Box Office Predictions: Three New Films Lead, One ‘Strange’ Will Win

You’re probably headed to the theatres this weekend. If not, you definitely know someone who is. Between Doctor Strange and Trolls, the box office is about to receive an adrenaline shot after having a sluggish October. It’s good news for the November releases still to come, like Arrival, Fantastic Beasts, and Moana, all of which will benefit from people heading back to theatres this weekend.

Doctor Strange is tracking really well, and while he’s not an A-list Marvel character, the film has an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Word of mouth will get butts in seats, and 70M is nothing to scoff at. It’s a terrific start for a new Marvel franchise, one that could play well over the coming holiday season.

Trolls doesn’t overlap too much with the target demo for Doctor Strange, and the promo team at Dreamworks has been working hard at making sure Trolls performs well. It should land in the high 30’s, which isn’t a disappointment, but also not a huge hit. It has to play second fiddle to Doctor Strange, and I think Dreamworks knows that. If this film broke 40M, that would be enough to signal it as a bonafide hit at this point, but high 30’s is still solid. The only other kids film in the marketplace is Storks, which is definitely showing its age at this point. Trolls has a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes which is also pretty good.

Mel Gibson’s Oscar bait war drama Hacksaw Ridge is hoping to pull in the adult audience that’s been ignoring films like Inferno. The ultra-violent film is looking to pull in everyone from war film fans to Christian audiences. That wide net could put it in the mid-teens, which is decent for a film directed by Gibson (post-controversy) and starring Andrew Garfield. Reviews are what will sell this film, and a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes helps position this as an early Oscar favorite. It does have to compete with Doctor Strange to some degree, which is why it can’t go as high as 20M. I’d be impressed if it hit 16-18M this weekend. That pretty much would make it a breakout hit.

With all that money being thrown at three new movies, the rest of the top 10 is just hoping for word-of-mouth to keep them alive. Very few of these films have word-of-mouth working in their favor. Only Ouija and Peregrine have positive RT scores, and The Accountant and Boo! are the only two with A cinemascores.

In limited release, the Oscar contender Loving will test its weight. Next week, all eyes are on Arrival, which currently has the very hard to attain 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (after an impressive 51 votes counted). It seems to be holding up to its Oscar potential, while other once rumored Oscar dramas aren’t faring so well with critics. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, once a contender, is now an also-ran with a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.

1) Doctor Strange- 70M Weekend, 70M Total
2) Trolls- 37M Weekend, 37M Total
3) Hacksaw Ridge- 14M Weekend, 14M Total
4) Boo! A Madea Halloween- 11M Weekend, 69M Total
5) Inferno- 7M Weekend, 28M Total
6) Jack Reacher 2- 5.5M Weekend, 49M Total
7) The Accountant- 5M Weekend, 70M Total
8) Ouija: Origin Of Evil- 4M Weekend, 31M Total
9) The Girl On The Train- 3M Weekend, 71M Total
10) Miss Peregrine- 3M Weekend, 84M Total

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