Don’t expect any favors from the weekend box office. The period following the Thanksgiving day Wednesday-Sunday stretch is notoriously one of the lowest-grossing periods of the year as moviegoers get into the holiday swing with more shopping, parties and activities.
Last year at this time, total ticket sales per Rentrak theatrical amounted to $77.99M, off 52% from the post-Thanksgiving FSS. That turned out to be the second-lowest frame in 2014 after the FSS following Labor Day weekend, which amounted to $66.2M. We hit rock bottom this year during Halloween weekend (Oct. 30-Nov. 1) with $74.4M, which gives you an idea of how low the B.O. can go.
The only studio brave enough to trot out a wide release is Universal with Legendary’s low-budget horror comedy Krampus which is debuting at 2,899 theaters along with 24 overseas territories. Current opening estimates range from $10M-$13M for a fourth place ranking. Essentially, if a distributor is going to go after an audience in the next couple of weeks before Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens, young males are it versus adults. Michael Dougherty of Trick r Treat fame directed and co-wrote this zany film about an ancient legend, who punishes those who have lost the Christmas spirit. Krampus stars David Koechner, Toni Collette and Adam Scott. Thursday night previews will start at 7 PM.
Similar to last year, this post holiday frame belongs to Katniss. Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2 is looking at a similar third frame decline of -60%, bringing its FSS to $20M-$21M. Yesterday, the film clicked past the double century mark and currently trails MJ1 by 12% with $204.2M.
Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur is looking at an estimated -50% decline, bringing its second weekend to $19M-$20M, breaths behind Katniss in second. Through yesterday it’s made $58.4M.
MGM/New Line’s Creed which is being distributed by Warner Bros. should ease in the -40 percentile range with a third place in its second FSS between $15M-$17M. To date, Creed has amassed $46.4M.
Sony/MGM/Eon’s Spectre per industry estimates is bound to cross the $200M mark, but not this weekend. The 24th Bond film is also looking at a -50% decline in the $5M-$6M range. Two days before its fifth weekend, Spectre stands at $177.7M.
Freestyle Releasing is handling The Letters which tells the story of Mother Teresa through letters she wrote to her friend Father Celeste. The film stars British actress Juliet Stevenson as Mother Teresa as well as Rutger Hauer and Max von Sydow. The film is being released in an estimated 1,000 venues and it is expected to make $1M-$1.5M per industry projections.
Open Road takes Spotlight from 897 playdates to 980, with many forecasting a 30-40% decline for $2M-$3M. Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn, also in its fifth frame, is looking for a similar amount of cash as it widens from 845 to 910 engagements.
Roadside Attractions is rolling out Spike Lee’s new film Chi-Raq in an estimated 304 theaters. The film is a modern day take on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata set against Chicago’s gang violence.
Weinstein Co. is keeping Carol put in four locations in NY and LA, while opening Macbeth in five locations. The Michael Fassbender-Marion Cotillard title played in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
Fox Searchlight also has another title that played Cannes, Paolo Sorrentino’s colorful, philosophical grey haired guy pic Youth. The Italian-produced film will play the Hollywood ArcLight and Landmark on Pico in LA and the Angelika and Lincoln Plaza in NY.