Weekend Box Office Forecast
By Kim Hollis
April 18, 2019
You'd be forgiven for having absolutely no idea that three new wide release movies are arriving in theaters this weekend. Well, technically, two of them debuted yesterday, but they barely earned enough to merit mentioning.
The wider of yesterday's two new films was Breakthrough, a faith-based film that Disney inherited when it acquired Fox. Based on true events, the story follows a young hockey player who falls through the ice and ends up in a coma as a result. His parents keep a vigil and their faith in God as they pray for his recovery.
Breakthrough earned $1.9 million yesterday, which is probably okay given that it's a small-scale project with an extremely niche audience. Since it's Easter weekend, families may find reason to get out and see it on Friday and Saturday (though likely not Sunday, because Easter isn't a great box office day). I'd estimate around $6 million for the weekend, which will put it at around $9 million after five days.
Also from Disney, this time in the form of their DisneyNature imprint, is Penguins. Yet another in their long line of nature documentaries, this one clearly hoped to recapture some of the magic found by March of the Penguins back in 2005. It... did not, but no worries. It'll be a staple of the new Disney+ over-the-top subscription service debuting later this year. After $500,000 yesterday, I think it might manage $3 million from Friday-to-Sunday, $4 million in five days.
The "big" new release comes in the form of a film loosely connected to the Conjuring franchise. I guess the awfulness of The Nun wasn't enough to convince us that spin-offs other than Annabelle are a terrible idea, so here we have The Curse of La Llorona, connected to The Conjuring/Annabelle via the presence of Father Perez from Annabelle. Anyway, this one is produced by James Wan's Atomic Monster Productions but has seen *very* little in the way of marketing. Since horror buffs will likely want to see it, I'll estimate $15 million or so for the weekend. That's probably plenty fine, as I'm sure this one was filmed on a super tight budget.
Beyond new releases, we'll have Shazam! returning once again, probably finishing in second place with around $14 million. It crossed the $100 million mark on Wednesday, so it's already earned its budget back in North America alone. Even better, it's given DC a film they can be proud of - a Superman movie better than any of the ones produced so far this century.
The limited release Teen Spirit, featuring Elle Fanning, expands this weekend to 696 locations. I'd estimate it will finish with around $1.5 million or so, though I've actually seen a lot more marketing for this one than La Llorona.