Weekend Forecast: Can Massive-Budget ‘Revenant’ Find Mainstream Success?


After two very strong weeks in limited release, massive budgeted Frontier epic The Revenant finally goes wide. Meanwhile, The Forest also opens, while Star Wars will easily take first again.

The Revenant more than doubled its original production budget during production, going from a reasonable $65M to a whopping $135M. 20th Century Fox does seem to have quite a bit of faith in the finished product, as they are pushing it into a massive 3,375 theaters this weekend. That’s way more than The Hateful Eight‘s 2,474 from just last weekend. Originally, both were set to release this weekend, but The Hateful Eight made a last minute decision to push it forward one week in order to avoid direct competition. This was likely a good idea, even though The Revenant is going for a much more broad adult audience, while The Hateful Eight was pretty much exclusively going for Tarantino fans. It doesn’t seem unreasonable that The Revenant opens to over $25M this weekend.

Also opening in wide release is low budget horror film The Forest. The first weekend of January has seen a supernatural horror film every year since 2011. Typically, they have found moderate success, usually fueled by their microscopic budgets. The Forest carries a modest $10M price tag, which is even above average compared to films such as Insidious or Sinister. The trailer and concept garnered some controversy, as some found the use of the very real suicide forest as a location for a horror film to be very insensitive. Still, it’s a PG-13 supernatural horror film releasing in January, so it should be able to pull in around $10M. Unsurprisingly, it’s gotten slammed by critics (currently at an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes) but the supernatural horror genre is, more than any other, review proof.

Christian sports drama The Masked Saint gets a very small 480 theater release this weekend. The $3.5M film has gotten a very light marketing campaign, and seems to have learn from last October’s Woodlawn that these films aren’t always a slam dunk. War Room was certainly the exception to the rule, making about 6 times as much as Woodlawn. Speaking of which, Woodlawn was released in over 1,500 theaters, while this is in less than half of that. A gross under $1M seems likely.

Weekend Predictions

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $48.5M
  2. The Revenant – $32M
  3. Daddy’s Home – $21M
  4. Sisters – $9.5M
  5. The Hateful Eight – $8M

Bar for Success

With a fairly massive $135M budget, The Revenant needs at least $25M this weekend to be in good shape, while The Forest is fine at $10M.

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Weekend Report: ‘Star Wars’ Repeats, ‘Hateful Eight’ Solid



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