Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.
For a recap of last week’s box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Doctor Strange‘s opening weekend and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.
Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of November 11 – 13, 2016.
This weekend, Arrival opens in 2,317 theaters, Almost Christmas debuts in 2,376 locations, and Shut In premieres in 2,058 theaters.
#1 – Doctor Strange
Look for last week’s champ, Doctor Strange (read our review), to repeat in the top spot during its second weekend. The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe exceeded commercial expectations during its debut, and has already passed $100 million domestically. There isn’t much that can pose a realistic challenge to the blockbuster, which has received an enthusiastic response from audiences and critics. Throw in the fact that Doctor Strange‘s unique visual style makes it a must-see on the big screen, it should hold very well and post another fruitful weekend.
#2 – Trolls
Coming in second should be Trolls (read our review), which came in this spot last week with a strong $46.5 million. As the only real option available for the family demographic, there’s no reason to think the film can’t continue its success. Especially since the word-of-mouth for Trolls has been positive overall, it will continue to find an audience and draw in sizable crowds. Disney’s Moana is not for another couple of weeks, so Trolls still has a monopoly on the market.
#3 – Arrival
Our choice for third is Arrival, the new sci-fi drama from director Denis Villeneuve. Sporting an A-list cast that includes Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker, the film has been receiving universally positive buzz since premiering on the festival circuit in the early part of the fall. Arrival is seen by many pundits as one of the best movies of the year and a possible Oscar contender thanks to its intelligent, compelling story, and state-of-the-art visuals. Because of that, cinephiles are highly interested to see the film and should turn out as it opens to the general public. Though some alien-based films haven’t done well in the past, this one seems to be in good shape due to the response.
If there is a negative, it’s that Villeneuve is not a selling point on his own. Marketing materials have mentioned his previous works Sicario and Prisoners, but those films grossed $46.8 million and $61 million domestically, respectively. With Arrival being a bit broader and scope and arguably more “cinematic” in terms of genre, the hope is that it sets a new career high for the director. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that his earlier critically-acclaimed dramas were not massive hits. Projections have Arrival pegged for $16 million in its first three days, which would be slightly higher than Sicario‘s wide debut last year.
#4 – Almost Christmas
Our choice for fourth is Almost Christmas, an ensemble holiday movie that includes the likes of Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Omar Epps, and others. Similar titles such as The Best Man Holiday and A Madea Christmas have done well in recent years, indicating that there is an audience for Almost Christmas. It’s true that those two aforementioned films were part of established series, but with the holiday season fast approaching, there are moviegoers who will be looking for a little Christmas cheer at the multiplex. Producer Will Packer has been behind some big hits lately, like Ride Along and Think Like A Man, so it’s clear he has a knack for finding stories that connect.
Estimates suggest Almost Christmas will make $16.5 million in its first three days. That’s higher than Arrival‘s expectations, but we’re still giving the sci-fi film the nod here. Villeneuve’s movie has received much better early reviews, and that word-of-mouth could be enough to push it over the edge. This fall has been relatively light on awards contenders thus far, so Arrival should be in demand.
#5 – Hacksaw Ridge
Rounding out the top five should be Hacksaw Ridge (read our review). Mel Gibson’s World War II epic finished in third last week with $15.1 million. Thanks to the positive reviews and response from viewers, the film should be able to hang around the top of the charts for another week. Particularly since Veterans Day is Friday, history buffs and military aficionados will want to check it out. The newcomers may overshadow it a bit, but there’s still interest in the true story.
Last Week’s Recap
Next Week: Fantastic Beasts, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and more!