Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
Weekend Box Office Predictions:
As the calendar turns to November, this weekend sees the release of Disney’s anticipated Eternals. The latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was directed by Chloé Zhao and features an ensemble cast that includes Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie. Eternals will be opening exclusively in theatres this weekend (in 4,090 locations), will be playing on IMAX screens and will have Thursday preview shows beginning at 6PM. Three-day opening weekends for previous MCU films this year have included $80.37 million for Black Widow back in July and a stronger than expected $75.39 million for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings back in September. With the overall domestic marketplace continuing to build up further momentum throughout October (including the $90.03 million opening of Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage), a few weeks ago the hope was that Eternals would be able to top the respective opening weekends of Shang-Chi and Black Widow and potentially even give Venom: Let There Be Carnage a run for its money. Unfortunately, opening weekend potential for Eternals looks like it will be held back at least somewhat as a result of the film’s mixed critical reviews, which have been both softer than expected and softer than usual for the typically critic-friendly Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition, much like the recent No Time To Die, the 157 minute length of Eternals could also lead to some built-in back-loading (relatively speaking), due to opening weekend showtimes per location being limited a bit by the film’s length. As a result, while pre-release anticipation is likely still high enough for Eternals to open in the same neighborhood as Shang-Chi and Black Widow, the film’s start may come in a bit below that of Black Widow. BoxOfficeReport is predicting an opening weekend of $76.5 million for Eternals this weekend, which would give the film a healthy per-location average of $18,704 for the frame and would still represent the third largest three-day opening weekend performance since the re-opening of domestic theatres.
After declining a sharp 62 percent in its second weekend to remain in first place with $15.41 million, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Dune will likely experience another sharp decline this weekend. While Dune has been holding up well during the midweek this week (the film reached the $75 million mark after grossing $1.88 million on Wednesday), it’s no secret that Dune has been performing especially well on IMAX screens; which the film will be losing to Eternals this weekend. That is sure to take a toll on Dune this weekend and in addition, with a weekend location count of 3,546, Dune will be playing in 14 percent fewer locations this weekend than it did last week. In a similar situation two weeks ago when Dune opened, No Time To Die declined 49 percent in its third weekend and it’s likely that Dune will experience an even sharper decline than that this weekend. One factor that should help Dune a bit this weekend, as well as other non-Horror or Halloween themed holdovers in general, is that last weekend’s grosses for non-Halloween themed films were deflated by Halloween falling on Sunday. Dune could decline a sharp 56.5 percent this weekend to place in a distant second with $6.7 million, before likely stabilizing significantly next weekend.
This October’s two highest grossing releases, No Time To Die and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, both held up nicely last weekend, as United Artists Releasing and MGM’s No Time To Die declined 36.5 percent to take third with $7.75 million, while Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage decreased a similar 38 percent to place in fifth with $5.75 million. Even with the added competition from Eternals this weekend, both No Time To Die and Venom: Let There Be Carnage are likely to continue to hold up well, thanks in part to both films holding onto their locations and showtimes pretty well this weekend. Look for No Time To Die to decrease a very solid 34 percent this weekend to continue to claim third with $5.1 million and for Venom: Let There Be Carnage to decline 37 percent to move up to fourth place for the frame with $3.6 million.
Thanks in part to the Halloween holiday; Universal’s Halloween Kills was able to hold onto second place last weekend by declining 39.5 percent to gross $8.74 million. However, with the Halloween holiday behind it, Halloween Kills could fall a very sharp 69 percent to gross $2.7 million this weekend. On the other hand, due in part to the Halloween holiday, Disney and 20th Century’s well-received Ron’s Gone Wrong was down a sizable 49 percent to gross $3.74 million last weekend. And even with the film playing in a significant 910 fewer locations this weekend than it did last week, relatively speaking Ron’s Gone Wrong could still rebound over the post-Halloween frame by declining just 31 percent to gross $2.6 million.
This weekend will also see the theatrical release of Spencer, by NEON and Topic Studios. The Princess Diana drama directed by Pablo Larraín and starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana will be playing in semi-wide release this weekend in 996 locations. The film will also have Thursday preview shows beginning at 5PM. Critical reviews for Spencer have been very good and there is a tremendous amount of early awards season buzz surrounding Stewart’s performance. As has been seen time and time again throughout 2021, the specialty theatrical market just hasn’t been able to get going, which will no doubt limit potential for Spencer out of the gate this weekend. Two of the better performances for specialty releases so far this year have been the $2.60 million grossed by Searchlight’s The French Dispatch in its first weekend of moderate / semi-wide release last weekend and the $1.99 million grossed by Focus’ Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain in its first weekend back in July. With the awards buzz around Stewart’s performance, Spencer could find itself in the same neighborhood this weekend with a start of $2.0 million (for a per-location average of $2,008).
As for some of this weekend’s other holdovers, look for a number of films to be bunched tightly together. Searchlight’s Antlers could decline 57 percent to gross $1.85 million, Focus’ Last Night in Soho could decline a similar 58 percent to gross $1.75 million, with the aid of a another expansion Searchlight’s The French Dispatch could decrease 35 percent to gross $1.70 million, United Artists Releasing and MGM’s The Addams Family 2 could slow 46 percent to take in $1.65 million and Funimation’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission could fall a very sharp 75 percent to register $1.60 million.