Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
After leading the box office each of the past two weekends with The Little Things, Warner Bros. will look to make it three weekends in a row with the release of Judas and the Black Messiah this weekend. The awards season hopeful about Fred Hampton was directed by Shaka King and stars Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield. Ryan Coogler is also one of the film’s producers. Critical reviews for Judas and the Black Messiah have been excellent and the film recently received two Golden Globe nominations (Best Supporting Actor for Kaluuya and Best Original Song). As with the recent Wonder Woman 1984 and The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah will be opening day-and-date theatrically and via streaming on HBO Max. Relatively speaking, thus far HBO Max has been taking more of a toll on the box office performance of Warner Bros. releases after opening weekend than on opening weekend itself.
Judas and the Black Messiah (and the marketplace in general) will get a bit of a boost this weekend from the dual-holiday frame (Valentine’s Day on Sunday and Presidents’ Day on Monday). Just how much of a boost Valentine’s Day gives the marketplace as a whole this weekend is a question mark, especially with overall grosses being low to begin with. One aspect that will limit the potential of Judas and the Black Messiah this weekend is the continued closing of most theatres in California and New York State. There also doesn’t seem to be quite as much anticipation for Judas and the Black Messiah as there was for The Little Things two weeks ago (which opened with an estimated $4.70 million over three days). Look for Judas and the Black Messiah to debut in first place with $3.30 million over the four-day holiday frame.
Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age is likely to claim second place for a fourth consecutive frame this weekend. Last weekend The Croods: A New Age declined just 8 percent to gross $1.68 million. With the aid of the dual-holiday four-day frame; The Croods: A New Age is sure to see a strong boost over last weekend, especially since family films typically experience strong holds over Presidents’ Day weekend. Last month during the Martin Luther King four-day weekend, The Croods: A New Age increased 38 percent from the previous three-day frame to take in $2.51 million. The Croods: A New Age could be looking at a similar type of hold this weekend. A 40 percent jump over last weekend would transfer into a $2.35 million four-day take for The Croods: A New Age.
Warner’s The Little Things should drop two spots this weekend to land in third place. The Denzel Washington-led thriller was down a sharp 57 percent last weekend to take in an estimated $2.0 million. While The Little Things should stabilize this weekend, the film is still likely to experience one of this weekend’s larger percentage declines among current wide releases, due in part to new competition from Judas and the Black Messiah, the film’s showtimes per location average taking a hit at many theatres this weekend and the film’s word of mouth continuing to be fairly average. The Little Things could decline 15 percent this weekend for a four-day gross of $1.70 million.
Last weekend Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 and Open Road and Briarcliff’s The Marksman finished very close to one another; Monday’s revised global estimates would place Wonder Woman 1984 at roughly $1.01 million (down 23 percent), while The Marksman took in $0.96 million (also down 23 percent). This weekend Wonder Woman 1984 is likely to hold up somewhat better than The Marksman, due to being a more popular Valentine’s Day option and to holding onto its showtimes a bit better than The Marksman at many theatres this weekend. In addition to Valentine’s Day, both films will also get a small boost from not having to deal with the Super Bowl this weekend. Wonder Woman 1984 could increase 14 percent over last weekend for a fourth place four-day take of $1.15 million, while The Marksman could increase 4 percent for a fifth place four-day haul of $1.00 million.
This weekend’s other new wide release is Focus’ Land. The drama was directed by Robin Wright, with Wright also starring, alongside Demián Bichir. Critical reviews for Land have tended to be good, but not great. There doesn’t seem to be much awareness for Land and the film’s potential will be further limited by opening in a relatively modest 1,231 locations (and from receiving a less than usual amount of opening weekend showtimes at many locations). Focus’ previous two wide releases, Promising Young Woman and Half Brothers started out with similar respective opening weekends of $0.72 million and $0.70 million. With the dual-holiday four-day frame, Land could open slightly higher with a sixth place four-day start of $0.90 million.
This weekend’s top eight films should be rounded out by Sony’s Monster Hunter and Universal’s News of the World. Last weekend Monster Hunter decreased 20 percent to take in $0.59 million, while News of the World declined 28 percent to gross $0.39 million. Monster Hunter is holding onto its locations and showtimes better than News of the World is this weekend, so expect Monster Hunter to have the significantly better weekend hold between the two. An 11 percent increase would give Monster Hunter a four-day take of $0.65 million, while a 23 percent decrease would give News of the World a four-day gross of $0.30 million.
Films opening in limited and moderate release this weekend include Disney’s re-issue of 20th Century’s 2016 film Hidden Figures (502 locations), Bleecker Street’s The World to Come (277 locations), STXfilms’ The Mauritanian, A24’s Minari and Warner’s 4K IMAX re-issues of New Line’s 2002 film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and 2003 film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. BoxOfficeReport isn’t making official weekend predictions for the limited and moderate releases in question.