Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
Weekend Box Office Predictions:
The recent string of new high-profile releases entering the marketplace continues this weekend with the arrival of Paramount’s anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The sequel to 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog sees the return of director Jeff Fowler, stars Jim Carrey and James Marsden and the vocal talent of Ben Schwartz (as the title character). Also joining the cast this time along are Tails the Fox (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey) and Knuckles the Echidna (voiced by Idris Elba). While the additions of Tails and Knuckles to the film may not really expand the audience of the first film, they should help bring out that existing audience again for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will be playing in a wide 4,234 locations this weekend and while the film isn’t playing on IMAX screens, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is playing on other PLF screens this weekend. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had select previews on Wednesday and will have traditional Thursday preview shows beginning as early as 3PM. This past weekend, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 started out its international run with an estimated $25.5 million from 31 international markets.
Back in February of 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog debuted with respective three-day and four-day holiday openings of $58.02 million and $70.00 million. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 having a three-day opening somewhere in between those two figures feels reasonable, especially as a high-profile sequel. One factor that could limit Sonic the Hedgehog 2 from truly breaking out this weekend is that while the film is getting a high amount of average showtimes per location, relatively speaking Sonic the Hedgehog 2 doesn’t look to be getting quite as many showtimes per location as a number of other recent high-profile films with similar opening weekend potential (due in part to the number of average showtimes per location going to both Morbius and Ambulance this weekend). On the average, critical reviews for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 have been solid, which is good by the standards of most video game based films and is similar to the critical reviews for Sonic the Hedgehog. BoxOfficeReport is predicting that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will debut with $67.0 million this weekend. That would give the film a strong per-location average of $15,824 for the frame and would represent the second largest opening weekend of 2022 to date (behind only The Batman).
Meanwhile, it will likely be a close race for a distant second place this weekend between Sony’s Morbius (in its second weekend) and Universal’s Ambulance (in its first weekend).
Last weekend Morbius debuted in first place with $39.01 million. While that was in line with expectations, the film’s daily holds have left a lot to be desired thus far, due in part to largely poor critical reviews, lackluster word of mouth (the film received a C+ rating on CinemaScore) and built-in front-loading to begin with. Morbius is also losing a high percentage of its average showtimes per location from last weekend; though at the same time that average will still be relatively high as a result of having such a high starting point last weekend. Morbius will also be losing its IMAX screens to Ambulance this weekend. With everything in mind, look for Morbius to fall a very sharp 73 percent from last weekend for a second weekend take of $10.7 million.
Universal’s action thriller Ambulance was directed by Michael Bay and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza González. Ambulance is opening in 3,412 locations this weekend and as mentioned, will be playing on IMAX screens. Thursday previews for the film start at 7PM. Similarly to Sonic the Hedgehog 2, critical reviews on the average for Ambulance have been solid. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much pre-release buzz surrounding Ambulance and in general the film feels like the type of film that likely would have performed better in years gone by than it will now in the current theatrical environment. Ambulance has also been a modest performer internationally thus far with $18.7 million through this past Sunday (after three frames). On the other hand, Ambulance could still benefit from walk-up business throughout the weekend, especially with the film playing on more than a single screen at many locations. BoxOfficeReport is predicting that Ambulance will debut with $10.3 million this weekend (for a weekend per-location average of $3,019).
As for some of this weekend’s other holdovers, declines should be fairly sizable due in part to this weekend’s two new wide releases and one semi-wide expansion. Paramount’s The Lost City could decline 44 percent from last weekend to take fourth place with $8.3 million, Warner’s The Batman could decrease a similar 45 percent to round out the weekend’s top five with $6.0 million and with new direct competition from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sony’s Uncharted could fall 47 percent to land in seventh with $1.95 million.
This weekend also sees the semi-wide expansion of A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once to an estimated 1,200 locations. The critically acclaimed film was directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as Daniels) and stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis. Due in part to its terrific critical reception, Everything Everywhere All At Once has been a strong performer in platform release; having grossed $1.83 million through this past Sunday (after grossing $1.08 million this past weekend from just 38 locations). With regard to this weekend’s expansion, one of the better comparisons for Everything Everywhere All At Once could prove to be A24’s Ex Machina, which grossed $5.35 million from its first weekend of semi-wide release back in April of 2015 (which also followed two weeks of platform release). Everything Everywhere All at Once could take in $5.6 million this weekend, which would represent a 419 percent increase over last weekend and place the film in sixth among all films this weekend.