Weekend Forecast: ‘Deadpool’ to Slice Through Trio of Newcomers

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After a shockingly strong start over Presidents’ Day Weekend, Deadpool is easily set to rule the box office once again, while three newcomers will likely fail to generate any major interest.

Deadpool managed to gross over $150M over its four day start, so how well will it do this weekend? Well, surprisingly, the film was not nearly as front loaded as expected, falling just 10% on Saturday (as opposed to 25% for Watchmen.) In addition to this, the A Cinemascore is a good sign that it won’t fall over 60% this weekend. A drop of 55% would give it a massive $59.4M. In addition to this, the weekday grosses have also been quite strong, adding over $20M on Tuesday and Wednesday alone. This strong word of mouth and continued excitement is a good sign that this was not a one-and-done front loaded fan event like many perceived it to be.

As far as newcomers, Risen is likely to be the highest of the bunch. The Biblical drama cost $20M to produce and has a pretty surprisingly strong 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, while many Christian dramas tend to be very poorly received. Also coincidental is that Ralph Finnes stars, who also recently had a major part in Hail, Caesar!, a film more or less about making the type of film that Risen is. Films like these are not an instant success, however; War Room grossed nearly $70M, while 90 Seconds In Heaven (released just 3 weeks later) grossed just $4M. God’s Not Dead and Son of God both grossed about $60M a piece, but Woodlawn did just $14M. For one reason or another, Springtime has become a hugely popular season for this type of film, with Miracles from HeavenThe Young MessiahGod’s Not Dead 2 and now Risen all hitting theaters over the span of just a few months. However, Risen doesn’t seem as compelling or cinematic as some of those other titles, and will probably fail to hit $10M for the weekend.

For the complete opposite of Risen, look no further than A24’s The Witch, a low budget festival acquisition that did the rounds of online hype and strong early reviews last fall, before getting a release in 1,800 theaters this weekend. That seems like the perfect size release for a film like this, as it isn’t quite mainstream enough to be accepted by the same audience as something like The Boy or The Forest, but it still seems creepy and interesting enough to top the $5M mark this weekend. This film continues in the trend of microbudget indie horror films getting wider releases, such as It Follows or The Gallows. With a very strong 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and a production budget of just $1M, its hard to imagine this being too much of a disaster.

Finally, running biopic Race sprints into a little over 2,300 theaters. The film cost just $5M to produce and currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 63%. That’s a fine enough score, as the World War II Olympics setting seems interesting enough to bring in a small crowd on opening weekend. Even if the film does look a little cheap, it isn’t something that seems something more suited to TV, but again, a $5M budget isn’t likely to end up being a major flop. An opening in the high single digits would be a solid result.

As far as holdovers, Zoolander 2 is likely going to crash after a very slow start, How To Be Single is probably going to take a hit post-Valentine’s weekend, and Kung Fu Panda 3 should manage to stay in the top 3.

Weekend Predictions

  1. Deadpool – $57.5M
  2. Kung Fu Panda 3 – $12M
  3. Risen – $7.5M
  4. Race – $7M
  5. The Witch – $6.5M

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