Weekend Forecast for November 4-6, 2016

By Reagen Sulewski

November 4, 2016

Do you have it in black?

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Based, kinda, on the classic troll dolls and brought to life by the Shrek team, it's a syrupy sweet, brightly colored fantasy film that pitches young despite its top shelf cast (which also includes Zooey Deschanel, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Russell Brand, John Cleese and Jeffrey Tambor). The animation actually looks slightly repellent to these eyes, but I suppose it's the cute kind of ugly, so fine. Building a storyline around a group of decades-old toys is a not-bad idea for a kid's film, and this basically hits that baseline level of trying that a production needs to qualify as a tentpole. But it's the marketing push and DreamWorks' track record that will drive this to a solid $35 million this weekend.

Lastly, we have November's first Oscar relevant film in Hacksaw Ridge, a film about the United States' first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor. Desmond Doss saved the lives of 75 wounded men by evacuating them from the line of fire. Following him from his early, traumatic life, through to boot camp and his struggle to be recognized, then to his heroism in battle, it's a little-known tale of patriotism and war, filled with beautifully and terrifyingly shot battle scenes, which would ordinarily put it well up in front of the Oscar discussion.

And yet. Directed by Mel Gibson, previously an Oscar winner for Braveheart ('oh, right', you're saying), it's got... some baggage to carry, though the fact that Gibson has been offered such a mainstream film to direct does show that there's been some level of reconciliation between him and Hollywood proper, or at least part of it. This seems to be the main test of whether Gibson's name has been rehabilitated or whether he's still poison, even when not on screen (it seems a sort of fitting question this election year). That may seem unfair to the film, but reality is what it is.


Andrew Garfield plays Doss in full hayseed mode, with Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths adding to the cast. Reviews are strong, but the ads are less than compelling, and Garfield's acting seems more than a bit corny (really his only mode). The film's most obvious connection is Unbroken, the Angelina Jolie directed film about an Olympian captured by the Japanese in WWII, but Hacksaw Ridge has too many hurdles to overcome to reach that film's $30 million opening (which did, of course, include holiday box office). I'd expect this to have a decent $17 million start.

Tyler Perry will yield the top spot after two weeks with A Madea Halloween, taking advantage of the Halloween weekend to have a solid dropoff and break $50 million domestic. That ends now as the normal Tyler Perry activity kicks in, and Halloween moves into the rear view mirror. It should drop to about $7 million.

The latest Madea outing won last weekend thanks to the severe under-performance of Inferno, the latest Robert Langdon film. Opening to just $15 million, this represents more than an 80% drop in opening weekends from The Da Vinci Code, and surely kills this franchise dead, even with the more modest budget this series was hoping to go forward with. I expect things to get worse from here, and just $5 million for this weekend seems likely. Hopefully, Ron Howard and Tom Hanks can avoid further career damage from this.

Forecast: Weekend of November 4-6, 2016
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Doctor Strange 3,882 New 85.4
2 Trolls 4,060 New 34.7
3 Hacksaw Ridge 2,800 New 17.0
4 Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween N/A N/A 7.6
5 Inferno N/A N/A 5.5
6 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back N/A N/A 4.7
7 The Accountant N/A N/A 4.4
8 Ouija: Origin of Evil N/A N/A 3.7
9 The Girl on the Train N/A N/A 2.5
10 Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children N/A N/A 2.3

Continued:       1       2



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