Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

November 18, 2017

I'm sorry, Diana. You are stuck in something steampunk.

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Quote stolen from BOP's Reagen Sulewski: "Good time travel bet for Jan '16: Deadpool will open $30+ larger than Justice League."

Yeah. That's a thing that is real.

In fact, not only has Justice League thrown under Deadpool, it will have a lower box office opening than Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming... and It. The debut will be less than that of Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, and will just barely outdo last year's November superhero release Doctor Strange.

Yesterday, Justice League debuted with $38.8 million. That number includes $13 million from Thursday night previews, making the "true" Friday number $25.8 million. Yikes. When you consider that Justice League is riding the coattails of a delightful, well-received Wonder Woman film earlier this year, these results are especially grim. Justice League had a $300 million budget, and even with overseas revenue (which will be plenty strong), it's not necessarily going to make money for Warner Bros.

If I run the numbers, I come up with a $90.4 million weekend, though I'm seeing plenty of estimates that say $93-95 million. It's fair to assume to Warner Bros. has a reason to lie up as much as humanly possible. They can make it up over the coming weekdays. Even so, it's going to be awfully difficult for them to give the movie an estimate of $100 million. They're just going to have to tout their overseas/worldwide gross (which is sitting at $70.7 million thus far).


The biggest issue for Warner Bros., other than the fact that they really don't seem to have a coherent plan for the DC Extended Universe, is that Justice League is pretty well reviled. Its 40% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes is better than you might imagine based on the hostility of the reviews, although even the good ones seem to be good solely because of Wonder Woman and the Flash (an always-fantastic Ezra Miller). The Cinemascore is a B+, which is okay but not great considering that the majority of people counted in that tally are superfans.

Suffice to say that even with a nearly $100 million opening, Justice League will go down as a disappointment. DC needs to rethink their strategy and remove Zack Snyder from any future projects as soon as they can. Even Joss Whedon coming in for reshoots couldn't help.

The news isn't all Justice League, thank goodness. An adaptation of a popular book (especially with kids and young adults) has done exceptionally well. Wonder, featuring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Hamilton's Daveed Diggs and Jacob Tremblay of Room, got started yesterday with $9.7 million. Group sales are huge here, and I have a friend who reported that his child will be attending the film with an entire schoolroom class of kids. With an 83% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an *A+* Cinemascore, this will be a gem that should reap some holiday season rewards for Lionsgate. A debut of $27 million will way overshoot expectations and set it on a course to be one of the few pleasant box office surprises of 2017.

Finally, Star did about what you would expect from a barely-marketed, lower-tier animated film. $2.8 million yesterday will possibly help it to around $9 million, but it does seem to be dealing with unexpected direct competition from Wonder.

Also fun this week is the fact that both Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri make appearances in the top 10. Lady Bird is in 238 locations and should earn around $2.2 million, while Billboards is playing in just 53 and could take in right around $1 million. And so the awards season truly begins!

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Justice League 90.4
2 Wonder 27.0
3 Thor: Ragnarok 22.8
4 Murder on the Orient Express 14.3
5 Daddy's Home 13.4
6 The Star 9.0
7 A Bad Moms Christmas 6.9
8 Lady Bird 2.2
9 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 1.0
10 Jigsaw 0.9



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