Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

December 21, 2019

Disco Star Wars returns!

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We're just a few days from Christmas, and Disney has gone ahead and gifted fans a few early presents. So far, they're pretty darned excited about Rise of the Resistance, the new ride at Walt Disney World, and Baby Yoda, the new pop culture phenomenon who is everywhere except in stores. Also, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Whether you consider it a gift or not depends upon your point of view.

Yes, The Rise of Skywalker is one of the worst-reviewed films of the series. Right now, Phantom Menace does throw under it (as does Clone Wars, but that's not really part of the nine). With a 56 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ Cinemascore, we're definitely going to have to take a wait and see approach to the overall long-term performance for this one. But hey, we're here to discuss opening weekend and extrapolate Friday box office.

Including $40 million from Thursday night previews: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker earned $90 million yesterday. Considering that a lot of fans disliked The Last Jedi (not me), I'd say a slight decrease from that films debut is probably just fine. The "true" Friday is $50 million, and a straight 3 multiplier seems reasonable, especially as we're into the profitable time of year at the box office. Let's call it $190 million for the weekend and prepare ourselves for yet another billion dollar worldwide earner for the Mouse House. They also have Spies in Disguise coming on Christmas, and it'll serve nicely as a secondary family option.


In case you're wondering, we'll have a bit of a break from Disney in January, although they will technically release the previously-Fox owned horror/thriller Underwater. Our next big Disney flick won't come until March in the form of Onward, the next Pixar release.

Much as I am sure Universal would like us NOT to notice the box office performance of Cats, they've been throwing the trailer and the commercials in our face and creeping us out for long enough that they deserve all our scorn. It earned $2.6 million yesterday, will maybe finish with $9 million for the weekend if it's lucky, and will have zero shot at approaching its $90 million budget. It is a mere 19 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes (up a bit from earlier in the week!) and the Cinemascore is a C+. I guess it's not an F, at least. Sorry, T.S. Eliot. You're the best, but this movie will likely be remembered amongst the worst musical adaptations ever.

We also had the expansion of Bombshell this week, as the Fox News sexual harassment story earned $1.8 million from 1,480 locations. It probably needed better reviews than what it received, as it currently sits with 65 percent. Still, it's right about the same as last year's Vice, which was likewise praised for its performances. Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie all have good chances at some awards recognition here. though we're thankfully starting to see roles for women get better and stronger.



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