Weekend Box Office (February 17 - 20, 2017)
THIS WEEKEND The Presidents Day holiday on Monday leads to a long four-day frame and with three different new releases arriving to join a crop of strong sophomore holdovers, grosses look to swell given all the variety that ticket buyers will have. Leading the way is the epic adventure The Great Wall starring Matt Damon which finally enters North America, a market that will be more like gravy since overseas territories have already seen $224.5M in sales including $171M from China.
Interest in this PG-13 Universal release is not too high on this side of the world so don't expect Mr. Bourne to score another number one hit here. Reviews are lackluster and the marketplace has plenty of other titles offering action or thrills. Wall should work for those who are looking for nothing more than escapism filled with plenty of visual effects. Others may end up choosing another option for their weekend fun. Invading over 3,300 theaters, The Great Wall could pull in around $20M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend.
Reviews are not hot for the new comedy Fist Fight, however this one will sell itself more on starpower, laughs, and concept. The R-rated pic stars Ice Cube and Charlie Day as two teachers set up for an afterschool brawl and trailers and commercials have been good. Cube has been a reliable box office draw for decades and the concept could work over this school holiday weekend. Audience buzz spreading on social media from the first shows will have an impact on where it ends up going. There are no major comedy titles for adults right now so this one should have no direct competition. Entering more than 3,000 theaters, Fist Fight could collect about $16M over four days this weekend.
The new psychological thriller A Cure for Wellness looks to take a smaller slice of the pie this weekend. The R-rated pic from Fox may appeal to older teens and adults looking for something scary, although spending on this genre has been strong already this year so another offering may only excite so many. Opening in over 2,700 locations, A Cure For Wellness might take in about $8M over four days.
Warner Bros. has every intention of topping the box office for a second straight weekend with The LEGO Batman Movie. The super hero toon may have opened well below The LEGO Movie from the same time of year three years earlier, but buzz is good and kids on school break will be looking for something like this for entertainment over the long weekend. The four-day gross may drop down to around $42M pushing the cume to a robust $110M after Monday.
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Watch the trailer for The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.
LAST YEAR The weekend after the Presidents Day holiday frame saw the same pair of Fox films lead the way. Deadpool dominated with $56.5M in its sophomore session and Kung Fu Panda 3 banked $12.5M in its fourth lap. New films Risen and The Witch posted decent openings with $11.8M and $8.8M, respectively. How To Be Single rounded out the top five with $8.2M.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: February 16, 2017 at 3:00PM ET
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