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Weekend Forecast for January 15-17, 2016

By Reagen Sulewski

January 15, 2016

Are we *that* desperate to reach this demographic?

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Led by the unlikely choice of John Krasinski, freshly buffed up for the role, it also has a couple of decently known names – like James Badge Dale and Pablo Schreiber, but we're clearly not dealing with star power as the main driver. Instead, we are going after the same people who have only seen Lone Survivor and American Sniper in the last couple years – and probably a Nicolas Sparks film. It's perhaps one of the more cynically targeted films I've seen on an important (but loaded) subject in some time. Both of those films became surprise hits thanks to tapping under-served markets, which 13 Hours hopes to copy, but a difference here is that the film is both too politically charged, and doesn't have the same appearance of quality, instead giving off a mawkish look. It should still be quite successful in the range of Lone Survivor, but with an opening weekend of around $27 million.

While January is becoming a better month for many films, it is still a general rule that any family film released this early in the year is straight up garbage, as why would you release it now rather than two weeks ago when you could capitalize on the kids being out of school? Such is the case with Norm of the North, a film rescued (salvaged?) from direct-to-video release. Starring Rob Schneider (ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) as a polar bear displaced to New York by... encroaching condo development? You know what? I'm out. This is an insane, ugly looking film with an insulting-looking plot and nothing resembling jokes. It should manage about $8 million based on people who accidentally walk into the theater.




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With returning films, The Revenant finds itself in a relatively unique position of having opened the week before nominations, and to a much larger figure than expected. Now with 12 nominations, it has a chance to improve on its $39 million opening, or at least not drop as much as expected. A large part of why it might not bump up on that number is how challenging and alienating a film it is, while it also suffers from a lot of people having seen it in anticipation of awards. Usually when films get bumps in box office, it's on the order of a few million since they've already been out for a month or two. Last year saw American Sniper open to a massive number right after being nominated – which undoubtedly was a help but not the real reason it did so. I'd expect it to grab a great second weekend of about $32 million for a close run at first place.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also grabbed some nominations, but no major ones, and shouldn't benefit much from those – dropping to about $23 million, as it starts to hit a major slide in its takes. Daddy's Home should drop to around $9 million, meeting The Big Short on the way up, as one of the other major Best Picture contenders grabs an audience. Horror film The Forest should fall to about $5 million, with other major nominees, Room, Carol, Brooklyn and Spotlight likely to make minor moves this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of January 15-17, 2016
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Ride Along 2 3,176 New 45.5
2 The Revenant 3,559 +184 32.4
3 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi 2,389 New 27.0
4 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3,822 -312 23.5
5 Daddy's Home 3,322 -161 9.2
6 The Big Short 1,765 -764 8.8
7 Norm of the North 2,411 New 7.8
8 The Forest 2,509 +58 5.7
9 Sisters 2,309 -555 4.2
10 Joy 1,796 -717 3.6

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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