Without much in terms of competition, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is all but guaranteed to take first place, even if it suffers a massive fall.
To get a good guess as to how it will hold, we have to look at some comparable titles that were near as frontloaded. It made up over 49% of its weekend on Friday, which basically means its set for a massive drop this weekend. If it ends up closer to Watchmen, that’s a problem. Anything higher than a 65% is a very bad sign, especially for a film like this. Often times, mixed word of mouth can actually be more damaging than bad word of mouth, and Batman V Superman has been one of the most polarizing blockbusters in quite some time. A B Cinemascore, an atrocious 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and tons of bad buzz online all point to a massive drop for the weekend, but only time will tell.
In terms of new releases, God’s Not Dead 2 will be the biggest of the bunch in over 2,300 theaters (an exact count has not been released yet) while Meet the Blacks is getting a surprisingly wide 1,000 theater release. However, horror parodies have all but disappeared off the radar in the last decade, and this one in particular happens to have an extremely cheap look to it, and would likely fare better getting a VOD release or a theatrical release in a few dozen theaters, so the fact that it’s getting such a wide release is pretty shocking.
God’s Not Dead 2 comes out just over 2 years after its predecessor, which was a big surprise hit, grossing over $9M in its opening weekend in just 780 theaters, and went on to make over $60M total. That’s basically what happened with War Room, though whether or not audiences will be up for a sequel is yet to be seen. The film seems to be going much more political, with the plot focusing on a school teacher in a legal battle, rather than the first films college campus setting. This could end up benefitting the film, as the current political race could fuel interest in the government-oriented setting. This was likely an intentional decision on the part of distributor Pureflix, who realized they could capitalize off of the controversey.
Also getting a wide expansion is Eye in the Sky, a military drone thriller starring Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul. It also happens to be the last major screen role of actor Alan Rickman, which could potentially end up increasing interest. So far, the film has received heavy critical acclaim, but it hasn’t gotten much of a marketing push, making this nationwide release a bit of a head scratcher. It did do very well in limited release, but don’t expect this to do more than $3M this weekend.
Also going into limited release is David Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!, which opened on Wednesday in 5 theaters and averaged a solid $6.7K. It will also expand into 19 theaters for the weekend. That’s a solid start for a film that definitely seemed more oriented to a mainstream audience, and it will likely get a nationwide expansion in the next month or so.
A24 is re-releasing The Witch into 666 theaters, as part of their viral marketing scheme, mostly focusing on the character Black Phillip. The film has already made over $24M domestically, which is pretty fantastic for a $1M festival acquisition. This trend seems to be getting popular with studios like A24 and STX Entertainment, the latter of which has Hardcore Henry scheduled for wide release next weekend. This could possibly help the film cross $25M, which would be an excellent result.
Midnight Special is getting a light expansion into 58 theaters this weekend, up from 5 for the last two weeks. It doesn’t seem as though this will be getting a nationwide release, but it isn’t out of the question. The film has been performing very well, and will likely continue to rollout over the next few weeks.
As far as other holdovers from last weekend, Zootopia, 10 Cloverfield Lane and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 should continue to do well, while The Divergent Series: Allegiant seems set for another big drop. Miracles from Heaven will likely see an above average drop thanks to direct competition from God’s Not Dead 2, making it the fourth Christian film to be released in theaters since February.
Bar for Success
God’s Not Dead 2 shouldn’t be expected to match its predecessor, but since its being released into triple the amount of God’s Not Dead, $7M seems like a fair start. Meet the Blacks is fine at $5M.
- Batman V Superman – $53M
- Zootopia – $18M
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – $10M
- God’s Not Dead 2 – $8M
Meet the Blacks – $3M