We're two weeks away from the big Christmas box office season so we're sure to be inundated by a huge number of... hold on... just a minute here... maybe under these papers here... Well. So. This is certainly something?
Weekend Forecast for December 7-9, 2018
By Reagen Sulewski
December 6, 2018
There are rare weekends on the movie schedule that are dead zones, where releasing a movie simply doesn't make sense for complicated sociological and business reasons. New Year's Eve is one, Labor Day another. The post-Thanksgiving weekend (i.e. last weekend) is another, but here we are, one weekend past that, and zero new wide releases make their way into the marketplace. The extra-long gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas has convinced studios to hold their powder dry for the Christmas season and its two-week period where you can throw just about as many wide releases as you can find space for, and all will be lifted by the rising tide.
The key to this tactic working: having a significant enough box office at the time Christmas rolls around so that there's enough of a boat to lift with the tide. Avoiding that extra week of decay can mean millions to the final box office total when it's multiplied several times over. Studios are testing this idea in the most extreme fashion to date by withholding every key December release until next weekend, leaving the Thanksgiving and earlier films to romp and play one more week, undisturbed by anything other than a Schindler's List re-release, though a few of those returning films are taking the opportunity to grab up a handful of extra venues while the getting is good.
To address that one point first, the 25th anniversary release of Spielberg's masterpiece about the Holocaust is, sadly, as relevant and necessary as ever – perhaps more so than it was originally made. It is, however, a re-release, and the number of films that make a splash in these days of digital delivery is extremely small. Possibly of significance here is that it currently sits at $96 million domestic, and any kind of run should push it over the $100 million mark. This isn't quite a Titanic situation, though, and on its 1,000 or so venues, it should come in with around $3 million this weekend.
Two animated films will rule again at the top of the box office, with Ralph Breaks the Internet getting a third weekend at #1 by default. While Thanksgiving makes this a difficult comparison, it's running about $15 million ahead of the first Wreck-It-Ralph film on a day by day basis, and should find itself with at least a bit of business over Christmas. However, I can't help but think Disney had higher overall hopes for this sequel, and a third film in the series is probably not being rushed into production. I'd expect $15 million this weekend.
The Grinch moved past $200 million over last weekend and is probably pretty desperate to make it to that Christmas season. While Thanksgiving versus Christmas is probably an even trade for movies, making it through both holidays is the real prize, and with its thematic resonance, The Grinch has the best chance of jumping that canyon. This weekend though, it should manage about $12 million.
Our other significant films this weekend include Creed II, which should break the $100 million mark next weekend, after around $9 million this frame, Fantastic Beasts, which is spiraling and likely to end up short of $175 million, after $7 million this weekend, and Bohemian Rhapsody, which may see a small boost from several Golden Globe nominations, earning it $5 million in its sixth weekend.