Universal and Illumination's 'The Grinch' Set for $60+ Million Debut
by Brad Brevet
November 8, 2018
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Universal and Illumination's The Grinch got off to a great start, delivering an estimated $18.67 million on Friday to go along with an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences. The studio is currently anticipating a performance around $67 million for the weekend, which would challenge Frozen's $67.39 million debut for the second largest animated opening for the month of November, though don't be surprised if it ends up topping The Incredibles's $70.4 million opening, which currently ranks as the largest animated opening for the month.
Paramount's Overlord brought in an estimated $3.75 million on Friday, which should translate to a three-day performance around $9-10 million. The film received a "B" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Sony's The Girl in the Spider's Web brought in an estimated $3 million on Friday and is expected to finish the weekend around $8-9 million. The film received a "B" 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: Illumination and Universal Pictures's Dr. Seuss' The Grinch grossed $2.2 million in previews from 3,200 theaters last night, with showings beginning at 6PM. The performance matches previews for The LEGO Batman Movie, which opened with $53 million while also $500k ahead of Zootopia, which delivered a $75 million debut.
Paramount's Overlord delivers $900,000 from previews last night in 2,330 locations, which is spot on what Annihilation grossed in previews earlier this year ahead of an $11.1 million opening and just ahead of Crimson Peak's preview grosses in advance of a $14.1 million opening.
Lastly, Sony's The Girl in the Spider's Web took in $635,000 from Thursday night previews starting at 7PM. in 2,620 locations. This is a bit ahead of the $500k in previews Kidnap brought in ahead of a $10 million opening while also trailing the aforementioned Annihilation's $900k from previews ahead of an $11.1 million debut. The studio still anticipates an $8 million three-day.
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 saw the month of November get off to a great start and this weekend should prove just as profitable as several holdovers look to continue their strong performance while Universal delivers the latest animated feature from Illumination in Dr. Seuss' The Grinch. Additionally, Paramount will release the World War II supernatural horror film Overlord and Sony is taking another stab at the Dragon Tattoo franchise with the release of The Girl in the Spider's Web.
Expected to easily finish atop the weekend box office we begin with Universal and Illumination's release of The Grinch, debuting in 4,141 locations with the studio anticipating a domestic debut right around $50 million. Based on our analysis, you should expect a performance a bit higher, coming in at the lowest around $53 million with $65+ million serving as the higher end of our forecasted range. IMDb page view comparisons aren't necessarily painting a perfect picture in terms of expectations, though performance points showing The Grinch slightly trailing Zootopia ($75m opening) and ahead of both 2015's The Peanuts Movie ($44.2m opening) and The Boss Baby ($50.2m opening) have helped us narrow down our range of expectation.
Those looking for a performance on the higher end can cite as evidence Universal's 2012 adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which delivered a massive, $70.2 million opening as well as 2008's Horton Hears a Who!, which opened with $45 million. Both of those titles aren't nearly as universally known as The Grinch, an opinion supported by the $55 million ($93.4m adjusted for inflation) opening for Universal's live action adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey in 2000. That being said, our $62 million forecast seems almost light all things considered, so don't be surprised if the film's debut climbs even higher, potentially challenging The Incredibles's $70.46 million opening for the largest animated November opening of all-time.
Internationally, The Grinch will open day-and-date in 23 overseas markets including the UK and Ireland, the Middle East, Sweden, Brazil and Malaysia, with additional markets rolling out through December.
Bohemian Rhapsody should follow up last weekend's chart-topping performance with a strong hold as it has little in the way of direct competition outside of A Star is Born and both films showed they could peacefully coexist last weekend. Speaking of A Star is Born, it dipped just -33.7% in its second weekend, but we're expecting a slightly larger slip for Bohemian this weekend, anticipating something around 41% and a $30 million second weekend. Should that forecast hold the film will likely end up coming up just shy of topping $100 million by the end of the weekend, though we wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see it pop a little higher and inch over that milestone after just ten days in release.
In third we find Paramount's release of Bad Robot's Overlord, a supernatural, R-rated horror film set during the events of D-Day. The $38 million production is debuting in 2,859 domestic locations with the studio anticipating a performance in the low teens, which mostly meshes with what we're seeing. That being said, comps for this title have been a bit tough to come by given the rather unique nature of the subject matter. The one title we ultimately settled on was 2017's sci-fi thriller Life, which debuted with $12.5 million last March. When looking at IMDb page view data between the two films, Life has the edge over the two weeks leading up to release. All told, we're expecting an opening anywhere from $10-13 million for Overlord, currently forecasting a performance closer to the lower end of that range. Internationally, Overlord opens in 52 markets this weekend.
In fourth, look for Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which delivered a rather disappointing $20 million opening last weekend when you consider the reported, $120 million production budget. This weekend we're expecting to see a dip around 53% or so for a $9.5+ million three-day and a domestic cume topping $35 million by the end of the weekend.
Rounding out the top five we have Sony's release of The Girl in the Spider's Web, an adaptation of the fourth novel in the Millennium series, with author David Lagercrantz taking over from series creator Stieg Larsson, who passed away in 2004. The film, in some ways, is a follow-up to Sony's adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which starred Rooney Mara and finished with over $232 million worldwide on a $90 million budget. That said, Spider's Web has slashed the budget in half compared to Dragon Tattoo and, at the same time, isn't expected to climb quite so high at the box office with the studio anticipating a debut around $8 million from 2,929 locations.
In terms of comps, IMDb page view data over the two weeks leading up to release shows Spider's Web pacing behind February's release of Annihilation, which brought in just over $11 million from 2,012 locations. It's also pacing significantly behind the likes of Red Sparrow ($16.8m opening) and Atomic Blonde ($18.3m opening). Overall, a performance right around $8.5 million seems the most likely outcome, give or take a million on either side.
Elsewhere, keep an eye on Amazon Studios's release of Beautiful Boy which is expanding even further this weekend into approximately 777 locations (+237).
Also expanding this weekend, Fox Searchlight's Can You Ever Forgive Me? will play in 391 locations (+211), Focus Features's Boy Erased expands to 77 theaters (+72) and Aviron's A Private War will play in 40 locations (+36).
In limited release, after first hitting theaters on Tuesday, Sony's The Front Runner continues in four locations this weekend with plans to expand further over the coming weeks.
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.
- Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (4,141 theaters) - $62.0 M
- Bohemian Rhapsody (4,000 theaters) - $30.0 M
- Overlord (2,859 theaters) - $11.0 M
- The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (3,766 theaters) - $9.6 M
- The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story (2,929 theaters) - $8.5 M
- Nobody's Fool (2,468 theaters) - $7.6 M
- A Star is Born (2,848 theaters) - $7.2 M
- Halloween (2,708 theaters) - $4.9 M
- Venom (2,351 theaters) - $4.7 M
- Smallfoot (1,318 theaters) - $2.4 M
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