Weekend Forecast: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ & ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ Look to Ring In Strong Start to Holiday Movie Season

Holiday movie season is officially upon us as the first weekend of November promises to be once again kick-start a promising slate of movies to close out the year. Our forecast:

PROS:

  • During what has been a benchmark year for comic book films both commercially and critically, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok is poised to continue the trend. Critics have awarded the sequel by far the best rating of the three Thor movies with a 96 percent entering Wednesday, while the film’s first wave of international debuts have gone very well. Marvel continues to be an immensely powerful brand name — as this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming once again solidified — and the combination of multiple top-tier characters from the franchise gives Ragnarok some hefty pull (as well as anticipation for Cate Blanchett’s lead antagonist). We also expect the lack of family-friendly blockbusters since summer to spur moviegoer attendance over the weekend and beyond.

 

  • Following the sleeper success of last year’s original hit, A Bad Moms Christmas will aim to counter-program among women this weekend as the “girls’ night out” effect continues to show its power. The franchise’s social media footprint remains healthy, particularly on Facebook where it claims over 1 million fans. As a mid-range comedy sequel, the threshold for success at the box office isn’t particularly high either. With the holiday theme this go-around, some staying power could be expected through the holidays as opposed to the usual front-loading of sequels. The film’s midweek opening will also serve to spread out demand. Last but certainly not least, this could be well-timed in the market as very few high profile movies have successfully appealed to women in recent months.

CONS:

  • There’s very little working against Thor: Ragnarok. As a point of fact, though, it’s worth keeping in mind that Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened to $95 million while similarly boasting strong reviews and a combination of franchise leads. Also, Marvel’s previous efforts in the November corridor — namely last year’s Doctor Strange and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World — all opened in the $80-90 million range. While the former’s debut was impressive as an origin story, it could be the latter film’s somewhat underwhelming reception that might arguably hamper broader enthusiasm for the newest Thor chapter going into the weekend. Still, we continue to bet on Ragnarok‘s numerous other advantages to outweigh that factor, while also expecting the growth of premium screen formats in the past four years to significantly boost this sequel’s average price per ticket sold.

 

  • Comedy sequels have generally had a rough time at the box office in recent years as the likes of Neighbors 2Ted 2Horrible Bosses 2, and various others all performed well below the level of their predecessors. With a review embargo in place for A Bad Moms Christmas until late opening night Wednesday, as well as more muted Twitter engagement than the first film’s strong pre-release buzz, some diminished returns should be reasonably expected. Meanwhile, Marvel and Thor‘s not-insignificant female audience share will be tougher to contend with than Jason Bourne was as the first Moms‘ head-to-head opening competition.

The Top 5 Weekend Forecast:

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Sunday, November 5 % Change
Thor: Ragnarok Disney / Marvel Studios $109,000,000 $109,000,000 NEW
A Bad Moms Christmas STXfilms $17,500,000 $21,500,000 NEW
Jigsaw Lionsgate $5,900,000 $28,460,000 -65%
Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Lionsgate $5,100,000 $43,400,000 -49%
Geostorm Warner Bros. $2,500,000 $28,260,000 -58%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this forecast

Shawn Robbins

11 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Shellyman November 01, 2017

    I’m pretty sure Thor: Ragnarok is going to make more than $109 million because of the word of mouth for this movie is crazy. $115-$125 million is very likely at this point, I could be wrong.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    DS November 01, 2017

    I concur..expecting around $120 million…bad moms seems spot on though

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Fred November 01, 2017

    To be honest with the great reviews, strong buzz and growing momentum “Thor: Ragnarok” has been building up I thought you’re site would have been smart enough by now to know 109 million is likely too low of a prediction for it’s opening week. Many sites now see it opening to 125-plus million this weekend and so do I. I’m thinking 120-130 million this weekend. Seeing that your site was predicting a 100 million opening weekend a month ago, it’s a little surprising to see you’ve only gone up 9 million after all the strong buzz and momentum this film has been building. Oh well, you’ll just have to learn the hard way on your prediction haha.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    pk November 02, 2017

    You gave Justice League 130 millions opening while the estimates are 110-120 millions and for Thor Ragnarok you give 109 millions?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Muhammad Suhaib Waqar Joyia November 02, 2017

      Exactly!

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Ramyan November 02, 2017

      Those are just rough tracking numbers. They will go up before the release date.

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    Thedude3445 November 02, 2017

    That long-delayed LBJ movie is finally coming out in a semi-wide release of 659 theaters. I haven’t found any predictions on that though; am I correct to assume it has no chance of topping $1 million this weekend?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      FritzMaple November 03, 2017

      I’ve seen other sites list right around $1million, just low enough to likely keep it out of the top 10 this weekend.

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Jacen November 02, 2017

    There’s much consternation here regarding Thor 3’s potential weekend haul. While I agree that it will probably exceed this website’s predictions, I think that they are being cautious, and rightfully so. Consider that Blade Runner 2, Kingsman 2, Ninjago, and a host of smaller films all underperformed or bombed outright in the past few weeks. A few, like IT and Happy Death Day, did much better than this and other sites expected, but the norm has been disappointment. We could argue that BR2049 and Kingman would inevitably be hampered by their R-ratings and/running times, but that doesn’t explain the failure of Ninjago. So the approach they are taking is the wisest one: yes, Thor 3 looks like fun, but previous Thor films weren’t as awesome as the trailers made them seem, and it has some competition in the subsequent weeks. If it lives up to its hype, then it should do what we’re all expecting, regardless of competition ($400mil anyone?). But if it’s just a bit better than the previous two installments, then this site’s tally will probably be close to correct.

    As a side note, I think their initial prediction for Last Jedi is also good: basically, add the final grosses for the previous two and divide by two.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      HalSono November 03, 2017

      Caution is fine, but the rest is extremely debatable.

      Comparing Thor to the likes of Blade Runner 2049 and Ninjago is nonsensical. Blade Runner 2049 failed because it had no audience. R rating and length didn’t help, but the main issue was that no one under 35 knew what Blade Runner is. To make matters worse, the nebulous marketing that failed to show any sliver of plot left general audiences confused. In the end, regardless of how good the film was, one has to wonder why it was even made – it was an unnecessary film that was never going to recoup its huge budget and PA costs.

      Ninjago didn’t do well because of two things: The law of diminishing returns and the lack of audience brand recognition. The only humans who even KNEW what Ninjago is were boys under the age of 11 *who owned the toys/watched the show* – that’s a very small niche. The first LEGO film was accessible, fresh and drew adults and kids, male and female. The Lego Batman film had the benefit of the worldwide appeal of Batman. Ninjago had none of this.

      Lastly, using the previous Thor films as a comparison may not be ideal: Audiences have short memories – they barely remember Thor as a standalone film in the grand scheme of things, and this current film bares little resemblance to the first two outings. The inclusion of humor, color, wackiness, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, etc makes it almost feel like a fresh new IP.

      I agree that caution is always a good approach, but I think most of us would be shocked if this film made less than $100M opening weekend.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Fred November 03, 2017

      I understand them weighting on the side of caution, but in this case I believe they’re being too cautions. For one this is an MCU film, and while the previous Thor films we’re not as good as the trailers this films seems to be on a level far beyond previous Thor films. The big difference is the previous Thor films didn’t have the strong reviews, buzz or carry near the level of anticipation this film has going for it. Now I’ve yet to see the film myself so I don’t know how good it is, but I will be going to see it in a few days. I think 120 million is a pretty reasonable opening weekend for “Ragnarok”, but it’s not out the question it could exceed that number this weekend.

      Reply

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