Weekend Forecast: ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,’ ‘A Dog’s Purpose,’ ‘Gold’
Editor’s Note: The original publication of this article included erroneous percentage drops in the chart below. We’ve corrected those, as well as updated our forecasts for Hidden Figures and La La Land.
This weekend looks to be a tight three-way race to the top between two new debuts and last week’s leader, Universal’s horror thriller Split. Universal’s fellow release, family drama A Dog’s Purpose, tries to fight off unexpected controversy. Sony’s sci-fi action sequel Resident Evil: The Final Chapter aims to replicate the success of previous installments in the series. And though not expected to contend for the top spot, Weinstein Company also hopes to strike gold with Gold.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Sony)
The sixth installment in the Resident Evil film franchise, this series definitely comes with a built-in fan base. And with the title The Final Chapter, it’s clear to audiences that this ties everything up and isn’t just another attempt to cash in with a sequel that will be followed by another sequel, followed by another. Plus its two biggest would-be competitors of the month in the sci-fi and action genres, Underworld: Blood Wars and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage have both experienced middling returns at the box office.
Adjusted for inflation, the most recent installment Retribution was the lowest grossing of the five Resident Evil films, selling about 21 percent fewer tickets than the next highest-selling installment. Four of the previous five films in the series had come out in the month of September, with the series carving out a niche for itself as some of the higher-grossing movies during that month, usually one of the lowest-grossing of the year with few action or sci-fi films as competition, but can it win in January?
A Dog’s Purpose (Universal)
The tale of a dog who’s continually reincarnated under different owners is based on the novel of the same name by W. Bruce Cameron, which spent almost a year on the bestseller list. There are positive tracking signs, with the film’s built-in audience and no other recent family-friendly films in the market except Monster Trucks — which hasn’t been doing great at the box office after premiering in seventh place.
It might be more appropriate to start with the “cons” here, because there’s a huge one. TMZ went viral this past week with a video appearing to show animal abuse on set, as a German shepherd who’s clearly afraid of simulated rushing water is nonetheless forced in for a shot. The video has attained more than 8 million YouTube views in only seven days, compared to just above 9 million YouTube views for the film’s main trailer after more than four months. The red carpet was cancelled at the last minute after the controversy, and Quaid has been asked about the video in seemingly every interview he’s given, from the Today Show to Entertainment Tonight to Jimmy Kimmel.
Gold (Weinstein Company)
Matthew McConaughey stars in this dark comedy about real-life American Kenny Wells, a prospector who struck it rich in the late 1980s after accidentally discovering a gold mine while on vacation in Indonesia. The film is similar in both business-heavy plot and dark comedy style to 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short, both of which performed well with $116.9 million and $70.2 million. [Read Boxoffice’s interview with Gold director Stephen Gagan here.]
Weinstein Company last week also released another comedy-drama which quickly fell off the list of prospective awards contenders, which also took place several decades ago about an entrepreneur who struck it rich at great cost to his personal life. The Founder opened to $3.4 million. While Gold will roughly double that theater count, it appears unlikely to double that actual opening gross. Plus McConaughey’s most recent film, slavery drama Free State of Jones, underwhelmed in May with only $20.8 million, compared to 12 Years a Slave earning $56.6 million despite playing on fewer screen.
Check out the official Boxoffice Pro weekend forecast in the table below.
Boxoffice Pro predicts the top 10 films this weekend will earn a cumulative $100.7 million. That’s 16 percent below the $120.21 million earned last weekend, and 5 percent above the $95.73 million earned on this weekend last year, when The Revenant finally rose to lead the box office on its third weekend of wide release with $16.00 million.
|Title||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total through Sunday 1/29/17||% change|
|A Dog’s Purpose||Universal||$17,500,000||$17,500,000||New|
|Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||Sony / Screen Gems||$15,500,000||$15,500,000||New|
|La La Land||Lionsgate / Summit||$11,400,000||$105,390,000||+35%|
|xXx: The Return of Xander Cage||Paramount||$8,660,000||$34,510,000||-57.0%|
|Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||Disney||$4,330,000||$519,170,000||-40.0%|
Shawn Robbins, Jesse Rifkin, and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.
Based on an unconfirmed report, La La Land is presumably expanding into upwards of 3,000 locations this weekend.