Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
Weekend Box Office Predictions:
The holiday moviegoing season continues on this weekend with the release of Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The horror comedy represents the fourth film in the Ghostbusters franchise, was directed by Jason Reitman, produced by Ivan Reitman (director of the first two Ghostsbusters films) and stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd. Ghostbusters: Afterlife will be released exclusively in theatres this weekend (in 4,315 locations), will play on IMAX screens and will also have Thursday preview shows beginning at 4PM. Also of note is that Ghostbusters: Afterlife carries a significantly smaller price-tag than most high-profile sequels. Critical reviews for Ghostbusters: Afterlife have been mixed, but more so positive than negative on the average. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife go over better with audiences than it has with critics. The previous installment of the Ghostbusters franchise, 2016’s Ghostbusters, delivered a debut of $46.02 million. Ghostbusters: Afterlife isn’t expected to open quite as high as Ghostbusters (2016), but beyond this weekend Ghostbusters: Afterlife could have stronger holding power than Ghostbusters (2016) did, thanks in part to the ongoing holiday season. BoxOfficeReport is predicting that Ghostbusters: Afterlife will debut in first place this weekend with $42.0 million. That would give Ghostbusters: Afterlife a healthy per-location average of $9,733 for the frame and represent the ninth largest opening weekend performance since the re-opening of domestic theatres.
After leading the box office each of the past two weekends, Disney’s Eternals will look to place in a distant second this weekend. Last weekend Eternals was down a sharp, but largely expected 62 percent to gross $26.85 million. While Eternals will be losing its IMAX screens to Ghostbusters: Afterlife this weekend, Eternals should still start to stabilize this weekend. Recently in similar situations, No Time To Die declined 48.7 percent in its third weekend (against the opening of Dune), while Dune decreased a very similar 49.5 percent (against the opening of Eternals). With word of mouth for Eternals not seemingly as strong as that of either Dune or No Time To Die and more built-in front-loading to begin with, this weekend’s hold for Eternals could inch a bit closer to the 55 percent Black Widow declined in its third weekend back in July. A 53 percent decrease would transfer into $12.5 million for Eternals this weekend. That would represent the fourth largest third weekend gross since re-opening.
Last weekend saw Paramount’s Clifford the Big Red Dog exceed expectations with a second place three-day weekend debut of $16.63 million. With the addition of the film’s Wednesday start (which included early access screenings on Tuesday), Clifford the Big Red Dog launched with a promising $22.21 million last week. After receiving an A rating on CinemaScore, Clifford the Big Red Dog looks to be going over very well with audiences and the film also held up very nicely throughout its extended opening weekend frame. At the same time, Clifford the Big Red Dog also being available via streaming on Paramount+ will likely have at least a bit of an impact on the film’s box office performance this weekend and there should also be a family component within the audience for Ghostbusters: Afterlife to provide new indirect competition for Clifford the Big Red Dog this weekend. All things considered, Clifford the Big Red Dog could decline a solid 42 percent from last weekend’s three-day gross to claim third place this weekend with $9.6 million.
Also opening in wide release this weekend is Warner’s King Richard. The Reinaldo Marcus Green directed drama stars Will Smith as Richard Williams (father of tennis players Venus Williams and Serena Williams) and also features Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton. Critical reviews for King Richard have been exceptional and the film is widely considered one of this year’s stronger awards season contenders. As with Warner’s other 2021 releases, King Richard is opening day-and-date this weekend, theatrically (in 3,302 locations) and via streaming on HBO Max. The film won’t be having Thursday preview shows. Back in August, Aretha Franklin biopic Respect debuted with $8.81 million and while there is more buzz around King Richard than there was for Respect, King Richard could ultimately open in the same neighborhood due in part to being available on HBO Max and in part to likely being more naturally back-loaded throughout the holiday and awards seasons. As long as the film is able to get off to a respectable start this weekend, whether or not King Richard is able to hold up well in the weeks ahead will be the true box office test for the film. As for this weekend, BoxOfficeReport is predicting that King Richard will open in fourth place with $8.9 million (for a per-location average of $2,695 for the frame).
As for some of this weekend’s other holdovers, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Dune could decrease 39 percent to take fifth place with $3.4 million, United Artists Releasing and MGM’s No Time To Die could decline 32 percent to claim sixth with $3.1 million and Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage could slow just 29 percent to land in seventh with $2.8 million.