MLK Weekend Forecast: ‘The Post,’ ‘Paddington 2,’ & ‘Proud Mary’ Tracking for Healthy Debuts Behind ‘Jumanji’

Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend will see the wide release of four films, one of which expands from a strong platform release. Here’s how the weekend is currently shaping up:

PROS:

  • The Post unites the prestige of Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks — in addition to a strong ensemble cast, a widely praised screenplay from Liz Hannah and Oscar-winner Josh Singer, and the maestro John Williams’ latest award-contending score. Its platform run in select cities has generated vocal enthusiasm, while its pedigree and award season buzz should translate to a solid nationwide opening and a very leggy run with Oscar nominations still ahead later this month. The timely subject matter gives the film an added appeal to various audiences in the midst of an ongoing national conversation about the current presidential administration’s controversial direction.
  • Paddington 2 has already churned out a strong overseas run and boasts a stellar 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Following on the goodwill of 2015’s well-received predecessor, this should benefit from both the extended holiday weekend and the lack of any breakout animated releases aimed at parents with young kids since November’s Coco.
  • Proud Mary is tracking very well among African-American audiences and looks poised to bring out Taraji P. Henson’s fan base. Strong social buzz is likewise driving optimistic forecasts for opening weekend at this time, while early presales are encouraging.
  • The Commuter marks the latest Liam Neeson action thriller as fans of the genre will be key to a healthy debut. The actor has a noted history of consistency in the genre.

CONS:

  • The Posts second greatest asset (political relevance) could also be its biggest disadvantage. Even for those who lean toward the side of agreeing with the film’s not-so-subtle timing and message, there still exists some burnout on the subject matter as part of the continued fallout from America’s hotly divisive presidential election and ongoing administrative controversies. Enthusiasm among mainstream audiences is more comparable to the likes of Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies than Sully at this stage in the pre-release cycle, with traditional tracking lining up very similarly to that of Argo.
  • Paddington 2 may lose some of the original’s pre-teen crowds to Jumanji‘s continued buzz. Family-driven sequels also have a fairly consistent history of displaying diminished returns compared to their predecessors.
  • Proud Mary isn’t available for critics’ screenings ahead of release, while current tracking shows it in line with mid-range openers like When the Bough Breaks.
  • The Commuter‘s social media activity is well behind that of Neeson’s more successful efforts. The target older demo will also be hard fought for this weekend thanks to The Post also aiming for some of that audience.

The 4-Day Weekend Forecast:

Film Distributor 4-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Monday, January 15 % Change from Last Wknd
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sony $34,000,000 $290,100,000 -9%
The Post Fox $21,000,000 $25,500,000 +1136%
Paddington 2 Warner Bros. $20,400,000 $20,400,000 NEW
Proud Mary Sony / Screen Gems $17,500,000 $17,500,000 NEW
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Disney $16,500,000 $597,000,000 -30%
The Commuter Lionsgate $13,500,000 $13,500,000 NEW
Insidious: The Last Key Universal $13,000,000 $49,700,000 -56%
The Greatest Showman Fox $11,900,000 $94,900,000 -13%
Pitch Perfect 3 Universal $6,300,000 $95,300,000 -39%
Darkest Hour Focus Features $5,100,000 $35,800,000 -16%
Boxoffice Staff

8 Comments

  1. Avatar
    toughmudder January 10, 2018

    Nicely done… however I would give The Greatest Showman a slight increase rather than a decrease. WOM for this is through the roof and I know many who are going for the 3rd and 4th time already – and telling their friends to see it if they haven’t.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Ps January 10, 2018

    The force is strong with Jumanji.. what a perfomance! Could hit $M350 with no competition all month

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Luke January 10, 2018

    The distributor column is just wrong

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Brad January 10, 2018

    I didn’t realize The Darkest Hour was a Disney/Pixar release.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Mike January 10, 2018

      LOL. They also swapped distribs above for Jumanji and SW:Last Jedi

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    John January 10, 2018

    I actually think The Post is gonna overperform big time. Maybe not enough to beat Jumanji but it will be close

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    ManOfBronze January 11, 2018

    Paddington 2. The best movie not many people will see.

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Jon January 12, 2018

    I saw Proud Mary and it’s a great action movie to see in the theatre. Will probably wait to see The Post on demand.

    Reply

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