Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
After very successful debuts for both films last weekend, Funimation Films and Aniplex’s Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train and Warner’s Mortal Kombat are set to top the box office with ease once again this weekend. Last weekend Mortal Kombat had the slight edge with a first place start of $23.30 million, while Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train followed closely behind in second with $21.24 million. While the race between the two films is likely to be close once again this weekend, BoxOfficeReport feels that Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train has the very slight edge for first place this time around.
Typically anime films experience very sharp second weekend percentage declines in the domestic marketplace and while Funimation Films and Aniplex’s Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train will likely experience a sharp decline this weekend, the film may hold up better than usual for an anime film in its second weekend (in North America). The breakout performance of Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train last weekend has helped create further buzz around the film, which has in turn helped the film start to experience strong daily percentage holds since Sunday. Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train will also benefit this weekend from splitting many IMAX screens with Mortal Kombat; whereas last weekend Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train only had IMAX screenings during its Thursday night previews. In addition, given the overlap in the potential audiences for the two films, Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train and Mortal Kombat could both receive small boosts this weekend from moviegoers who caught one of the two films last weekend and want to catch the other film this weekend. In recent years anime films have tended to have second weekend percentage declines of at least 60 percent, but BoxOfficeReport feels that Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train will hold up better with a 54 percent decline to take first place this weekend with $9.70 million.
Warner’s Mortal Kombat is also sure to experience a sharp decline this weekend due in large part to built-in front-loading. While it was a very long time ago now, 1995’s Mortal Kombat declined 56 percent in its second weekend, while 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation decreased by 60 percent in its second frame. Furthermore, Warner’s previous day-and-date theatrical and HBO Max releases have all experienced sharp second weekend declines, ranging anywhere from 54 percent to 67 percent. While Mortal Kombat will be losing some of its IMAX screenings to Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train this weekend, one advantage Mortal Kombat will have over Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train this weekend is that Mortal Kombat looks to be holding onto its showtimes per location a bit better than Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train (even with the loss of some of its IMAX screenings). And unlike Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train, last weekend’s debut for Mortal Kombat wasn’t inflated by Thursday night preview shows. Word of mouth among moviegoers being strong for both Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train and the lack of new high-profile competition this weekend could also help to slightly ease the second weekend declines of both films. Look for Mortal Kombat to decline 59 percent this weekend to finish in a very close second place with $9.50 million.
Despite the new direct competition from last weekend’s two major new openers, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong declined a respectable 45 percent to land in a distant third with $4.29 million. With the openings of Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train out of the way, Godzilla vs. Kong should hold up significantly better this weekend than it did last weekend. Godzilla vs. Kong could also get an additional boost this weekend from no longer being available via streaming on HBO Max as of Saturday. A 28 percent decline would keep Godzilla vs. Kong in third place with $3.10 million, which would move the film beyond the $90 million domestic mark, as Godzilla vs. Kong continues its way towards becoming the first film to reach the $100 million domestic milestone since the re-opening of theatres.
This weekend’s widest new release is Open Road and Briarcliff’s Separation. The R-rated horror film was directed by William Brent Bell and stars Rupert Friend. Separation will be playing in 1,751 locations this weekend and has Thursday night preview shows starting at 5PM. The dual break-out performances of Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train will no doubt make it much tougher for Separation to excel this weekend, especially since Separation looks to be only receiving a single screen at most locations. Based on the film’s trailer, this also feels like a case where the box office potential for Separation would be somewhat stronger had the film been rated PG-13. Separation could debut in fourth place with $2.10 million this weekend, which would give the film a per-location average of $1,199 for the frame.
As for the rest of this weekend’s high-profile holdovers, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon should continue displaying strong holding power by declining a slim 5 percent to claim fifth with $1.65 million, Universal’s Nobody should re-stabilize to decrease only 14 percent to take sixth with $1.50 million and Sony’s The Unholy, while taking a slight hit from Separation, is still likely to continue to hold up well for a horror film by slowing just 25 percent to land in seventh with $1.10 million.