Weekend Forecast: ‘Justice League,’ ‘The Star,’ & ‘Wonder’

Warner Bros. hopes to unite DC fans this weekend with the long awaited Justice League team-up film. Meanwhile, Lionsgate hopes to parlay a highly successful young adult novel into cinematic success with Wonder, while Sony counter-programs the market with a faith-based animated nativity story in The Star.

PROS:

  • Justice League marks the latest superhero title to hit the market in a year that has been anchored by the genre. DC’s box office history in the post-Dark Knight Trilogy era has generally been a successful one in terms of financial aspects with nearly $1.36 billion in domestic earnings combined between Man of SteelBatman v SupermanSuicide Squad, and Wonder Woman.The latter film of that group was the most successful with over $412 million in stateside earnings on top of critical and mainstream audience acclaim. Her presence in the film — as well as the perennial popularity of Batman — are expected to drive the lion’s share of interest in this film among fans and casual viewers alike, while the introduction of The Flash and Aquaman could also boost interest. This was displayed in traditional industry tracking a few weeks ago which lined up with where Suicide Squad stood in interest and intent-to-see levels three weeks out from release. Overall, we expect the potential kid-friendliness of this cast of characters, the sub-two-hour run time, and the film’s shift toward a lighter tone to be significant advantages in its performance.

 

  • Wonder marks the latest adaptation of a novel popular with young adults. The story’s theme of inclusion is a powerful one that could also help attract parents and kids alike, in addition to Julia Roberts’ appeal among adult female audiences. The film’s Twitter activity has handily outpaced that of the recent Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and The Glass Castle. Presales reports have also been very strong, further bolstering the potential makings of a sleeper hit.

 

  • The Star will aim for family and faith-based audiences with young children as an animated nativity story that is designed to be a slow burn at the box office with playability through the holiday season. The film’s Twitter and Facebook activity have intriguingly outpaced those of fellow Sony release The Emoji Movie.

CONS:

  • Justice League will have to overcome the misdeeds of previous DCEU films, namely Batman v Superman which featured most of the same characters in one way or another and disappointed a fair portion of its audience. Perhaps by no coincidence, this film’s social media footprint hasn’t been as strong as its universe predecessors — particularly on Twitter. Meanwhile, the strong word of mouth and close release proximity to Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok could further hinder grosses, as well as League‘s own lukewarm critical reviews. Despite tracking closely to Suicide Squad (which bowed to $133.7 million) in recent weeks, these aforementioned factors suggest a debut closer to the low-end $100-115 million range isn’t out of the question.

 

  • Wonder may be the type of adaptation that proves to be pre-sales heavy among fans of the novel while not branching out to wider audiences (especially with the amount of competition in the market currently). Still, these types of sleepers are often the most difficult to project and a lot of upside remains in its favor.

 

  • The Star opens just five days before Pixar’s Coco, meaning most families will likely hold off for the higher profile release from the venerable brand name studio over the long Thanksgiving weekend next week. Furthermore, it’s been a bit of an underwhelming year for animated titles across the board, a trend that could easily carry over to a film that hasn’t been broadly marketed beyond the core faith-based audience.

Other Notes:

  • Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are both expected to receive slight expansions this weekend following their respective successes in limited/platform release this month. However, since no official theater counts were available at the time of our publishing, we’ve only included an early projection of where the former of the two may land.

Top 10 Weekend Forecast:

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Sunday, November 19 % Change
Justice League Warner Bros. $125,000,000 $125,000,000 NEW
Thor: Ragnarok Disney / Marvel Studios $23,400,000 $250,580,000 -59%
Wonder Lionsgate $17,000,000 $17,000,000 NEW
Murder on the Orient Express Fox $15,700,000 $53,700,000 -45%
Daddy’s Home 2 Paramount $13,700,000 $49,300,000 -54%
The Star Sony / Columbia $7,500,000 $7,500,000 NEW
A Bad Moms Christmas STXfilms $6,900,000 $51,200,000 -40%
Lady Bird A24 $1,800,000 $4,000,000 +50%
Jigsaw Lionsgate $1,600,000 $37,100,000 -53%
Blade Runner 2049 Warner Bros. $1,000,000 $89,770,000 -32%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this forecast

Shawn Robbins

5 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Matt D. November 16, 2017

    1. Justice League- $130 M
    2. Thor Ragnarok- $24 M
    3. Wonder- $16.9 M
    4. Daddy’s Home 2- $15 M
    5. Murder on the Orient Express- $14.5 M

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Entity November 16, 2017

    With that weekend number for Ragnarok, it would need $4M+ on Thursday to make it to the $250.58M total projected here after Sunday. Seems like they made a mistake there, right?

    It made $2.9M on Wednesday so there’s no way it makes $4M+ on Thursday. With that weekend number the projected total will be off by over $1M.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Jose Manuel Muñoz Sandoval November 16, 2017

    Justice Ligue 180

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    DangerS November 16, 2017

    Wow… I can’t believe JL is tracking that low. BvS opened with $166M. This should be at least at $170M.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jacen November 16, 2017

      It’s entirely possible that it will indeed open as high as you expect (Thor 3 opened a tad higher than this site predicted, but not by much) but I think the tracking suggests a “once bitten, twice shy” attitude for viewers. Yes, Wonder Woman was good, but Man of Steel, BvS, and Suicide Squad were not. And now the reviews have come to show Justice League is Just-a League (as What the…? used to call them), so the enthusiasm is a bit muted. I will probably see it tomorrow, but that’s because I have little better to do.

      Reply

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