Weekend Forecast: 'Ride Along 2', 'The Force Awakens', 'The Revenant', '13 Hours' & 'Norm of the North'
Featured Stories - on January 13, 2016 by Daniel Garris
The four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend will see Universal's Ride Along 2, Paramount's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi and Lionsgate's Norm of the North all enter the marketplace. While it isn't expected to match the $48.6 million four-day debut of its predecessor, Ride Along 2 is expected to open in first place over the holiday frame. BoxOffice expects 13 Hours to get off to a solid fourth place start this weekend and Norm of the North to open softly in sixth place.
Meanwhile, Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has led the weekend box office over each of the past four frames, should find itself in a very close race for second place with Fox's The Revenant. BoxOffice feels that The Revenant will have the advantage for second place over the three-day weekend, but that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have the slight edge over the four-day frame thanks to the potential of a stronger Monday performance.
Ride Along 2
- The Ice Cube and Kevin Hart led Ride Along opened with $48.6 million over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend back in 2014 and displayed healthy holding power throughout its run.
- On Twitter in the days leading up to release, Ride Along 2 is trending significantly higher than last year's The Wedding Ringer and slightly ahead of last year's Get Hard.
- Films that skew towards African American audiences have a strong history of performing well over Martin Luther King weekend.
- Pre-release excitement for Ride Along 2 doesn't feel as strong as the pre-release excitement that surrounded Ride Along. Sequel fatigue will likely be a factor for Ride Along 2.
- As a sequel, the film is likely to be more front-loaded than its predecessor was. That may help a bit this weekend, but will hurt in the long run.
- The film currently has a Tomatometer of just 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While Ride Along 2 should be largely critic proof, the film's poor early critical reviews won't provide a boost either.
- Similarly themed films such as Zero Dark Thirty, Lone Survivor and American Sniper have all excelled in recent years during the month of January.
- 13 Hours has performed well on Twitter in the weeks leading up to its release, though a sizable percentage of the film's tweets have been negative in tone. The film continues to generate a higher amount of tweets than Ride Along 2 has.
- 13 Hours will likely receive added boosts from conservatives and from Michael Bay fans.
- The politics that have surrounded the 2012 Benghazi attack are likely to keep some potential moviegoers away.
- 13 Hours doesn't have the awards season prestige that Zero Dark Thirty and American Sniper both had.
- The film has a relatively modest estimated location count of 2,300 and will face tough direct competition from The Revenant this weekend.
Norm of the North
- There is a strong history of lower profile family films exceeding expectations over Martin Luther King weekend, with a recent example being 2014's The Nut Job, which opened with a four-day take of $25.7 million.
- With The Peanuts Movie, The Good Dinosaur and to a lesser extent Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip all approaching the end of their respective runs, there isn't much competition in the marketplace this weekend for families with younger children.
- Norm of the North hasn't received the type of marketing push that animated films normally get. In a similar situation, last year's Shaun the Sheep Movie (also a Lionsgate release) opened with respective three-day weekend and five-day takes of $4.0 million and $5.6 million.
- While there is plenty of room in the current marketplace for films aimed at families with younger children; families with older children are sure to choose Star Wars: The Force Awakens and to a lesser extent Daddy's Home instead this weekend.
- Norm of the North has been performing quite softly for an animated film on Twitter.
Top 10 Forecast
BoxOffice projects this weekend's top ten films will total $176.6 million over the four-day frame. That would represent a 20 percent decline from the $220.7 million top ten total of the Martin Luther King four-day holiday frame last year. Warner's American Sniper led that frame with a record-breaking $107.2 million performance, while The Weinstein Company's Paddington launched with $25.5 million and Sony's The Wedding Ringer opened with $24.0 million.
Check out our complete four-day forecast in the table below.
|Title||Release Date||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total Through Monday, Jan 18
|Ride Along 2||Jan 15, 2016||Universal||$41,000,000||$41,000,000|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Dec 18, 2015||Disney||$32,500,000||$858,000,000|
|The Revenant (2015)||Dec 25, 2015||Fox||$32,000,000||$89,700,000|
|13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi||Jan 15, 2016||Paramount||$25,000,000||$25,000,000|
|Daddy's Home||Dec 25, 2015||Paramount||$12,500,000||$132,400,000|
|Norm of the North||Jan 15, 2016||Lionsgate||$10,000,000||$10,000,000|
|The Forest||Jan 8, 2016||Focus / Gramercy||$6,800,000||$22,200,000|
|The Big Short||Dec 11, 2015||Paramount||$6,500,000||$51,700,000|
|Sisters||Dec 18, 2015||Universal||$5,500,000||$81,900,000|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip||Dec 18, 2015||Fox||$4,800,000||$81,500,000|
|The Hateful Eight||Dec 25, 2015||Weinstein Company||$4,300,000||$48,400,000|
|Joy||Dec 25, 2015||Fox||$3,300,000||$51,800,000|
|Spotlight||Nov 6, 2015||Open Road||$2,900,000||$31,800,000|
Daniel Garris, Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.