Holdovers Look to Fend Off Five New Wide Releases in Battle for Weekend #1
by Brad Brevet
August 8, 2019
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Lionsgate's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is leading the weekend's crop of newcomers, bringing in an estimated $8.76 million on Friday and is currently expected to deliver a $20+ million three-day performance. The film received a "C" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Paramount's Dora and the Lost City of Gold brought in $6.5 million on Friday and is expected to deliver a $17+ million weekend. The film received an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Fox's The Art of Racing in the Rain delivered an estimated $2.96 million on Friday and is currently expected to finish the weekend with a three-day performance around $8-9 million. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
WB and New Line's The Kitchen is struggling mightily, delivering an estimated $1.8 million on Friday and currently looking at a three-day performance around $5+ million. The film ws the worst reviewed of the weekend's newcomers and opening day audiences gave it a "B-" CinemaScore.
Just outside the top ten is where we expect to find Bleecker's Brian Banks, which brought in an estimated $760,000 on Friday and is looking at a three-day performance around $2 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: CBS Films, eOne and Lionsgate's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark led all new wide releases in terms of previews last night, generating $2.33 million from over 2,500 locations. The performance compares well to Escape Room ($2.34m) and Pet Sematary ($2.3m), which opened with $28.1 million and $24.5 million respectively.
Paramount's Dora and the Lost City of Gold began its preview showings at 4PM yesterday and delivered $1.25 million from preview showings. The performance is nearly double the $625k in previews for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and just ahead of the $1.2 million in previews for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which debuted with $28.8 million back in September 2016.
Disney's release of Fox's The Art of Racing in the Rain started its opening weekend with an estimated $450,000 from Thursday evening previews beginning at 6PM in ~2,000 locations. Looking at the comps used in our preview below, this is $200k ahead of previews for Million Dollar Arm and $190k ahead of previews for McFarland, USA.
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: After the last three weekends featured just one new wide release hitting theaters, this weekend is delivering a whopping five new wide releases, which will debut in over 13,500 locations. Among them, Paramount's Dora and the Lost City of Gold and Lionsgate's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark look to be the top performers of the lot, and in that mix Disney's The Lion King will join the fray along with Hobbs & Shaw in a battle for the weekend's #1 spot. Otherwise, Fox's The Art of Racing in the Rain, WB and New Line's The Kitchen and Bleecker's Brian Banks are the three other new wide releases hitting theaters this weekend.
After one weekend in second place, Disney's The Lion King will look to return to the top of the weekend charts, but we expect it to be rather close. We're forecasting a -42% dip as the film enters its fourth week in release with an expected $22.4 million three-day and a domestic cume topping $475 million by the end of the weekend. Among Disney's Reimaginings of their classic animated features, this would put The Lion King right around $29 million behind Beauty and the Beast, which leads the charge with $504 million.
Meanwhile, hot on Disney's heels is Universal's Hobbs & Shaw, which delivered on expectations last weekend with $60 million and should also follow predecessors in the franchise, dipping around -60%+ in its sophomore frame. In this case, we're anticipating a dip around -63% and a $22 million three-day for a domestic cume right around $105 million by the end of the weekend.
In third is where we expect to find the first of the weekend's new wide releases in Paramount's live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer". Bringing the title character to life is Isabela Moner, starring in Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which will debut in 3,735 locations this weekend with the studio anticipating a three-day performance around $15 million. Those expectations, however, are well below the industry expectations we've seen, which point to an expected performance anywhere from $16-25 million, which lines up more with what we're seeing.
A look at IMDb page view performance shows Dora outperforming Disney's Pete's Dragon ($21.5m opening) over the two weeks leading up to release, while pacing a bit behind Paddington ($18.9m opening). At the same time it's outpacing Peter Rabbit ($25m opening), Christopher Robin ($24.5m opening) and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms ($20.3m opening). While this doesn't necessarily guarantee Dora is going to crack that $20 million mark, it is a promising signal and its why we're forecasting a $20+ million opening.
Right behind it, look for Lionsgate's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to land in fourth place if not possibly challenge Dora for the weekend bronze. The PG-13 horror is opening in over 3,100 locations this weekend and the studio is anticipating an opening in the mid-to-high teens, which is pretty much right where we see the film finishing right now.
IMDb page view performance shows the film pacing a bit behind Blumhouse's Truth or Dare ($18.6m opening), 2014's Ouija ($19.8m) and Happy Death Day ($26m), though it's not pacing so far behind as to be considered problematic. While we did tease the possibility of it topping Dora, that would likely only happen if Dora performs closer to studio expectations as we're looking for Scary Stories to debut around $16+ million this weekend with a chance at popping a bit higher should word of mouth catch on following Thursday night previews and its Friday opening.
Rounding out the top five is Sony's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which we expect to drop around -41% this weekend for a $11.8 million three-day and a domestic cume topping $100 million by the end of the weekend.
Outside the top five we begin with Disney's release of Fox's The Art of Racing in the Rain, which will launch in 2,765 theaters with industry expectations right around $8-10 million for the weekend. The two films we're looking at as the best comps are two previous Disney releases — McFarland, USA and Million Dollar Arm — which opened with $11 million and $10.5 million respectively. IMDb page view performance over the two weeks leading up to release shows Racing the Rain pacing behind both films, though not be a significant margin, which has us leaning to a debut right around $9-10 million, which should put it in direct competition with our next film.
Warner Bros. will release The Kitchen in 2,745 locations this weekend and the studio is expecting a debut anywhere from $9-14 million, which leaves a lot of room for error and we can't help but expect this one to perform on the lower end of that range. Of the weekend's new wide releases, The Kitchen has received the worst reviews of the lot, earning a meager 39 on Metacritic and a sour 19% on RottenTomatoes. A look at IMDb page view data has proven difficult when trying to find a good comp as The Kitchen is pacing behind pretty much everything we've put it up against over the two weeks leading up to release, which has us anticipating an opening around $8-9 million.
Additionally, A24's The Farewell is expanding even further this weekend after strong, week-over-week performances in limited release. The film from writer/director Lulu Wang is adding another 295 locations and will now be playing in over 700 theaters nationwide. It's tough to speculate as to just how well the film will do this weekend, but a performance anywhere from $3-4 million wouldn't be at all surprising as it enters its fifth week in release.
Outside the top ten, the final new wide release of the week is Bleecker Street's Brian Banks, which will debut in 1,240 theaters. The best comp we can find is Pure Flix's release Woodlawn, which debuted with $4 million back in 2015. We don't see it living up to that film's performance, but a debut around $2 million doesn't seem too unreasonable.
In limited release, Sony Classics will release After the Wedding in five theaters; IFC will debut Ode to Joy in two locations; Amazon Studios is releasing the documentary One Child Nation two theaters; Roadside will debut The Peanut Butter Falcon in 17 locations; and Sony will release The Bravest in 150 locations.
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.
- The Lion King (4,220 theaters) - $22.4 M
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (4,344 theaters) - $22.0 M
- Dora and the Lost City of Gold (3,735 theaters) - $20.5 M
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (3,135 theaters) - $16.0 M
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (3,507 theaters) - $11.8 M
- The Art of Racing in the Rain (2,765 theaters) - $9.0 M
- The Kitchen (2,745 theaters) - $8.5 M
- Spider-Man: Far from Home (2,678 theaters) - $4.8 M
- Toy Story 4 (2,295 theaters) - $4.8 M
- The Farewell (704 theaters) - $3.0 M
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