Weekend Forecast: ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ ‘Sausage Party’ & ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

With perhaps the last hurrah of the summer season upon us this weekend, we see three new wide releases vying for second place as holdover Suicide Squad is widely expected to be still very much large and in charge during its second weekend. First up is Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, a remake of the 1977 film of the same name which they no doubt hope will see them shake off the disappointing returns of The BFG and continue on their record-breaking year. Seth Rogen and company hope that Sausage Party’s curious (and indeed unprecedented) meld of 3D animation and crude humor will connect with fans worldwide, while Meryl Streep top-lines Florence Foster Jenkins, the biopic of the delightfully inept early 20th century entertainer.

Pete’s Dragon

PROS:

– Disney has done very well with remakes of their classic titles over the past couple years with The Jungle Book and Cinderella coming to mind. The progression in CGI technology and the fact that they did away with the musical elements of the original should see this appeal to a very large audience.

– With the kind of success Disney has had in 2016 so far it’s hard to bet against any of their releases at this point. Two minor blips on their radar in The Finest Hours and The BFG, but outside of that they currently own four of the five top earners at the box office in 2016.

– So far the critics are eating it up (currently at 87% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), and with the last successful family friendly film being a full month ago (The Secret Life Of Pets), the market should have at least one more hit in it before packing up for the leaner second half of August and early September.

CONS:

– Social media has been muted so far. By comparison, The Jungle Book had over 900,000 likes on the eve of its release, while Pete has just over 80,000.

– The original film is not nearly as beloved (or remembered) as many in the Disney vault which they have successfully remade.

Sausage Party

PROS:

– Seth Rogen and his band of usual suspects have proved to be among the strongest and most consistent draws over the past 10 years in the comedic genres.

– With sequels being plentiful this summer season, this should prove to be a very original and different offering which could resonate with audiences.

– Social media awareness is huge for the film, especially on Facebook where it has over 775,000 likes.

– Its got hefty bumps in buzz with each of its trailers, especially the red band trailer which indicate strong awareness and interest amongst its core demographic.

– Critics have been singing its praises so far which can only help its appeal and draw.

CONS:

– Animated films targeting adults have traditionally done very poorly at the box office in North America, whether it be imports from Japan or home grown content. Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights comes to mind, which had Sandler at the height of his box office drawing power and still failed to even hit $10 million on opening weekend. This will be the first 3D animated R-rated movie ever released wide in North America. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut opened to just $11 million with its R-rating despite being based on the hugely popular TV show of the same name.

– Seth Rogen’s appeal has been waning in recent years with numerous misses littering his once-stellar record including The Guilt Trip, The Night Before and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising all under-performing.

Florence Foster Jenkins

PROS:

– Meryl Streep is one of the biggest box office draws for older audiences in North America. In addition she has become somewhat of a staple for August releases, with this film making four of the last five years with her having an August wide release, and five out of eight.

– With a summer full of big action films or family friendly offerings, a touching film based on a true story appealing to older audiences could potentially do very well as a counter-programming alternative. Many have tried to fill that role this Summer (The Infiltrator and The Free State Of Jones come to mind) but none have really taken off.

— Reviews are stellar (all three films this week having a greater than 85% fresh rating as of this column being posted), and though we have come to expect glowing reviews for Meryl Streep this movie currently would be one of her top eight best reviewed films of her career.

CONS:

– Meryl Streep’s last wide release was Ricki and the Flash last August which opened to just $6.6 million from 1,600 theaters and targeted a near-identical audience. That should be the best market here for Florence‘s potential.

– Social media has been largely quiet which is to be expected given the skew to older audiences.

Top 10 Forecast

Box Office Pro forecasts this weekend’s top ten films will generate $141.8 million. That would mark an 11% increase from last year’s $129.7 million when Straight Outta Compton debuted with a whopping $60.2 million to lead the box office.

Check out our complete weekend forecast below.

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through
Sunday, August 14
Suicide Squad Warner Bros. $38,500,000 $219,750,000
Pete’s Dragon Disney $31,000,000 $31,000,000
Sausage Party Sony / Columbia $30,000,000 $30,000,000
Jason Bourne Universal $10,080,000 $122,890,000
Bad Moms STX Entertainment $7,700,000 $66,890,000
The Secret Life of Pets Universal $6,900,000 $333,670,000
Florence Foster Jenkins Paramount $6,500,000 $6,500,000
Star Trek Beyond Paramount $5,020,000 $137,660,000
Nine Lives (2016) EuropaCorp $3,120,000 $13,300,000
Lights Out Warner Bros. (New Line) $3,000,000 $60,920,000
Boxoffice Staff

18 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Alessio Pasquali August 10, 2016

    Glad u still think Pete’s Dragon will be the widest of the new openers this weekend and still with over $30M in its opening weekend.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Red_Kal August 11, 2016

    You are way off base with your prediction of Suicide Squad. The weekday grosses have been very strong, even stronger than Civil War, Batman v Superman, and Guardians of the Galaxy and most others are predicting a gross over $50 million for Suicide Squad’s second weekend. This site clearly has some kind of bias and are trying in vain to disparage this film in any way they can, despite its obvious success.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Stevenson August 11, 2016

      Civil War and Batman are not comparable because those weekdays were during school time. It’s doing barely above Guardians and it only made $42 mil on it’s second weekend. A little above $40 mil is what I am predicting. It will probably match Guardians number.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Red_Kal August 11, 2016

        SS opened more than $40 million above Guardians, so expecting SS to drop that much is absurd. It will easily hit $50 million this weekend. Also, many schools are already back in session, so it’s a fair comparison, especially since those films featured much more well known characters.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Pepe August 11, 2016

        It may not be apples to apples, but you can certainly compare them. School gets out by what? 2 pm? 3 pm maybe for grammar school kids? Theatres open around eleven or noon so the movies have a chance to play maybe once at most twice in most theatres by that time…. plus some schools are probably in session top but what the hell do I know 🙂

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Gus August 11, 2016

      Have you noticed it dipped over 31% to 9.8 million yesterday, while most other films in the top 10 dropped less than 21%?

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Pepe August 11, 2016

        It had much more room to drop than the other titles though, its pretty normal for movies with large openings… look at other titles this year (or any recent year) for a reference, such as Civil War. It dropped nearly 35 percent on its first Wednesday compared to squads 31. .. it also dropped 69 percent on its first Monday compared to 56 percent for Sqaud… go ahead and mention it was during the school season.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Red_Kal August 11, 2016

        The Wednesday dip is standard and it’s Tuesday to Wednesday drop is better than BVS and Civil War and it still outgrossed Guardians.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      wizzle August 11, 2016

      To be fair it is a terrible movie.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Wizzle August 11, 2016

    As much as I would love SS to have such a huge dip it’s second weekend, most people think it’s going to fall in the mid $50’s which sounds a bit more reasonable.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Kaustav August 11, 2016

    Suicide Squad will have a drop of over 72%? 😮 Are you guys for real?

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    manny lopes August 11, 2016

    just assuming abnormal second weekend decline, 50 million seems reasonable for suicide, on the way to 300 million plus final.

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Mike August 11, 2016

    Only “two minor blips” on Disney’s radar? Guess you forgot about “Alice…”

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    sailbum August 12, 2016

    SS benefitted from the huge hype leading up to the release. The problem is that the movie just is not that good. I think it will see a big crash down in the second weekend.

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    marjes August 12, 2016

    Florence Foster is going to be a surprise hit..why? ? because its original, charming and Meryl Streep. Besides there haven’t been good movies this summer for adult audience. Its been the same BS month after month…..so I would predict a $15 million opening.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Kenneth August 13, 2016

    Looks like Suicide Squad will drop around 69-70%. DC cinematic universe is the new Twilight in every possible way

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    wicket August 13, 2016

    Suicide Squad dropped from $133 million to $44 million it’s second weekend. Why? Be.Cause.IT.SUCKS! Seriously all you weirdos who praise this shitty comic book universe baffle me.

    Reply
  11. Avatar
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