Long Range Forecast: ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘The Belko Experiment,’ & ‘Free Fire’

This week, we’re slightly revamping our Long Range Forecast. Notably, the usual chart (found below) will now feature week-to-week percentage drops to more clearly track changes we’ve made on individual film forecasts. Estimated location counts will also be included for confirmed wide releases two weeks out.

All numbers are inclusive of various metrics ranging from traditional industry tracking to social media buzz, among others. As we continue aiming to improve this weekly feature, please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.

Moving on…

This week’s update sees the addition of Disney’s next hugely anticipated live-action remake: Beauty and the Beast. After what already looks to be a promising first half of the month, the weekend of March 17 is pacing to be another big one as massive interest is driving the film across a variety of moviegoers. Record trailer views, appeal to a multi-generational audience, an impressive and effective marketing campaign, and a wide open springtime market further contribute to the expectation that this could be another mammoth performer for Disney.

Not to be forgotten are A24’s Free Fire and High Top Releasing’s The Belko Experiment. Box office expectations are decidedly more modest for those two low-budget titles as they aim to counter-program the weekend’s marquee release. Early positive reviews are currently driving our confidence in Free Fire, although The Belko Experiment has received somewhat more of a marketing push thus far. It’s likely that one will cut into the other’s  similar target audience, but we’re also not ruling out a change in release strategy from either of the film’s indie distributors.

Also of note: a late addition to the release schedule — Open Road’s Collide — has been added to the forecast. Currently set to open February 24, our expectations are modest for now as it debuts after the lucrative Presidents Day weekend.

As always, these and other films in the forecast will be monitored and adjusted accordingly leading up to their respective releases.

Check out our complete 8-week forecast in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
1/27/2017 A Dog’s Purpose $14,000,000 -28% $44,000,000 -43% 3,000 Universal
1/27/2017 Gold $5,000,000 $13,000,000 2,200 TWC / Dimension
1/27/2017 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter $18,000,000 -10% $39,000,000 -9% 3,000 Sony / Screen Gems
2/3/2017 Rings (2017) $14,000,000 $29,000,000 3,000 Paramount
2/3/2017 The Space Between Us $4,000,000 $11,000,000 1,800 STX Entertainment
2/10/2017 Fifty Shades Darker $41,000,000 $83,000,000 Universal
2/10/2017 John Wick: Chapter 2 $22,500,000 13% $50,500,000 12% Lionsgate / Summit
2/10/2017 The LEGO Batman Movie $56,000,000 $210,000,000 Warner Bros.
2/17/2017 A Cure for Wellness $12,000,000 $35,000,000 Fox
2/17/2017 Fist Fight $22,000,000 $63,000,000 Warner Bros. / New Line
2/17/2017 The Great Wall $30,000,000 $68,000,000 Universal
2/24/2017 Collide $5,000,000 NEW $11,000,000 NEW Open Road
2/24/2017 Get Out $20,000,000 $56,000,000 Universal
2/24/2017 Rock Dog $3,000,000 $8,000,000 Lionsgate / Summit Premiere
3/3/2017 Before I Fall $7,000,000 $18,000,000 Open Road
3/3/2017 LEAP! $6,500,000 $20,000,000 The Weinstein Company
3/3/2017 Logan $81,000,000 $205,000,000 Fox
3/3/2017 The Shack $9,500,000 $34,000,000 Lionsgate / Summit
3/10/2017 Kong: Skull Island $35,000,000 $100,000,000 Warner Bros.
3/10/2017 Trainspotting 2 n/a n/a Sony / TriStar
3/10/2017 The Wall $7,000,000 $25,000,000 Roadside Attractions / Amazon Studios
3/17/2017 Beauty and the Beast (2017) $144,000,000 NEW $470,000,000 NEW Disney
3/17/2017 The Belko Experiment $4,000,000 NEW $9,000,000 NEW High Top Releasing
3/17/2017 Free Fire $5,500,000 NEW $19,000,000 NEW A24

Shawn Robbins and Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report.

Shawn Robbins


  1. Avatar
    Jam222 January 20, 2017

    LEGO Batman will open bigger than that, around $95M I believe.

  2. Avatar
    Don't Mind Me Now January 20, 2017

    I have no doubt that Beauty and the Beast will be a mega-hit – possibly even the #2 domestic film of the year behind Star Wars Episode VIII – but Finding Dory numbers seem a bit stratospheric. The animated film this movie is copying earned the equivalent of $297 million in its original run, and beefed its total to an adjusted $386 million over an additional two releases. To date, outside of Alice in Wonderland (which was selling itself as a Johnny Depp vehicle, not a cartoon remake), none of Disney’s live-action remakes have outsold their original cartoon versions domestically, even The Jungle Book. Beauty and the Beast has grown in its icon status since its original run, and probably will exceed the original’s run, but by $170 million? With competition from The Boss Baby and Smurfs just two/three weeks after its release (as stupid as Boss Baby looks, its trailers have played well to crowds), BATB will be getting hammered pretty quickly in its key demographics compared to The Jungle Book (Ratchet and Clank was no competition against that). Jungle Book also built lasting buzz with its technological achievement and action spin, while BATB appears to be a shot-for-shot remake. This will likely limit its appeal as a repeat viewing, as it will be a one-and-done affair for most families (if the kids want to see it again, parents can just put on the cartoon!). I would estimate a final domestic total somewhere between $360 million-$400 million if it gets good press, $320-$350 million if it gets weak/mixed press.

    Belko Experiment seems to be underestimated here. It’s got a good high concept (Co-workers must kill each other to survive!) that recalls hit original thrillers like The Purge – and the James Gunn-penned script opens the possibility of good reviews. High Top’s “targeted theater” strategy has been wholly ineffective (none of their films have topped $12 million), which will limit its potential, but with a good marketing campaign this could maybe reach $20+ million.

    A24 remains a box office underdog, as their second Best Picture contender in a row (Moonlight) is unlikely to top their $25 million box office ceiling, and their first nationwide release (The Witch) was unable to top their biggest expansion (Ex Machina). Free Fire has no box office draws (Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer do not bring in the crowds), a largely unnoticed marketing campaign (the only time I’ve seen this trailer was in front of Hacksaw Ridge, which is not the audience for this film) and a combination of 70’s flair and action comedy that, despite strong critical press, failed to save The Nice Guys from tanking last May. I want to see this film – far more than either BATB or Belko – but there’s a good chance it ends up under $10 million.

    • Avatar
      Fred January 21, 2017

      Yeah I too think this site’s $470 million domestic gross for Beauty and the Beast is a little too much. I’m with you $350-$400 million domestic seems more realistic, of course the film could go beyond that and prove us both wrong haha.

    • Avatar
      Octopus January 21, 2017

      Whoever thought to put Kong : Skull Island in between Logan and Beauty and The Beast should be shot.

      • Avatar
        tomer January 23, 2017

        to be honest its not like they have a better release date for the movie like that other than august, the spring break period is becoming more and like the new summer.

    • Avatar
      Everton Carter January 21, 2017

      I think hey’re spot on with Beauty & The Beast. You have to pick a realistic number, but this is looking like a film that could get into the global all time top 5.

    • Avatar
      Kari January 23, 2017

      I was really suprissed when I saw the prediction even though BATB is one of my favourite (Disney) movies. I was expecting 90 – 110 opening and 300-350 total domestic (still bit suprised with Cinderella’s “poor” boxoffice and Jungle Book excellent boxoffice). I think Emma was great choice for Belle, but I got to say I felt bit dissapointed after seeing the trailer. Well let’s hope I’m wrong and BO got it right.

  3. Avatar
    bkjyud January 21, 2017

    john wick is going to make so much more than $50m

  4. Avatar
    Jez January 21, 2017

    The fact Beauty & Beast may inevitably become like a 5 quad family blockbuster in March in the way Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland did in 2010 meant that Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver pulled away from this very release date. I guess that’s a sign that a big enough movie will sweep aside any would be counterprograming attempt.

  5. Avatar
    Pigdango January 23, 2017

    That’s a ridiculous forecast for Beauty and the Beast given that it will have it’s ENTIRE box office run while kids are in school. Alice in Wonderland ($336 domestic) is a decent comparison for this, but even that may be aiming too high, as that film came out at the height of the 3D fad started by Avatar.

    Disney’s princess movies generally do not appeal to all audiences, and Beauty and the Beast was no exception in 1991, earning only about half of what Lion King did.

    A fun game will be to see how much pbo’s long range forecast plummets as this movie gets closer.

    • Avatar
      Don't Mind Me Now January 26, 2017

      Most schools will have a spring break at some point during the film’s release. Disney’s last three animated princess movies (including Moana) topped $200 million, including one that topped $400 million. And the Lion King phenomenon was the culmination of the Disney Renaissance, with the brand slowly regaining box office prestige through Little Mermaid, BATB 91, Aladdin and finally Lion King. Lastly, there’s now a generation of kids who grew up with BATB 91 as one of their childhood staples, including boys (though girls are a severely underrated box office demographic by themselves), and BATB is much more popular with the teen/twenty-something demos than Cinderella and The Jungle Book. $470 million is a long shot, but $400 million is absolutely in reach.

      Don’t forget that half of last year’s $300-million-plus hits were non-summer releases, including The Jungle Book.

    • Avatar
      Leo February 01, 2017

      It won’t. The amount of buzz its gaining after the final trailer is already bringing it upwards. Also a film like Zootopia (even though that was animated) was still able to do pretty well at the box office. Beauty and the Beast will pull off a good OW and domestic gross


Leave reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *