A rare November edition of the post-Thanksgiving weekend amplifies the depressive effect on new releases for this period. One extra week in the calendar before Christmas in this format means no one's risking anything of any value in this slot, and we're given nothing of any real import for new wide releases, though limited runs continue to add value.
Weekend Forecast for November 30-December 2, 2018
By Reagen Sulewski
November 30, 2018
The Possession of Hannah Grace has a germ of an interesting idea – what happens *after* The Exorcist? Shay Mitchell, late of Pretty Little Liars, plays a police officer returning from rehab and an “incident” who can only obtain employment on the night shift at a morgue. While this seems like the kind of job you can't screw up, things get complicated when a body is brought in from what's claimed to be a failed exorcism. And in the case of a failed exorcism, well, the demon is still around, waiting to inhabit a new host. A morgue is creepy place to begin with, not to mention at night, and so when Mitchell's character starts to hear noises and see... things... well, that's downright unsettling.
I've possibly given this more credit for creativity than it deserves, since it basically looks like Jump Scare: The Movie. Directed by a Dutch director making his English debut and starring basically no one you've ever heard of, it's a perfect candidate for a post-holiday dumping ground. A sparse ad campaign, a release at around 2,000 venues and no critical reviews all point towards something that's being abandoned to its fate. While horror films don't need much to be profitable, with a $9.5 million budget, this could be a rare case of one that loses money, even with the low stakes. I'd expect an opening weekend of around $3 million.
Thus, Wreck it Ralph 2 has a pretty easy pathway to a second weekend at the top spot. The animated sequel scored $56 million last weekend, and $84 million over five days, which is likely something of a disappointment given that it represents a less than 15 percent bump from the first film's opening weekend. The five-day number maybe softens that a bit, and a release closer to Christmas means that it can probably hang on for some of that sweet sweet holiday cash, but it's probably a $225 million film, instead of the $275 million that might have been expected from a popular sequel. For its second weekend, it should bring in about $33 million.
Creed II had a 20 percent bump off its most recent predecessor, after it raised the stakes from Adonis Creed's first title fight to his showdown with the son of the boxer that killed his father in the ring. That's a more even comparison, considering both films were released on Thanksgiving, and there wasn't as much expectation of growth in the franchise, though Michael B. Jordan is quickly solidifying his place as a box office superstar. Just... stay away from the Terminator franchise, okay? Free advice there. I'd look for $21 million here this weekend.
The Grinch had a very solid holdover on this holiday weekend with $30 million and edged past the second weekend of The Crimes of Grindelwald. While some of that could be put on it being a great weekend for family films, that doesn't account for the sizable drop from the Harry Potter spinoff. The holiday theme and general inoffensiveness should allow for a sizable run should it make it to the holiday weekend with significant earnings. The holdover fairy won't be as nice to the Grinch as it was this weekend, though a $19 million weekend is certainly possible.
Fantastic Beasts 2, meanwhile, is in a bit of trouble. It's running $40 million behind the first film day and date, which suggests at best a $190 million final total. I'd suggest it's closer to $175 million, though the international figures are going to remain much more lucrative. There's little good news coming for it this weekend, as it should fall to about $14 million.
Bohemian Rhapsody and Instant Family both had drops of less than 15 percent on Thanksgiving, showing that they were excellent compromise picks, and that there was possibly a mistake made in not putting Instant Family in the Christmas period, where its basically inoffensive and middle-of-the-road comedy could have cleaned up. Still, things look better for it than they initially looked, and a third weekend of $9 million is in the running. The Queen bio should earn about the same this frame, as the holiday audiences disperse a little.