Riddick looks like the runaway winner this weekend, but it’s certainly a strange title, and just wait until you see what we’re predicting down the board. As far as Riddick goes, the tracking is high, the Fandango pre-sales are solid, and the only real reasons to bet against the film are 1.) It’s been almost 10 years since The Chronicles of Riddick and 2.) the NFL season is starting.
The 2004 version opened at $24 million, so I’m not even giving them full credit for inflation, higher ticket prices, or the sequel bump. Mean-spirited, right? My number, $27 million. Consider that your gilded invitation to go higher.
Next up, Lee Daniels’ The Butler. We’re bringing the title back because it’s put up two straight blistering holdover numbers, a 33 percent dip followed by a less than 10 percent drop last weekend. Those are mid-90s numbers, kudos to Lee Daniels, Oprah, Forest Whitaker and the whole crew. Right now I’m calling for a 14 percent drop, all the way down to slightly under $13 million. This is going to be a tough one to hit exactly, anything from 10 to 40 percent is in play.
Here’s another fun one, One Direction: This is Us. These types of movies plummet in their sophomore weekend, 75 percent isn’t entirely out of the question, just check out that Jonas Brothers movie (you check it out because I never will). I’m putting it at a very kind 65 percent drop, but I’d love to see a few people get frisky and call for a decent holdover number. It’s been a weird couple of weeks, perhaps fortune will favor the brave.
Lastly, you’re not going to believe it, This is the End is on our predictions sheet! Huh? Yep, Sony is gifting it 2,000 theaters this weekend, in order to get to $100 million domestically. They only need a smidgen over $3 million to get there, and I’ve got them succeeding with $4.8 million. Will people get confused and buy a ticket? Are there still people out there who meant to see it previously? It’s a fascinating call, because this rarely happens, our theatrical releases tend to stay dead once they’ve been put down.
How say you? This weekend will test you in ways you’ve never been tested before, suit up, get in there, and shroud yourself in box office glory.
Current Record: 11-31-2 against the wisdom of crowds.
Major Theater Chain (MTC) Tracking
SIDE NOTE: Some of the theater numbers below are estimates. We’ll have the actual counts in Sunday’s wrap-up article.