Weekend Forecast: Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’ Poised for Strong MLK Weekend Debut

After last week’s welcomed over-performance by The Upside, the industry is gearing up for a solid Martin Luther King Weekend at the box office as Universal readies M. Night Shyamalan’s anticipated Glass. The trilogy-capper — finishing off a story began by 2000’s Unbreakable and 2017’s Split — is trending to earn one of the biggest MLK weekend debuts ever.

Expectations for the film have been volatile in recent days, however, with critics chiming in at a more unfavorable rate than hoped for. The film’s 39 percent Rotten Tomatoes score is notably below the 76 percent earned by Split, which exceeded all expectations with its $40 million opening weekend two years ago this month.

Prior to reviews, though, Glass tracking had been through the roof for the genre with interest and intent scores comparable to films like last October’s Halloween reboot, while tracking far ahead of other titles like The NunA Quiet PlaceGet Out, and Split itself. In our Trailer Impact surveys, the film’s total interest registered at 80 percent entering this week, possibly suggesting a strong contingent of fans undeterred by the film’s divisive reviews. A higher portion of Glass‘s interested moviegoers are among audiences aged 25 and up, though, who may be more mindful of reviews on this film in particular than the more teen-driven audiences of similar genre pics.

Still, the challenge is in assessing how far beyond Shyamalan’s core fan base this sequel will reach out to. Generally strong word of mouth and goodwill from Split helps, as will the presence of four co-stars (James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and Sarah Paulson). As the sole opener on a holiday weekend, competition will be minimal as well. If critics’ views are reflected in audience scores Thursday night and Friday, though, Glass could be more front-loaded than once hoped. The other potential outcome is that the film could be relatively review-proof over the first few days, similar to Venom‘s excellent performance three months ago.

For perspective, the all-time MLK box office champ is American Sniper, which bowed to $89.3 million / $107.2 million over the three-day / four-day frame when it expanded into wide release over the holiday weekend in 2015. Glass probably won’t be reaching that high, but second-best Ride Along‘s $41.5 million / $48.6 million split is certainly within reach even when factoring in Glass‘s potentially divisive word of mouth. Another fair comparison point is 2008’s Cloverfield, which exploded with $40.1 million / $46.2 million.

For reference, Universal expects around $50 million for the four-day weekend.


In general, many films already in release should post strong holds — although a few will suffer from theater count drops. Notably, we think momentum for The Upside, its crowd-pleasing and star-driven status, and minimal crossover with Glass‘s male-driven audience should translate to a strong sophomore frame for the Bryan Cranston-Kevin Hart dramedy. A Dog’s Way Home could similarly score a strong hold with no new releases aiming at families and young ones.

Top 10 vs. Last year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will earn approximately $116 million or more. That would represent at least an 11 percent increase from the same weekend last year (which represented the post-MLK weekend due to different calendar alignment) when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle led the box office over healthy debuts from 12 Strong and Den of Thieves — all part of a $104.2 million top ten weekend. For a more apples-to-apples comparison, MLK weekend last year generated $129.3 million across the top ten films.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, January 20 % Change from Last Wknd
Glass Universal $51,500,000 (3-day) / $59,400,000 (4-day) $51,500,000 (Sunday) / $59,400,000 (Monday) NEW
The Upside STX $16,300,000 $44,800,000 -20%
Aquaman Warner Bros. $11,700,000 $305,900,000 -33%
A Dog’s Way Home Sony / Columbia $9,500,000 $23,700,000 -16%
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Sony / Columbia $6,300,000 $157,100,000 -30%
Mary Poppins Returns Disney $4,900,000 $158,300,000 -36%
Bumblebee Paramount $4,700,000 $116,000,000 -35%
The Mule Warner Bros. $4,100,000 $97,700,000 -28%
Escape Room Sony / Columbia $3,800,000 $39,100,000 -57%
On the Basis of Sex Focus Features $3,600,000 $16,600,000 -41%

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.

Contact us for information about subscribing to Boxoffice.com’s suite of forecasting and data services.

Alex Edghill contributed to this report

Shawn Robbins


  1. Avatar
    Multiplex37 January 16, 2019

    Did you guys only do a 4-day for Glass because some of these look a little light for the whole holiday then again if that’s your 3-day for Upside…whoa, Nellie. Big Mem thinks the 4-day for Glass probably starts with a 5 and most likely on the lower end of that range. WOM will kill it on the backend.

  2. Avatar
    Jorge January 16, 2019

    where is Dragon Ball Super Broly?

    • Avatar
      RussVB January 17, 2019

      According to Deadline “On Fire With $5M+ Opening Day”.
      But presumably not forecast here because Funimation are doing they’re fan-event theater count mashup — 1200 screens one day, 50 the next, etc

      • Avatar
        RussVB January 17, 2019

        oops, “their”

    • Avatar
      Orlando January 17, 2019

      @Jorge – Exactly, this site is goofy as hell man. Do you know that “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” made over $7 million in it’s first day of release yet not one mention of it on this site. Box Office Mojo has reported it. Dragon Ball Super: Broly making $7m yesterday is big news and could be setting the film up for a very big MLK 4 day weekend. Maybe this site is acting butt hurt because they didn’t have the film on their radar and seeing that it made so much yesterday their now embarrassed, I don’t know what to say about this site.

      • Avatar
        RussVB January 17, 2019

        Did you actually read the paragraph at Mojo?
        It concludes “…since we are still in the dark as to how many theaters the film will be playing in, you won’t find it in the forecast below.”

        So, you know, a bit like the forecast here.

        • Avatar
          Orlando January 18, 2019

          @RussVB – Well you know, with DBS Broly making that’s much money in a single day theaters are bound to change that theory and add more theaters to it. Supply in demand, you ever thought about that?

          • Avatar
            RussVB January 18, 2019

            Is not a standard-type release, Orlando. The weekend about to unfold for it mightn’t (won’t) be the one you’re anticipating.
            It has done good, but still expect a pattern similar to the daily fluctuations for Funimations last Dragonball movie in 2015, or last year’s My Hero Academia. Bigger $ but similar %age variations.

  3. Avatar
    Christof January 16, 2019

    I thougjt Mary Poppin s was going to do 300plus Glass will have huge 1st weekend then when everyone realizes Bruce Willis is in it they will scatter

    • Avatar
      Jacen January 17, 2019

      Ummm, considering that Willis is prominent in all the trailers and all the one-sheets and standees, people won’t “realize” anything and “scatter”. If word of mouth is as negative as the critical assessment, then the movie might drop significantly in its subsequent weekends, though.

  4. Avatar
    nicholas smith January 16, 2019

    i think Glass might get 100 million for a four day weekend.

  5. Avatar
    Trevor January 16, 2019

    Agree with you Jorge. I think Dragon Ball Super Broly is going to be huge. Problem is it is splitting in markets between a full theatrical run and event style (1 or 2 shows a day). I know of theaters in my area that were sold out for the next several days. I think it will be in top 2-3 by end of weekend.


Leave reply