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Weekend Forecast for December 25-27, 2015

By Reagen Sulewski

December 24, 2015

She's way more enterprising than the majority of Star Wars people...other than the Jawas, maybe.

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Director Adam McKay... of Anchorman fame... heads this and seems to have delivered a solid, if unspectacular take on the material. In a couple of weekends of limited release, it has produced okay numbers, but will need worth-of-mouth to carry it through to awards and larger success. This weekend, I expect about $12 million.

Will Smith movies have a good relationship with Christmas time, but Concussion is not exactly that kind of film. The story of the doctor who discovered the link between football head trauma and CTE, the brain disease that is ravishing its way through the pro ranks and his battles with the NFL for recognition, it is not anything in the way of “feel good,” but very much an Important Story. Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, who faced stiff opposition in his research, no doubt in part to being African, and in large part because it's the NFL, with billions of dollars at stake.

Concussion is billed to some degree as “the film the NFL doesn't want you to see,” but also was made in consultation with them, so it's kind of confusing, not to mention that a whole bunch of ads ran for it during NFL games. As an Earnest Issue Drama, Concussion is hoping to tread some of the same path as The Insider and Erin Brockovich, but does not appear to really have the same impact on the big screen. While likely well-acted and competently produced, it's sort of just there, despite its big names (including Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, David More, and a weirdly miscast Luke Wilson as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell). While there's been a ton of ad support, it's not the kind of topic that really brings people out without critical acclaim, and I think it should open with a modest $11 million.




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In the “unnecessary remake” file, we have Point Break, which adapts its “undercover FBI agent gets too close” story to modern times and moves from the world of surfing to extreme sports. Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey play the Swazye and Keanu parts respectively, capturing the “brashly suave” and “earnestly wooden” acting profiles pretty exactly. In this version of the film, Ramirez is the leader of an anarchist group that robs banks, then distributes the funds via plane drop to impoverished areas, then has a bit of a thrill ride while he's at it.

The question might be why remake this at all, but savvy film viewers will note that it was remade in all but name as The Fast and the Furious, a franchise that has now made enough money to become its own economy. This Point Break takes the DP from the first film of that series for its director, so he at least knows of what he talks about. Truth be told, the stunts actually look interesting, but that's difficult to hang a film on these days without a solid name in either of the lead roles. Review-wise it's been held from critics, for the most part, and looks like a bit of a dud, so about $8 million seems right here.

Which brings us to the 500 pound gorilla, Star Wars, the film that shattered the opening weekend record with $248 million in its start. While Christmas lifts even the mega blockbusters – look back at things like Avatar, the Lord of the Rings films, even I Am Legend, a straight repeat of that weekend just isn't happening, for multiple reasons. For one thing, $57 million of that was tied up in Thursday night sneaks, which simply won't happen this time around. Furthermore, a lot of last weekend's performance came from a rush to see the film before it became spoiled by all and sundry. And while most fans are at least satisfied with the film, there's a small amount of pushback against it as being a pretty big retread of A New Hope. Mind you, we're starting from a massive, massive number so it's a massive number for weekend two just to start with. Taking the “true” Friday number of $62 million as a starting point, I expect a spectacular Christmas Day followed by a larger drop over the rest of the weekend, with about $133 million in store here.

Our returning films should fare a little better relatively speaking, as they don't have front-loaded audiences to deal with. Alvin and the Chipmunks should use its family friendly (quote-unquote) audience to good use, improving somewhat to about $18 million this weekend. The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters will get a slighter uptick to $14 million.

Faring well will be films like Mockingjay Part 2 and The Good Dinosaur, whose audiences were both hurt by the opening of Star Wars and gain from their audiences now having extra free time. I expect about $8 million for both, while Creed should see a nice jump to $7 million.


Forecast: Weekend of December 25-27, 2015
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 4,134 No change 133.5
2 Daddy's Home 3,271 New 18.6
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip 3,705 +52 17.9
4 Sisters 2,962 No change 14.5
5 Joy 2,896 New 13.4
6 The Big Short 1,585 +1,577 12.6
7 Concussion 2,841 New 11.0
8 Point Break 2,910 New 8.9
9 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 1,813 -840 7.9
10 The Good Dinosaur 2,134 -621 6.2

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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