Long Range Forecast: 'Hail, Caesar!', 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', & 'The Choice'

Featured Stories - on December 11, 2015

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By Daniel Garris

Three wide releases are set to debut over Super Bowl weekend this year: Universal's Hail, Caesar!, Sony's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Lionsgate's The Choice. BoxOffice feels Universal's Hail, Caesar! has the most potential of the three, though it should also experience the most back-loading of the three as its target audience is more likely to wait until after Super Bowl weekend. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Choice should find themselves in a close battle for teens and young adults, especially with both films being rated PG-13.

With early critical reviews in mind, we have also increased our forecast for The Big Short and decreased our forecast for Joy. While we still feel Joy has more opening weekend potential over Christmas weekend, early reviews being significantly stronger for The Big Short than for Joy should help The Big Short out more over the long haul.

Hail, Caesar! (Universal)

PROS:

- With the success of films such as 2007's No Country for Old Men, 2008's Burn After Reading and 2010's True Grit, The Coen Brothers have established a larger following over the past decade, while still remaining critical favorites.

- The film has a very strong ensemble cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

- Clooney has been an especially consistent draw at the box office when it comes to his films aimed at adult moviegoers.

CONS:

- Opening over Super Bowl weekend is especially tough for films aimed at adult audiences. As mentioned, that should lead to additional back-loading for Hail, Caesar!

- The film's setting in 1950s Hollywood could prove to be a tough sell for today's audiences. Teens in particular are likely to choose either Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or The Choice instead.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Sony / Screen Gems)

PROS:

- Zombies are still especially popular thanks in big part to The Walking Dead. And fellow zombie film Warm Bodies had recent success opening against the Super Bowl back in 2013 with a debut of $20.4 million.

- While it has been several years since they have released a film over Super Bowl weekend, Sony's Screen Gems division has a very strong history with Super Bowl weekend releases. Six of the top twelve all-time Super Bowl weekend debuts belong to Screen Gems releases.

- Thus far the film has over 3.5 times as many likes on Facebook than The Choice does.

CONS:

- Action horror and period horror both find their current popularity in an obvious downturn. Crimson Peak disappointed back in October, while Victor Frankenstein downright tanked in November.

- Coming so soon after Krampus, The Forest and The Boy will likely limit demand for another PG-13 horror film.

- The film will face direct competition for teens and young adults in opening against The Choice.

The Choice (Lionsgate)

PROS:

- Adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels have performed well over the years. 2010's Dear John and 2013's Safe Haven both performed especially strong as February releases.

- While it won't help against the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day should provide a boost in the film's second weekend.

CONS:

- The two most recent adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, last year's The Best of Me and this year's The Longest Ride, have been the two lowest grossing Sparks adaptations to date.  That is a troubling trend for The Choice.

- Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer are unlikely to provide much additional drawing power on their own.

- The film will face direct competition for teens and young adults in opening against Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Check out our complete long range forecast in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Hail, Caesar! Feb 5, 2016 Universal $14,000,000 $48,000,000
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Feb 5, 2016 Sony / Screen Gems $9,500,000 $25,000,000
The Choice Feb 5, 2016 Lionsgate $8,500,000 $24,000,000
Kung Fu Panda 3 Jan 29, 2016 Fox / DreamWorks Animation $44,000,000 $150,000,000
Fifty Shades of Black Jan 29, 2016 Open Road $15,000,000 $33,000,000
The Finest Hours Jan 29, 2016 Disney $10,000,000 $32,000,000
Jane Got a Gun Jan 29, 2016 Weinstein Company $5,500,000 $13,000,000
Dirty Grandpa Jan 22, 2016 Lionsgate $13,000,000 $43,000,000
The Boy Jan 22, 2016 STX Entertainment $11,500,000 $28,000,000
Ride Along 2 Jan 15, 2016 Universal $50,000,000* $118,000,000
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Jan 15, 2016 Paramount $22,000,000* $60,000,000
The 5th Wave Jan 15, 2016 Sony / Columbia $16,000,000* $37,000,000
Norm of the North Jan 15, 2016 Lionsgate $13,000,000* $35,000,000
The Revenant (2015) Jan 8, 2016 Fox $24,000,000 $100,000,000
The Forest Jan 8, 2016 Focus / Gramercy $9,000,000 $20,000,000
The Hateful Eight Jan 1, 2016 Weinstein Company $30,000,000 $110,000,000
Joy Dec 25, 2015 Fox $18,000,000 $85,000,000
Daddy's Home Dec 25, 2015 Paramount $15,000,000 $70,000,000
Concussion (2015) Dec 25, 2015 Sony / Columbia $12,000,000 $58,000,000
Point Break (2015) Dec 25, 2015 Warner Bros. $10,000,000 $42,000,000
The Big Short Dec 23, 2015 Paramount $13,500,000 $75,000,000
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Dec 18, 2015 Disney $223,000,000 $790,000,000
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip Dec 18, 2015 Fox $13,000,000 $82,000,000
Sisters Dec 18, 2015 Universal $10,500,000 $65,000,000

* Indicates a four-day weekend.

Daniel Garris, Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

Tags: Caesar!, Hail, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Choice, predictions

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