Just a few weeks ago it looked like this weekend may be the one that finally took Barbie off her perch atop the charts as the highly anticipated Gran Turismo was set to launch. However, Sony recently announced a massive update to their release schedule which saw Gran Turismo get pushed back by two weeks due to the ongoing SAG strikes which doesn’t allow stars to promote their already completed films. As a member of SAG-Aftra, I appreciate the fight we are currently in, but I completely disagree with not allowing the stars to promote their films on their own social media pages. This is work that was completed prior to any strike and represents months, and for some, years of their lives to make something they are proud of and they are prohibited from simply saying “hey, go see my movie this weekend, it’s really good!”
But I digress!
Since Sony decided to push the release of Turismo in an effort to build strong word of mouth from advanced screenings, this weekend is looking a bit bare with just two new releases that aren’t expected to break the box office. Of course that is actually kind of a good thing as the market is actually still ripe with over-performing films such as Barbie, Oppenheimer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Meg 2: The Trench.
You can expect Barbie to extend her reign atop the charts for a fourth week in a row with what should be another minuscule drop in the 35% range with a weekend total around $35 million. I know my local theater has the hit film back on its premium screens in full force which I think a lot of theater owners were excited to do after fulfilling their obligations to the other new releases.
I do think this weekend will also see the re-emergence of Barbenheimer as Oppenheimer will likely reclaim its second place spot with another $20 million. In doing so, it will become the second highest grossing film at the domestic box office to never hit number 1 on the charts as it surpasses the $241.4 million made by 2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It will only be another week before it officially becomes the highest grossing film to never reach number 1 on the charts when it surpasses 2016’s Sing’s $270.3 million. The film has been such a massive success that it is still selling out shows across the country resulting in an extended IMAX run . However, if you want to check it out at a local Imax theater such as an AMC or Regal, you may want to go this week as next week it looks like Blue Beetle will be taking over those screens with Gran Turismo taking over the following week.
Of last week’s two overachievers, I expect Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem to have a stronger hold as it currently has a 96% rotten tomatoes score with a 91% audience score against Meg 2: The Trench’s 28% RT score and 72% audience score (although how it got even that high of an audience score is beyond me!) I would expect Turtles to have a drop off in the 40% range with a $17 million weekend while Meg 2 is looking at an at least 60% drop off and a weekend around $12 million. You can check out Tyler Nichols 8/10 Turtles review here and Chris Bumbray’s 5/10 Meg 2 review here.
Despite its lack of marketing, I think I saw one theatrical trailer and maybe one TV spot, The Last Voyage of the Demeter should be able to claw its way into the top five with an opening in the $9 million range. To be perfectly honest, until I read more about this movie, I didn’t really even know it was a Dracula movie. The film was bred from a single chapter from the famed 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker titled The Captain’s Log and tells the tale of the ship Demeter who unknowingly has the famed vampire among its cargo. After reading up on the movie, and seeing who it is directed by: André Øvredal, who helmed the very creepy The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, I can say that I am actually looking forward to seeing this one. Of course the review embargo on the film has yet to be lifted as of this writing and that is generally not a good sign. If the studio thought they had a critical hit, they would want those reviews out there as soon as possible to get people excited.
The second new release of the week is one I literally just saw the trailer for yesterday and that is the Ben Kingsley starring Jules which looks like an ET meets Cocoon mash up. Reviews have been solid calling the film cute and relatable. But as I said, if I had just heard of this movie yesterday for the first time, I kind of doubt general audiences are familiar with it and I would be shocked if it cracked the top ten.
Do your plans for the weekend include taking in a delightful feature film? If so, let us know what you plan on seeing gin the comments and don’t forget to check back with us on Saturday as we give a brief update on this weekend’s box office numbers.
TOP FIVE PREDICTIONS