Weekend Box Office Predictions: December 18 – 20, 2020

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Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.

Sony will look to lead the pre-Christmas weekend frame with the release of Monster Hunter. The theatrical adaptation of the popular video game franchise was directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and stars Milla Jovovich. Sony / Screen Gems, Anderson and Jovovich had previous success with the Resident Evil franchise (also based on a Capcom video game series), which spawned six films (beginning with Resident Evil back in 2002 and ending with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in 2017). In addition to having a built-in audience from fans of the Monster Hunter video game series and the Resident Evil film series, Monster Hunter should also be helped out this weekend by its PG-13 rating and the film playing on IMAX screens. Thus far critical reviews for Monster Hunter have been mixed (which is better than most would have expected). Monster Hunter and Lionsgate’s Fatale will both have Thursday night previews shows.

On the down side, the segment of moviegoers who are currently comfortable venturing to theatres are much more likely to wait until next weekend to catch either Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 or Universal’s News of the World. And while there may be a bit more overall interest in Monster Hunter than some of the other recent wide releases over the past few months, potential for Monster Hunter will nonetheless be held back by the film opening in a relatively modest 1,736 locations this weekend (in comparison, most higher profile wide releases over the past few months have opened in 2,200 to 2,500 locations). The opening weekend showtimes per location average for Monster Hunter will also be closer to films such as FreakyHonest Thief and The War with Grandpa rather than films such as The Croods: A New AgeTenet and The New Mutants. A per-location average of just over $2,015 would give Monster Hunter a first place debut of $3.50 million this weekend.

After leading the box office for the past three weeks Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age should take second place this weekend. Last weekend The Croods: A New Age declined just 31 percent to take in $3.06 million. This weekend The Croods: A New Age will be arriving on PVOD and while the film won’t be losing that many locations this weekend (down 235 locations for a total of 1,880 locations this weekend), The Croods: A New Age will see its showtimes per location average take a hit at many theatres. At the same time, The Croods: A New Age will also benefit this weekend from the approaching Christmas holiday and from no new family films going into wide release. Also in the film’s favor is that on Wednesday The Croods: A New Age was down only 19 percent from last Wednesday. Those various factors could all balance each other out this weekend; leading to another strong hold for The Croods: A New Age. Look for The Croods: A New Age to decrease 30 percent this weekend to take in $2.15 million.

This weekend Lionsgate will release its first film theatrically since March, as Fatale arrives in theatres. The R-rated thriller was directed by Deon Taylor and stars Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy. Taylor and Ealy previously teamed together on 2019’s The Intruder and Ealy has had previous box office success with the 2015 thriller The Perfect Guy. As of publishing, critical reviews have yet to start appearing for Fatale. While Fatale would be a sleeper candidate under more typical circumstances, it will be difficult for Fatale to excel in the current environment, especially since the film will only be playing in 1,107 locations this weekend. The film’s release date being scheduled pretty last-minute and the film not having much of a marketing campaign also won’t help matters either this weekend. The situation is a bit similar to that of The Empty Man back in October, which debuted with $1.31 million (from 2,027 locations). While the opening weekend location count of Fatale will only be 55 percent of that of The Empty ManFatale has the potential to have a better per-location average, especially since it looks like Fatale will be getting more showtimes per location than The Empty Man did during its opening weekend. Fatale could debut in third place with $1.20 million this weekend (for a per-location average of just under $1,085).

Focus’ Half Brothers is coming off of a very nice second weekend hold, as the buddy comedy declined only 29 percent to gross $0.495 million this past weekend. However, Half Brothers is likely to fall off a bit more this weekend, as the film will be playing in 265 fewer locations than last weekend (for a total of 1,121 locations) and will also start to see its showtimes per location average start to take a hit. A 39 percent decline would give Half Brothers $0.30 million this weekend.

In other news this weekend, Disney will be re-issuing 1992’s The Muppet Christmas CarolThe Muppet Christmas Carol didn’t perform all that well for a Muppets film at the box office, as the film opened with $5.0 million and went on the gross $27.3 million domestically; but the film’s popularity has grown over the years as a seasonal favorite. However, this weekend’s re-issue of The Muppet Christmas Carol will have a tough time making an impact due in part to the film playing in only 725 locations this weekend. BoxOfficeReport isn’t making an official prediction for The Muppet Christmas Carol this weekend, but the film could find itself in a battle for fifth place with films such as 101 Studios’ The War with Grandpa, Universal’s Freaky and Warner’s re-issue of Elf.

Read full predictions at BoxOfficeReport.com

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