Weekend Box Office Predictions: August 20 – August 22, 2021

Home » Weekend Box Office Predictions: August 20 – August 22, 2021

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

It’s looking to be a close race for first place at the top of the box office this weekend between last weekend’s top film, Disney and 20th Century’s Free Guy, and Paramount’s new animated release, PAW Patrol: The Movie.

Last weekend Disney and 20th Century’s Free Guy exceeded expectations with a healthy first place start of $28.37 million. In addition, the opening weekend performance of the Shawn Levy directed sci-fi comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer was relatively back-loaded in comparison to most other higher profile films this summer. Critical reviews for the film have been strong and word of mouth looks to be exceptional after Free Guy received an A rating on CinemaScore. Free Guy will continue to play on select IMAX screens this weekend; last weekend IMAX screens were split between Free Guy and Warner’s The Suicide Squad, while this weekend IMAX screens will be split between Free Guy and Warner’s ReminiscenceFree Guy will also be holding on to a high percentage of its average showtimes per-location from last weekend, which in combination with a significant location count advantage over PAW Patrol: The Movie (Free Guy will continue to play in 4,165 locations this weekend, in comparison to 2,771 locations for PAW Patrol: The Movie), will give Free Guy a major showtimes advantage over PAW Patrol: The Movie this weekend. BoxOfficeReport feels that Free Guy will be able to just hold off PAW Patrol: The Movie to remain in first place this weekend, by declining 50 percent to gross $14.2 million for the frame.

PAW Patrol: The Movie represents the first theatrical version of the popular PAW Patrol animated television series. Due in part to the current resurgence of COVID-19, PAW Patrol: The Movie is opening day-and-date this weekend, theatrically and via streaming on Paramount+, to give families the option of watching the film at home. While critical reviews for the film are still fairly limited in number as of publishing, thus far reviews for the Cal Brunker directed film have been good. This past weekend, PAW Patrol: The Movie was already off to a $5.8 million international start, from just 6 select markets, including $3.2 million from the United Kingdom and $2.3 million from France. Unfortunately for PAW Patrol: The Movie this weekend, the film isn’t opening as wide as it should (with a mentioned location count of 2,771) and also doesn’t look to be getting as many showtimes per location this weekend as it probably should either. In a more typical situation given the popularity of the property, PAW Patrol: The Movie would probably take first place fairly comfortably this weekend, but between the film’s location count and day-and-date opening, PAW Patrol: The Movie may have to settle for a close second place start this weekend (despite having much fuller shows in general than Free Guy this weekend). At the same time, it’s also quite possible that PAW Patrol: The Movie will in turn hold up better in the weeks ahead, especially with no family films currently scheduled to open in wide release until United Artists Releasing’s The Addams Family 2 arrives on October 1. As for this weekend, BoxOfficeReport expects PAW Patrol: The Movie to open in a close second with $13.8 million (which would be in the same area as the $14.11 million start of Tom & Jerry from 2,475 locations, back in February).

Disney’s Jungle Cruise was down a solid 42 percent last weekend to take third with $9.12 million and the hold was even better than it looks given that the film took a significant hit to its showtimes per-location average. While Jungle Cruise has experienced some relative slowing during the midweek this week, the film is still likely to hold up even better this weekend than last weekend, thanks in part to having a much better showtimes per-location hold this weekend. Look for Jungle Cruise to decline just 32 percent this weekend, to remain in third place with $6.2 million and to surpass the $90 million domestic mark in the process.

Beyond PAW Patrol: The Movie, not much is expected of this weekend’s three other new wide releases. Despite apparently low interest in its own right, Warner’s Reminiscence is likely to be the highest opener of this weekend’s other three new releases, due in part to having a wider launch and the benefit of splitting IMAX screens with Free Guy this weekend. Critical reviews for the Lisa Joy directed sci-fi thriller starring Hugh Jackman have been mixed. That won’t help matters for Reminiscence this weekend, nor will that fact that Reminiscence is opening day-and-date via streaming on HBO Max, especially since Reminiscence looks like the type of film audiences will be more willing to watch at home rather than seeing in a theatre. And even in a more typical theatrical environment, the second half of August is usually a tough time to open lower-profile fare to begin with. Reminiscence could be headed for a lackluster start of $5.3 million this weekend, which would still be good enough for fourth place for the frame.

In their respective second weekends of release, United Artists Releasing’s Respect and Sony’s Don’t Breathe 2 will look to claim fifth and sixth place. Last weekend Respect debuted in fourth with $8.81 million, while Don’t Breathe 2 opened in second with $10.62 million. Don’t Breathe 2 looks to be going over fairly well with audiences after receiving a solid B rating on CinemaScore, while Respect looks to be going over extremely well with audiences after receiving an A rating on CinemaScore. The two films will likely remain close to one another this weekend, but Respect could inch ahead in the rankings given its stronger word of mouth and less rush-out heavy demos. Look for Respect to decline a respectable 48 percent to take fifth with $4.6 million and for Don’t Breathe 2 to decrease 58 percent to follow closely behind in sixth with $4.5 million.

Meanwhile, Disney and Searchlight’s The Night House and Lionsgate’s The Protégé could find themselves close to one another in their respective opening weekends. Of the two films, The Protégé (an action-thriller directed by Martin Campbell and starring Michael Keaton, Maggie Q & Samuel L. Jackson) will have the higher location count this weekend; 2,577 for The Protégé in comparison to 2,240 for The Night House. However, The Night House (a horror film directed by David Bruckner and starring Rebecca Hall) will have the advantage of strong critical reviews, whereas critical reviews still haven’t started coming in for The Protégé as of publishing. Both films will have Thursday preview shows beginning at 6PM. BoxOfficeReport is predicting respective opening weekends of $3.5 million for The Night House and $3.4 million for The Protégé. And in its third weekend of release, Warner’s The Suicide Squad could find itself in the same neighborhood as those two openers this weekend with $3.6 million. While that would represent stabilization from last weekend’s very sharp decline, it would still be down a sizable 52 percent from last weekend.

Read full predictions at BoxOfficeReport.com

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