Weekend Box Office (December 2 - 4, 2016)
THIS WEEKEND Typically one of the slowest weekends of the entire year, the frame following the busy Thanksgiving holiday session usually sees studios avoid programming any major titles for fear of getting overlooked. Such is the case this year with only one new film going into wide release plus another pic debuting in moderate play. Over the last few years, the Top 20 over this belt-tightening weekend always dropped 45-55% from the prior frame.
The demonic chiller Incarnate starring Aaron Eckhart hits screens everywhere this weekend hoping to tap into fright fans wanting something dark and sinister. The PG-13 pic from High Top has limited appeal and the target audience will be saving that cash for bigger, more high profile tentpoles this winter. Plus horror films usually do not attract large audiences in December when people want more cheery content. Hitting over 1,700 locations, Incarnate might open to around $4M this weekend which may not be enough to reach the top five.
The uplifting Christmas drama Believe goes after the faith-based crowd in just over 600 locations. Freestyle releases and will have a clearly outlined audience for the PG-rated film but national potential is still limited. An opening weekend of nearly $2M may result.
Reviews are strong for Jackie with plenty of awards buzz swirling for Natalie Portman as the former First Lady. Fox Searchlight kicks off its run with a 5-theater platform opening in New York and Los Angeles ahead of a roll out throughout the month as buzz spreads.
Disney hopes to stay at number one for a second weekend with its animated hit Moana which has been generating great buzz. Films typically fall big on the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday frame so a 55% drop would be considered a pretty good hold. That would put Maui and pals at about $25M and a new cume of $116M.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them got off to a slower start than expected but held well over the turkey frame. A 55% decline may be in order here too putting Warner Bros. at about $20M for the weekend. The cume would climb to $185M while the global tally races towards $600M.
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Watch the trailer for Wonder Woman.
LAST YEAR It was mostly the same faces as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 three-peated with $18.9M falling 64% from the Thanksgiving session. The holiday horror pic Krampus did good business opening in second with $16.3M on its way to $42.7M for Universal. Leftovers followed with The Good Dinosaur dropping to $15.3M, Creed taking in $15M, and SPECTRE grossing $5.5M.
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: December 1, 2016 at 1:45PM ET
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