadpool 2 (2,094 theaters) - $3.4 M
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (1,654 theaters) - $2.7 M
  • Hereditary (1,424 theaters) - $2.0 M
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor? (654 theaters) - $2.0 M

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