Saturday, May 18, 2024

Weekend Box Office Forecast (Updated): BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER Pace for Historic Second Frame as HAUNTED MANSION Courts Family Audiences

Courtesy of Warner Bros and Universal Pictures

Thursday Update: The coming weekend looks to again rank among the best yet in the post-pandemic era as Barbie and Oppenheimer‘s weekday performances indicate even stronger holds than initially projected this week.

As the tandem continues to catch spillover demand from at- and near-capacity screenings throughout their first week of release, another historic weekend is on deck for the box office as a whole.

Behind last weekend’s $311.3 million market haul, the top overall moviegoing weekends since 2019 are:

  • December 17 – 19, 2022 ($283 million)
  • July 8 – 10, 2022 ($238.4 million)
  • May 6 – 8, 2022 ($222.3 million)
  • June 10 – 12, 2022 ($214.9 million)
  • November 11 – 13, 2022 ($209.5 million)
  • June 2 – 4, 2023 ($205.2 million)
  • April 7 – 9, 2023 ($205.1 million)

Remarkably, all of those frames were primarily driven by the opening weekend performance of tentpole films. That will not be the case this time.

The most comparable period to the weekend ahead will be May 3 – 5, 2019. That was Avengers: Endgame‘s second weekend of release, and the market grossed an overall $199.9 million. Endgame accounted for $147.4 million of that revenue as a holdover with the second best-ever second weekend gross in history.

While it’s important to view each film individually on many levels, Barbie and Oppenheimer are on pace to approach that figure between them in their second weekend showings. Combined with the debut of Haunted Mansion and healthy holds from other films in their chase weekends, the market overall should crack $200 million again with a considerable shot to land among the top five post-pandemic box office weekends.

In response to this incredibly unique run by both films, final forecasts and target ranges below have been revised ahead of the weekend’s official start.

Wednesday Morning: After a historic weekend at the box office that set a post-pandemic record with $311.3 million in overall ticket sales, the “Barbenheimer” craze looks to carry over into a strong second frame for both films. At the same time, Disney counters with Haunted Mansion in a late summer play for family moviegoers.

Barbie
2nd Weekend Range: $80M-$95M

Oppenheimer
2nd Weekend Range: $45M-$55M

Haunted Mansion

Walt Disney Pictures

July 28, 2023 (WIDE)

Opening Weekend Range: $22M-$36M

PROS:

  • Widespread familiarity with the source material will be an advantage in Disney’s attempt to bring another one of their signature theme park rides to the big screen, for the second time in Mansion‘s case.
  • Timing is favorable given the lack of family-driven options at the box office right now.
  • A strong ensemble cast adds appeal for parents and adults, in addition to the family audiences being targeted.
  • Pre-sales are encouraging, with a pace comparable to Pixar’s Elemental last month and Disney’s Jungle Cruise back in July 2021.

CONS:

  • With a late review embargo lift, critics are divided on the film. The Rotten Tomatoes meter sits at 49 percent from 70 reviews as of Wednesday afternoon.
  • Opening a film that’s thematically more fit for the Halloween period in the late summer is a somewhat questionable decision.
  • Staying power could be impacted by the arrival of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem in theaters next week.

Current projection ranges call for a 30% to 40% decrease from last weekend’s $307.8 million top ten aggregate.

Please note that previous forecast ranges for Barbie ($75 million to $90 million with a pinpoint of $79.1 million) and Oppenheimer ($42 million to $57 million with a pinpoint of $44.6 million) have been updated in this report.

Film Studio 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, July 30 Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed) 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd
Barbie Warner Bros. Pictures $88,600,000 $346,300,000 ~4,243 -45%
Oppenheimer Universal Pictures $50,800,000 $178,900,000 ~3,610 -38%
Haunted Mansion Walt Disney Pictures $28,800,000 $28,800,000 ~3,700 NEW
Sound of Freedom Angel Studios $16,000,000 $153,000,000 ~3,100 -19%
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Paramount Pictures $13,300,000 $142,100,000 ~3,700 -31%
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Disney / Lucasfilm $4,900,000 $168,100,000 ~2,400 -27%
Insidious: The Red Door Sony Pictures / Screen Gems $4,000,000 $79,000,000 ~2,100 -40%
Talk to Me A24 $3,100,000 $3,100,000 ~1,900 NEW
Elemental Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar $3,000,000 $144,700,000 ~2,200 -48%
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Sony / Columbia Pictures $2,000,000 $379,500,000 ~1,000 -31%

All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of opening previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.

Theater counts are either studio estimates OR unofficial projections if preceded by “~”.

The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.

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