Box Office Predictions: ‘Fantastic’ Weekend Ahead?

After enduring bad press and weirdly bad advance word of mouth, Fantastic Four will try to pull an “against all odds” this weekend and open big. I don’t think it can open too big. We’ve seen this story before. The Fantastic Four vs Doom. This is just a darker version with a younger cast. The review embargo was lifted today, and as predicted, the reviews are coming in negative, with one critic saying that “maybe the Fantastic Four just aren’t meant for a live-action movie.” Ouch. Still, fanboys will be interested enough to catch this and make up their own opinions, so Fantastic Four is likely to still hit #1 this weekend. But hopes of getting anywhere near the grosses of other superhero movies, even Ant-Man, are crushed.

Also opening this weekend are a trio of undervalued films. All three films currently have a positive Rotten Tomatoes score, and will all struggle to get 10M this weekend. If that. The Gift is the most accessible film, currently, since the last “scary” movie was The Gallows, which has already fallen out of theatres. People interested in a good scare will look to The Gift, whose star Jason Bateman is largely unproven outside of his genre as a box office star. Ricki and the Flash is opening in the least amount of screens of the four films, and despite getting screened for critics late, has been staying above the threshold at Rotten Tomatoes. It’s not certified fresh yet, none of them are, but 71% right now for Ricki with 18 reviews gives a decent glimpse into what is probably a crowdpleaser. Meryl Streep is not a box office queen, so even with counterprogramming taking effect, Ricki will struggle to find an audience this weekend. Finally, Shaun The Sheep has to convince parents to not see Inside Out or Minions, which is a daunting task considering the main characters are silent, and the film is based on a British property unfamiliar to most American children. Even with good reviews, Shaun will struggle to find an audience this weekend.

Mission Impossible should drop 55% to around 27M in Week 2. Vacation should drop 55-60%, and wind up with 6.5M, falling below Minions and Ant-Man. Speaking of Minions, it is on track to break 300M this weekend. Opening in limited release, Charlize Theron in Dark Places, The Diary of A Teenage Girl, and Cop Car with Kevin Bacon.

1) Fantastic Four- 40M Weekend, 40M Total
2) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation- 27M Weekend, 109M Total
3) The Gift- 10M Weekend, 10M Total
4) Ricki and the Flash- 8M Weekend, 8M Total
5) Ant-Man- 7.5M Weekend, 147M Total
6) Minions- 7.5M Weekend, 302M Total
7) Vacation- 6.5M Weekend, 35M Total
8) Shaun The Sheep- 6M Weekend, 6M Total
9) Trainwreck- 6M Weekend, 90M Total
10) Pixels- 5.5M Weekend, 57M Total
11) Southpaw- 4.5M Weekend, 40M Total
12) Inside Out- 3M Weekend, 336M Total
13) Jurassic World- 2.5M Weekend, 636M Total
14) Paper Towns- 2M Weekend, 30M Total

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