With three new wide releases and plenty of holdovers, it’s going to be a very busy weekend at the box office. Star Trek Beyond is poised to easily take first place, while newcomer horror film Lights Out seems as though it could become a sleeper hit. Finally, Ice Age: Collision Course will likely continue the trend of lower and lower domestic grosses in the aging franchise.
Star Trek Beyond marks the third installment in the rebooted franchise, after Into Darkness took in slightly lower domestic numbers than its predecessor. That was a bit surprising given the 3D and IMAX boost and the first films extremely strong reputation, but ultimately these two sequels have essentially just been more of the same. Strong reviews should help this latest installment (88% on Rotten Tomatoes), and a lack of major blockbusters this summer should help push this past the $50 million mark.
Ice Age: Collision Course is the fifth installment in the animated franchise, which seems to get lower and lower domestic results with every installment. So why do they keep getting made? Well, the fourth film only made $161 million domestically, but a whopping $715 million internationally. That $800M+ total makes it very appealing given that the films only cost around $100 million to produce.
Finally, Lights Out seems poised to jump on an unusually under served market; that of the PG-13 supernatural horror. So far the only major films released in 2016 that fall into this category are The Boy and The Forest, both of which were released upwards of six months ago. The Conjuring 2 managed to pull in an impressive $101 million, but that was rated R. That teenage demographic of 13-16 often propels films like Insidious, Mama, The Last Exorcism, The Visit, Ouija and more to ridiculous levels of profitability against very low budgets. Lights Out is no exception, carrying a production budget of just $4.9 million and a cheap marketing campaign that has primarily targeted the online audience. The simple yet effective premise, strong reviews and genuinely creepy advertising seems set to make this a big win. A good comparison could be The Shallows, which took in $17 million back in June. Considering all of this films added benefits, a debut of over $20 million seems possible.
After last week’s so-so opening, Ghostbusters will live or die based on its long term performance. Director Paul Feig stated in an interview that the film would need around $500 million worldwide in order to become profitable, and a lack of a Chinese release is going to make that very difficult. The rush of fans and curious moviegoers going out to see it on opening weekend, combined with the loss of many 3D and IMAX screens to Ice Age and Star Trek will likely see a drop of over 55%.
Bar for Success
Star Trek Beyond carries a $150 million budget, lower than the $190 million for Into Darkness, so it can’t be expected to pull in similar numbers. If it can hit around $55 million for the weekend, that’s a win. Ice Age should be hitting around $35 million, while Lights Out is fine at $10 million.
- Star Trek Beyond – $59M
- Ice Age: Collision Course – $34M
- The Secret Life of Pets – $24M
- Ghostbusters – $20M
- Lights Out – $19M