Super Bowl weekend has historically been a slow one at the box office, although there are worse weekends. This weekend looks to be no different. The record Super Bowl opening weekend is still held by 2008's Hannah Montana Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3D at $31.1 million. None of the newcomers this weekend look like they will come close to that, but collectively, business should be able top last year's Super Bowl weekend. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for Super Bowl weekend 2016.
1. Kung Fu Panda 3
The third installment in the popular Dreamworks Animation franchise opened to $41.3 million last weekend. It did open lower than the first two ($60.2 million and $47.7 million, respectively). However, it seems unfair to compare this opening to that of the first two, because this one had awkward scheduling. January is not an ideal time for a Dreamworks Animation project to release. All things considered, this was a strong opening. It should not decline that much as there is no other animated competition until Zootopia on March 4th, so it still has a month left to bring in the families. It should end up in the mid to high $20 millions for the weekend.
2. Hail Caesar!
Hail Caesar should be in second place. This is a Coen Brothers film and there is a long list of strong stars, but it did not seem to have a strong marketing effort. It should be the only other film to earn over $10 million this weekend, but not by much. Still, early word of mouth seems to be positive. So far, it has an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it may open low, but it could have long legs if word of mouth pays off.
3. The Revenant
There is not much to discuss here. It has been holding up very well and it is likely to keep doing so for a while longer. It will likely drop below $10 million for the weekend, but not by much.
4. Star Wars 7
The mathematically unprecedented mega hit Star Wars 7 is going to make headlines for passing $900 million domestically this weekend and it is unlikely to fall by that much, but expect this to be the last time it appears in the top 5. I know I claimed that before, but I overestimated the power of some of the recent new releases. Deadpool and Zoolander 2 will come out next weekend and push it out of the top 5 at that point. For this weekend, though, it should earn between $5 and $10 million. No matter what, this film has already gone down in history no matter how it performs from here on out.
5. The Finest Hours
The last film in the top 5 should be The Finest Hours. The film was well liked enough that it should not fall too hard, but it will not have Revenant like holds. It should be in between $5 and $10 million.
Outside the Top 5:
There are two newcomers for the weekend that are likely to open outside of the top 5.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Zombie movies have lately been performing poorly. Need I mention Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse? Okay, then I will. It opened to a very weak $1.8 million. This should open significantly higher, despite a weak marketing effort, because those that know it exists connect it with the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. It should barely pass $5 million.
The latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation is likely to bomb. There is not the star power that The Last Ride had, and it did not really stand out to many until today when, in a rather desperate move, it played countless ads on YouTube. It would be shocking if it earned over $5 million this weekend.
Here are my official predictions for Super Bowl Weekend 2016. It will be a slow weekend this weekend, but when Deadpool and Zoolander 2 debut next weekend, there will be some box office fireworks to celebrate. Note that when there are percentages in parentheses, it represents the drop from the previous weekend. If there are no percentages, it is a new nationwide release.
1. Kung Fu Panda 3: $26.1 million (-37%)
2. Hail Caesar!: $12 million
3. The Revenant: $9.8 million (-23%)
4. Star Wars 7: $7.3 million (-35%)
5. The Finest Hours: $6.4 million (-38%)
Outside of the Top 5:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: $5.1 million
The Choice: $4.8 million