Weekend Forecast

By Reagen Sulewski

January 12, 2017

No. NO.

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A film that's inspired many a blank stare or “please, no, you don't have to do this” from its trailers, Monster Trucks inflicts itself in wide release this weekend. An exceedingly literal title, based, so it goes, on a request from a studio executive's child, it features Lucas Till as a ninth year senior in high school whose truck becomes occupied by a tentacles monster/alien/something that lives on motor oil and which makes it capable of insane speed and tricks. There's a bit of an E.T. angle to this if you squint, but probably we should just put on some glasses and see it for what it is – an aggressively cartoonish action film pitched at no one whose age is in double digits.

Also starring Jane Levy, Barry Pepper, Rob Lowe (remaining very still and hoping we won't notice him), Thomas Lennon, Amy Ryan and Danny Glover, it's got a vaguely eco-friendly message, but looks spectacularly squirmy for anyone with any tolerance of cinema. The extreme kiddy-ness of this puts a pretty hard cap on the earnings, and its opening weekend should be about $7 million.

Sleepless sees the return of Jamie Foxx to crime drama, as he plays a possibly-corrupt undercover cop in Las Vegas whose son is abducted by a drug kingpin (Scott McNairy, in some hilarious casting), leading him to go on a rampage to get him back, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of an internal affairs officer (Michelle Monaghan, busy this week) convinced he's up to his neck in dirty (which, you know, he basically is).

The American debut of Swiss director Baran bo Odar (that's a name apparently), it also stars Gabrielle Union, David Harbour and Dermot Mulroney, and seems to be positioning itself as a cut rate Heat, but has been held back from reviewers in what is almost certainly an attempt to hide a turkey. Its ads actually look OK if cliche-filled, but there's a notable lack of studio support, and this should slide out of view pretty quickly after a $6 million opening weekend.

Horror fans might be satisfied by The Bye Bye Man, but I'd bet on not. It's actually a neat idea for a horror film, about a demon who starts stalking you as soon as you learn his name, making him the first... ok Ring fans, second horror film about a viral idea. After he tracks you down, you then proceed to commit fantastic atrocities, with the film positing that he's the root of all of humanity's evil acts.

However, that's about as far as it goes for the film's interesting ideas, and production values and acting simply aren't priorities for this film. Reviews have savaged it for its amateur hour display, and this might be a time when fans listen. An opening weekend of just $5 million is probably in the cards here.


Lastly, we have the expanding Silence, Martin Scorsese's latest. Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver star as Catholic priests in 17th century Japan attempting to locate a missing mentor (Liam Neeson) during a time when their very presence could have marked them for death. Based on a famous Japanese book, it's a meditation on faith and meaning, and far from an accessible film for most audiences. It's certainly quite different from what people expect from Scorsese films (but then, Kundun) even if it's perfectly in keeping with his themes throughout his career (he's a director who's never shied away from talking about his faith in cinematic terms). A dark horse candidate for Oscars largely on its pedigree, it's expanding to around 700 venues and should earn about $3 million this weekend.

Hidden Figures snuck out a slight win over Star Wars Rogue One, probably due to its better math skills. The film about African-American mathematicians in the middle of the Space Race earned just shy of $23 million. Thanks to its strong reviews, potential awards consideration and thematic resonance with this weekend, it have a good line on repeating at the top, and it will at least be an interesting contest as it shoots for $16 million.

Rogue One, as expected, took a large hit in its first post holiday weekend, dropping to $22 million and it's approaching the $500 million mark domestically, with around $1 billion worldwide. This weekend should see it fall to about $13 million.

Animated film Sing also took a hit after its audience went back to school and became busy again, dropping to about $21 million. I'd look for about $12 million this weekend. Meanwhile Golden Globe winner La La Land should get a small boost from its many awards last weekend, and it should hold close to its total last weekend of $10 million. In other holdovers, Underworld: Blood Wars should follow up its disappointing opening with an even greater disappointment this weekend, dropping to $6 million. Passengers will wrap up our relevant films with $5 million.

Forecast: Weekend of January 13-15, 2017
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Hidden Figures 3,286 +815 16.7
2 Patriot's Day 3,120 +3,113 16.0
3 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 3,162 -995 13.4
4 Sing 3,688 -267 11.8
6 Live By Night 2,822 +2,818 8.3
7 Monster Trucks 3,119 New 7.3
8 Sleepless 1,803 New 6.6
5 La La Land 1,848 +333 9.8
9 Underworld: Blood Wars 3,070 0 6.0
10 The Bye Bye Man 2,220 New 5.3

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