The post-Christmas Box Office weekend is usually a lucrative one, creating entire meals out of the festive midweek scraps. This time last year saw 6 films out of the top 10 actually increase their weekend earnings after the previous one, including ‘Jumanji’, ‘The Greatest Showman’, and ‘Ferdinand’.
It’s no different this year, as many of last weekend’s inclusions look to beat their efforts of seven days ago. Competition comes in the form of debutants ‘Vice’ and ‘Holmes and Watson’, which both opened on Christmas Day.
The latter is studio Annapurna’s latest offering, a biographical comedy/drama starring Christian Bale as American politician, businessman, and former Vice pPresident of the United States, Dick Cheney. It’s McKay’s second venture into the niche genre, as well as his second partnership with Christian Bale – both films being 2015s ‘The Big Short’.
It’s ‘The Big Short’ that we’ll be using as a basis for our predictions. Both came out in the Christmas period, and although ‘The Big Short’ had a platform release (i.e. limited to wide opening), it didn’t stop a solid $2.3m on its opening Wednesday in 1,585 screens, on its way to a $10.5m weekend.
Signs point to ‘Vice’ at least doubling this opening, considering it made $4.8m on Tuesday, and enters cinemas wide immediately. It’ll definitely need to, at least for Annapurna’s sake; the studio sank a whopping $60m into this political drama before marketing costs too.
However, considering the difference in critical reception (‘The Big Short’s 88% on RT vs. ‘Vice’s 65%) and audience feedback (A- vs. C+ on Cinemascore), we’re not hedging our bets on ‘Vice’ beating ‘The Big Short’ by much this weekend, with an $11m gross being likely.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly lead together for the 3rd time in this weekend’s other new release, ‘Holmes and Watson’, but unlike ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Talladega Nights’, Sony’s latest comedy is one of the most critically-reviled movies of in recent memory, pulling in a dreadful 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a D+ on Cinemascore.
The film sees Ferrell and Reilly play Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the detective duo created by the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They’re joined by Rebecca Hall, Ralph Fiennes, Rob Brydon, and Pam Ferris, and at $42m, it’s one of the more expensive comedies of the year.
This only makes things worse for those at Sony, who are now pinning hopes on a big opening weekend to offset the inevitable poor word of mouth, and thus short Box Office run, to follow. It made a strong $6.4m on Christmas day, but won’t be able to solve the mystery of how to break-even however, as it looks to earn a disappointing $9m from Friday to Sunday.
Last weekend’s winner ‘Aquaman’ comes into the weekend fresh from a massive Christmas feast, as it earned $22.1m on Tuesday for the 6th biggest X-Mas day grosser ever, behind ‘The Force Awakens’, ‘The Last Jedi’, ‘Rogue One’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’, and ‘Avatar’. Jason Momoa and co stand tall at a domestic total of $122.6m currently and $600m worldwide, and should add another $55m this weekend for good measure.
Finally, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and ‘Bumblebee’ continue to battle for the 2nd and 3rd spots, and will earn an estimated $29m and $24m each in their pursuits of Box Office runs to match last year’s musical ‘The Greatest Showman’, and adventure-comedy ‘Jumanji’.
‘Aquaman’ looks to reign supreme again, while ‘Bumblebee’ and ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ remain untroubled by the new entrants of the week. Can ‘Aquaman’ be the first of the DCEU to hit the $1bn mark? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.