Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.
Weekend Box Office Predictions:
This weekend Disney’s Thor: Love and Thunder is unleashed in theatres. The fourth Thor film sees the return of star Chris Hemsworth and also stars Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Russell Crowe and Natalie Portman. Taika Waititi, who directed 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, also directed Thor: Love and Thunder (and also has a role in the film). Thor: Love and Thunder will be playing in a wide 4,375 locations this weekend and will be playing on IMAX screens. Thursday preview shows for the film start at 3PM. Thor: Ragnarok debuted with $122.74 million, before going on to finish its domestic run with $315.06 million. Internationally, Thor: Love and Thunder started out with an estimated $15.7 million on Wednesday from 17 select international markets. According to Disney, in like-for-like markets, that was 39 percent stronger than Thor: Ragnarok and 24 percent behind Doctor Strange in the Mulitverse of Madness. On the average, critical reviews for Thor: Love and Thunder have been rather average and are clearly not on the same level as those for Thor: Ragnarok. That likely won’t have much of an effect on Thor: Love and Thunder this weekend, but it could come into play more beyond this weekend. As for this weekend, Thor: Love and Thunder should be able to outpace the opening weekend of Thor: Ragnarok by a noteworthy amount. BoxOfficeReport is predicting that Thor: Love and Thunder will debut with $151.0 million this weekend, which would represent the third largest opening weekend since the re-opening of domestic theatres (behind only fellow MCU films Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness).
Universal and Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru flew past all expectations last weekend with respective three-day and four-day holiday starts of $107.01 million and $123.09 million. While Minions: The Rise of Gru displayed early front-loading over the holiday weekend, the film stabilized very nicely on Tuesday and Wednesday. That could be a good sign for the film’s second weekend hold. Minions: The Rise of Gru also received a strong A rating on CinemaScore and will be holding onto a high percentage of its average showtimes per location from last weekend (though the film will be losing its IMAX screens to Thor: Love and Thunder). Back in 2015, Minions decreased 57 percent in its second weekend to gross $49.27 million, but Minions: The Rise of Gru could be looking at a second weekend decline more in line with the 54 percent 2017’s Despicable Me 3 declined in its second weekend to gross $33.58 million (in the face of the debut of Spider-Man: Homecoming). Look for Minions: The Rise of Gru to decline 53 percent this weekend, to place in second with a strong $50.0 million.
Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick is coming off of another terrific hold, which saw the Tom Cruise led blockbuster sequel decline just 13 percent to hold steady in second over the three-day frame with $25.89 million. With the new competition from Thor: Love and Thunder, Top Gun: Maverick will be losing a sizable amount of average showtimes per location this weekend, which will no doubt lead to a larger percentage decline this weekend. In addition, last weekend’s three-day performance for Top Gun: Maverick was inflated by the Independence Day holiday weekend. Top Gun: Maverick could decline a still solid 36 percent this weekend to place in third with $16.5 million, which would bring the film to the brink of the $600 million domestic mark. Beyond this weekend, Top Gun: Maverick is likely to quickly re-stabilize once again.
As for the weekend’s other major holdovers, the mentioned combination of losing significant showtimes due to the arrival of Thor: Love and Thunder and last weekend’s grosses being inflated by the holiday weekend, will likely lead to fairly significant declines this weekend. Warner’s Elvis, which has been displaying terrific holding power thus far, could decline 41 percent to take fourth with $10.8 million, Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion could decrease 46 percent to follow in fifth with $8.8 million, fellow Universal release The Black Phone could ease a similar 47 percent to claim sixth with $6.5 million and Disney’s Lightyear could fall 52 percent to land in seventh with $3.1 million.