Disney's 'Aladdin' Set to Lead a Crop of Three New Releases Over Memorial Day Weekend
by Brad Brevet
May 23, 2019
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Disney's Aladdin is off to a stellar start and looking at a $100+ million four-day debut after an estimated $31 million on Friday, including $7 million from Thursday night previews. The opening day performance is ~$4 million behind the opening day for Solo: A Star Wars Story last year, but the film is expected to play much better than Solo did over the four-day holiday and could deliver much more. After all, The Jungle Book brought in $32 million on its opening day back in April 2016 before going on to deliver over $130 million in its first three days. For now Aladdin is tracking for a three-day performance around $87+ million and a four-day nearing $110 million, which would put it in a race to make it one of the top five Memorial Day openings ever. The film received an "A" CinemaScore from opening day crowds.
Sony's release of the Screen Gems feature Brightburn delivered an estimated $3 million on Friday and is expected to finish right over $8 million for the three-day and right around $10 million for the four-day holiday weekend.
UA Releasing's Booksmart brought in an estimated $2.5 million on Friday, which includes $875k from Thursday night previews. Expectations at this time are for a three-day performance around $6.5+ million and an $8+ million four-day. The Olivia Wilde-directed feature was the best reviewed new movie of the weekend and opening day audiences scored it with a "B+" CinemaScore.
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: Disney's Aladdin delivered $7 million in Thursday evening previews beginning at 6PM and including select fan events that started at 5PM. The performance is well ahead of the $4.2 million Maleficent brought in ahead of a $69 million three-day debut as well as the $2.3 million for Cinderella, which opened with $67.8 million in its first three days. The performance is also ahead of the $5.5 million Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales brought in from preview showings ahead of a $78 million Memorial Day weekend four-day opening.
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: Memorial Day weekend 2019 arrives with the release of Aladdin, Walt Disney's latest live-action feature based on one of the studio's iconic animated features. The weekend also features the new releases of Booksmart and Brightburn while many audience members will catch the second weekend of John Wick: Chapter 3 and we'll see the domestic gross for Avengers: Endgame top $800 million by the end of the long, holiday weekend.
Disney's Aladdin will land in the weekend's #1 spot with the studio anticipating a four-day performance anywhere from $75-85 million in over 4,400 locations. This is the widest release of any of Disney's live-action reimaginings and comes on the heels of a disappointing performance for Dumbo, which debuted with $45.9 million back in late March and has managed $111.6 million since. This is also the second time Disney has debuted one of these films over the Memorial Day weekend holiday, the previous being another disappointment, 2016's Alice Through the Looking Glass. Disney tapped Guy Ritchie to helm this latest adaptation with Will Smith taking over the role as Genie, which was voiced by Robin Williams in the animated original feature.
Smith's CG-generated Genie was the focus of some early, negative buzz online and while the film has gained ground leading up to release, mixed reviews are also unlikely to help the film's weekend cause. A look at IMDb page view data shows it pacing behind 2014's Maleficent ($69.4m opening), Disney's release of The Jungle Book ($103.2m opening) and last year's Memorial Day weekend opener Solo: A Star Wars Story ($84.4m opening). It is, however, dramatically outpacing Dumbo and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Overall, the film will benefit from showings in over 2,700 3D locations, 400 IMAX screens, 700 Premium Large Format screens and 200 D-Box/4D locations while previews will begin at 6PM this evening alongside fan events beginning at 5PM. Right now, based on everything we're looking at, a three-day debut around $60 million and a four-day performance topping $75 million seems a good bet. The big question will be just how well will audiences respond to the film and will that response bolster its performance through the weekend or will it dampen day-to-day performance?
Internationally, Aladdin debuts day-and-date in all major markets except for Japan where the film opens on June 7. As of this write-up the film has already opened in France, Italy and the UK and it opens today in Germany, Russia, Australia, Korea and Brazil with openings in China, Spain and Mexico set for this Friday.
In second place, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum should hold court, dipping around -58% or so for a $24 million three-day, growing to over $30 million for the four-day weekend. It should be said, this is a larger dip than the -44.5% drop for the first John Wick and -46.7% for Chapter 2, which could mean this one might hold on a little bit better than we're forecasting, but by the end of the four-day weekend we're looking for this one to be right around $109 million.
Disney's Avengers: Endgame will become only the second film ever to top $800 million domestically this weekend as it enters its fifth week in release. We're looking for the film to dip -42% this weekend for a $17.4 million three-day, most likely topping $800 million on Monday with a $22+ million four-day performance.
In fourth, look for WB's Pokemon Detective Pikachu to top $120 million this weekend, dipping -42% for a $14 million three-day and ultimately finishing with a four-day performance right around $18 million.
Rounding out the top five we have the second of the weekend's three new wide releases in Sony's release of Screen Gems's R-rated superhero horror Brightburn and we're beginning to think this one could surprise and move even higher up in the top five. While the studio is looking for a four-day performance around $10 million, we're forecasting a three-day around $13 million and a four-day around $15 million. The pic is debuting in over 2,600 locations and serves as good counter-programming to the week's other new offerings while being the first new horror film since The Curse of La Llorona five weeks ago.
Right behind Brightburn, look for Olivia Wilde's R-rated comedy Booksmart. UA Releasing will debut the pic in 2,505 theaters, anticipating a three-day opening in the mid to high single digits. Looking at comps such as I Feel Pretty ($16m opening) and Nobody's Fool ($13.7m opening), Booksmart is hanging tough when it comes to IMDb page view performance. If the theater count was over 3,000 locations we would be encouraged to go even higher with our forecast, though, as it stands, we're still going higher than the studio's expectations, forecasting a $11 million three-day and a $13 million four-day performance.
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.
THREE-DAY WEEKEND FORECAST
- Aladdin - $60.0 M
- John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (3,862 theaters) - $23.9 M
- Avengers: Endgame - $17.4 M
- Pokemon Detective Pikachu (4,168 theaters) - $14.1 M
- Brightburn (2,607 theaters) - $13.0 M
- Booksmart (2,505 theaters) - $11.0 M
- A Dog's Journey (3,274 theaters) - $4.6 M
- The Hustle (2,377 theaters) - $3.6 M
- The Intruder (1,612 theaters) - $2.6 M
- Long Shot (1,602 theaters) - $1.7 M
FOUR-DAY WEEKEND FORECAST
- Aladdin - $75.3 M
- John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (3,862 theaters) - $30.6 M
- Avengers: Endgame - $22.2 M
- Pokemon Detective Pikachu (4,168 theaters) - $17.8 M
- Brightburn (2,607 theaters) - $15.0 M
- Booksmart (2,505 theaters) - $13.0 M
- A Dog's Journey (3,274 theaters) - $6.3 M
- The Hustle (2,377 theaters) - $4.5 M
- The Intruder (1,612 theaters) - $3.3 M
- Long Shot (1,602 theaters) - $2.2 M
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