Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
In what feels to be shaping up as the unofficial start to this year’s summer moviegoing season, Warner’s Mortal Kombat and Funimation and Aniplex’s release of Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train both appear to be in store for strong starts at the box office this weekend. It could also prove to be a fairly close race for first place this weekend between the two films, as both films have some advantages and disadvantages in comparison to one another out of the gate.
After leading the box office each of the past three weekends with Godzilla vs. Kong, Warner Bros. will look to make it four weekends in a row on top with the release of Mortal Kombat. The Simon McQuoid directed action film represents the third theatrical release based on the Mortal Kombat video game franchise and the first since Mortal Kombat: Annihilation way back in 1997. While the Mortal Kombat video game franchise doesn’t enjoy the same level of mainstream popularity that it did back in the 1990s, the video game franchise is certainly still popular enough today to help generate a healthy opening weekend performance for the film. Furthermore, the film’s trailer playing on the nostalgia of the video game franchise in its earlier years could also help Mortal Kombat appeal to former and more casual fans of the franchise. As with all of Warner’s other recent releases over the past several months, Mortal Kombat will be opening day-and-date, theatrically and on streaming via HBO Max. Relatively speaking, HBO Max hasn’t seemed to hurt the box office potential for Warner Bros. releases all that much, more so on opening weekend. Mortal Kombat has already started its international run with $19.4 million through this past Sunday from select markets, including an impressive $9.6 million from Russia.
The biggest advantage Mortal Kombat will have in comparison to Demon Slayer The Movie this weekend is that Mortal Kombat looks to be playing in roughly twice as many locations as Demon Slayer The Movie; 3,073 locations for Mortal Kombat, in comparison to an estimated 1,500+ for Demon Slayer The Movie. The bulk of the difference in location counts for the two films this weekend is sure to be coming from theatres outside of larger cities, where Mortal Kombat will no doubt have the advantage. Another advantage Mortal Kombat will have over Demon Slayer The Movie this weekend is that Mortal Kombat will be playing on IMAX screens over the weekend, while Demon Slayer The Movie will pretty much only be playing on IMAX screens on Thursday night. On the other hand, on the average it appears that Demon Slayer The Movie will be getting slightly more screenings per location than Mortal Kombat at many theatres over the weekend itself (when it comes to theatres that are playing both films), has a growing amount of sold-out shows and will also have the advantage of having Thursday night shows beginning at 7PM, whereas Mortal Kombat won’t be having Thursday night previews. All in all, BoxOfficeReport feels that Mortal Kombat does have the advantage for first place this weekend (albeit a fairly small one) and could be headed for a debut of $18.0 million. That would give Mortal Kombat a per-location average of $5,857 and would represent the second largest opening weekend since the re-opening of domestic theatres (behind only Godzilla vs. Kong).
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is being released domestically by Funimation Films and Aniplex of America. Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train has been a much publicized box office sensation in Japan; becoming the highest grossing film of all-time in that market. The box office success of Demon Slayer The Movie in Japan has no doubt helped build up anticipation for the film in North America. Demon Slayer The Movie has grossed over $400 million internationally and will soon be hitting the $450 million global mark with the film’s domestic release. Back in January of 2019, Funimation Films had major opening weekend success with Dragon Ball Super: Broly. That film, which opened on a Wednesday, grossed $17.79 million in its first four-days and went on to total $22.37 million over its six-day holiday opening. Given capacity restrictions, it will be a tall order for the three-day start of Demon Slayer The Movie to match the four-day start of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, but also not impossible given that Demon Slayer The Movie will certainly be getting more showtimes per location over the weekend itself than Dragon Ball Super: Broly did. Furthermore, it feels that Demon Slayer The Movie is even more anticipated by audiences than Dragon Ball Super: Broly was. And while Demon Slayer The Movie will technically have a three-day launch this weekend, the film’s Thursday night shows are likely to be so strong that the film will essentially have an unofficial four-day window this weekend. BoxOfficeReport feels that Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train could get off to a terrific $15.5 million start this weekend. That would likely transfer into a per-location average just north of $10,000 this weekend and would give Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train the fourth largest opening weekend since the re-opening of domestic theatres.
Meanwhile, after stabilizing somewhat last weekend to gross $7.85 million after a 43 percent decline, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong is likely to experience a very sharp decline this weekend. In addition to the new direct competition the film will be facing from both Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie this weekend, Godzilla vs. Kong will also be taking a major hit to its showtimes per location average and will also be losing its IMAX screens. Beyond this weekend Godzilla vs. Kong may stabilize going forward, but as for this weekend the film could decline a very sharp 58 percent to land in third with $3.30 million.
On the other hand, Universal’s Nobody is likely to continue to hold up well this weekend, even in the face of new major competition. Last weekend Nobody decreased a very slim 6 percent to gross $2.50 million and the film has continued to hold up very nicely throughout the midweek. And after last weekend’s terrific hold, Nobody actually looks to be holding onto its showtimes per location even better than it did last weekend (though the film will be playing in 153 fewer locations than last weekend). Look for Nobody to decrease just 24 percent this weekend to claim fourth with $1.90 million.
As for the rest of this weekend’ s holdovers, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon could decline 25 percent to round out the weekend’s top five with $1.45 million, Sony’s The Unholy should take a hit from this weekend’s new openers to drop 39 percent for a sixth place gross of $1.25 million and Warner’s Tom & Jerry could slow 35 percent to place in seventh with $0.72 million.
In other theatrical news, Bleecker Street will release Together Together in a moderate 665 locations this weekend. The Nikole Beckwith directed film stars Ed Helms and Patti Harrison. Critical reviews for the film have been strong. BoxOfficeReport isn’t making an official prediction for Together Together this weekend.