Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
The theatrical box office will look to take another step on the road to recovery this weekend with the release of Disney’s Black Widow. The latest film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and first since Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home was released back in July of 2019) is widely expected to outpace the recent $70.04 million start of F9 to register a new high-water mark for the largest opening weekend performance since the re-opening of domestic theatres. Black Widow was directed by Cate Shortland and sees Scarlett Johansson return to the MCU as the title character. The film also features Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. Black Widow will be playing in 4,160 locations this weekend, will be playing on IMAX screens and will also have Thursday night preview shows beginning at 5PM. On the average, critical reviews for the film have been good, but not quite as strong as those of many other recent MCU films. In comparison to F9, Black Widow seems to be the more anticipated of the two films to begin with (many Marvel fans have been wanting a solo Black Widow film for years) and the film will also have some additional opening weekend advantages, including what should be significantly stronger Thursday previews, an even higher showtime per location average than F9 had (though not by a huge amount) and more areas of the domestic marketplace continuing to further ease capacity restrictions as the summer goes on. At the same time, relative opening weekend potential for Black Widow could be limited somewhat from the film opening day-and-date via streaming on Disney+ as a Premier Access title (F9 didn’t open day-and-date). There may also only be so much room for growth in the current marketplace until a bit more time passes first. BoxOfficeReport feels that Black Widow could debut with $89.0 million this weekend, which would represent the largest opening weekend since the re-opening of theatres and give the film a very strong per-location average of $21,394 for the frame.
Turning to this weekend’s distant second place ranking, it should be a very close race between Universal releases The Boss Baby: Family Business and F9. While F9 had the significant edge last weekend between the two films, The Boss Baby: Family Business could catch up in the weekend rankings as soon as this weekend, thanks in part to being able to hold up much better in the face of Black Widow and less built-in front-loading than F9 to begin with. Last weekend Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby: Family Business debuted with $16.00 million during its first three-days and went on to gross $19.65 million over the four-day holiday frame. Back in 2017, The Boss Baby fell a sizable 47.5 percent in its second weekend (before holding up significantly better throughout the rest of its run). The Boss Baby: Family Business may be able to hold up a bit better than that this weekend, thanks in part to opening significantly lower and the ongoing trend of family films displaying stronger than usual holding power since the re-opening of theatres. Word of mouth also looks to be very strong for The Boss Baby: Family Business (with the film’s A rating on CinemaScore in mind) and the film will also get a small bump from playing in 44 more locations than last weekend (for a total of 3,688 locations). The Boss Baby: Family Business could decline a respectable 42.5 percent this weekend to claim second place with $9.2 million.
As for Universal’s F9, the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise grossed $23.01 million last weekend to remain in first place, but was also down a concerning 67 percent in the process. Typically a high-profile film like F9 would start to stabilize after a sharp second weekend decline, but in this case that stabilization will no doubt be limited this weekend by Black Widow entering the marketplace, which will result in F9 losing its IMAX screens to Black Widow and playing in 554 fewer locations than last weekend (for a total of 3,649 locations), as well as taking a significant showtimes per location hit. So while F9 was down a respectable 43 percent on Wednesday from the previous Wednesday, expect the film to nonetheless experience another sharp decline this weekend. A 61 percent slide from last weekend would place F9 in a close third place this weekend with $9.0 million.
Universal will also look to claim fourth place this weekend with the second weekend performance of The Forever Purge. Last weekend The Forever Purge debuted in third place over the three-day weekend with $12.55 million and went to gross $15.76 million over the four-day holiday frame. While The Forever Purge didn’t perform like a typical film from The Purge franchise on opening weekend, that had been expected heading into the weekend and the film was able to open on the high end of more modest expectations as a result. The Forever Purge also had a solid performance last weekend with the film’s showtimes per location average in mind. As a result, The Forever Purge will be seeing one of this weekend’s better showtimes per location holds among holdovers. The film also looks to be going over fairly well with audiences, after receiving a B- rating on CinemaScore (which is solid for a horror film). While The Forever Purge will still have some built-in front-loading, don’t be surprised to see the film have a better-than-usual second weekend hold for The Purge franchise. Look for The Forever Purge to decline a sizable, but respectable 51 percent to gross $6.1 million this weekend.
Further down on this weekend’s chart, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II will look to claim fifth place and in the process become the first film to surpass the $150 million domestic mark since the re-opening of theatres. Last weekend A Quiet Place Part II declined a solid 34 percent to take fourth with $4.10 million. This weekend the film could decrease 34 percent once again to gross $2.7 million.
With the aid of double feature drive-in shows with Black Widow (as well as continued strong word of mouth), Disney’s Cruella should hold up extremely well this weekend. After declining a respectable 37 percent last weekend to claim sixth with $2.39 million, Cruella could essentially be unchanged this weekend with $2.4 million to remain in sixth place.
As for some of this weekend’s other holdovers, significant theatre and showtime count losses should lead to sizable declines for both Lionsgate’s Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. Look for Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard to decline 50 percent to place in seventh with $1.50 million and for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway to fall 52 percent to land in eighth place with $1.05 million.