This Christmas weekend is going to be huge, thanks to the second weekend of Rogue One and five newcomers that each have potential. Videogame adaptation, Assassin's Creed, will attempt to reach fans of the game. Passengers, a space adventure, will attempt to appeal to an older audience. The latest Illumination Entertainment film, Sing, will try to reach families and a younger audience. All three of those open tomorrow, which is why this prediction is so early. On Friday, a drama will attempt to win some Oscar nominations in the form of Fences and Why Him? will give audiences a new comedy. At this time last year, The Force Awakens left very little room for many films to break out, but this year, it ought to be a bit different as Rogue One's debut was somewhat muted compared to The Force Awakens. With that in mind, here is what is likely to happen (I will only be predicting the traditional Friday-Sunday frame).
1. Rogue One
This is still going to be towering over the other films this weekend. However, it will likely drop a tad harder than The Force Awakens (-39.8%) in its second weekend for a couple reasons. Its reviews are good, but nowhere close to that of The Force Awakens, and it also faces a bit of competition from Passengers, though not too severe.
With Moana starting to wind down, this might be in a prime position to break out. The connection to Despicable Me has been made pretty clear and Illumination has not made anything that has failed to cross $200 million domestically. As this is the second Illumination project this year, though, there is the chance that it might pull a Good Dinosaur. It seems to be the most likely candidate for second place though, and I am predicting an opening weekend in the high $20 millions, though the long December legs it will have should take it pretty far.
Fences is likely to take third place. Most of the recent films that looked like they were going to be Oscar candidates ended up being Oscar bait films. This, however, already has very strong early reviews, which could mean something. I am predicting an opening weekend between $18 million and $20 million.
Passengers looks like it might have a rough go. Early reviews have not been good and this is coming out five days after Rogue One, which was not a good move to begin with. However, the star power might help this movie open between $17 million and $19 million.
5. Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed is likely to stumble at the box office. Videogame adaptations have not done well this year and it may be the time that audiences are becoming wise to the gimmick. The early reviews are pretty awful, too, which will not help. The game it is based off of, however, has been extremely popular, so I will be generous and predict an opening weekend around $14 million.
Outside the Top Five
Why Him? should do decently for what it is, but it is unlikely to be that big, especially with the early reviews being what they are. I am predicting an opening weekend around $13 million.
Wednesday Update: Tuesday night premieres took place last night in which Sing took the lead and earned a strong $1.7 million, Assassin's Creed earned $1.4 million, and Passengers earned $1.2 million.
Friday Update: Why Him? earned $1 million from Thursday night premieres. There has not been any update about Fences yet.
*Fences will actually be opening Christmas Day. Box Office Mojo previously stated it was going to be opening today, and now it will apparently be Christmas Day.
Saturday Update: Happy Christmas Eve everyone. On Friday, Rogue One remained on top with $22.8 million. It is likely to end up between $70 million and $80 million for the weekend.
In second place, newcomer Sing earned a very strong $13.1 million and is looking at an opening weekend between $40 million and $45 million, which is noticeably higher than I predicted.
In third, Passengers earned $4.5 million and is likely to earn between $13 million and $15 million for its opening weekend.
Why Him? opened yesterday and had an opening day of $3.9 million, which suggests that it may earn between $11 million and $12 million this weekend.
Rounding out the top five was Assassin's Creed, which earned $3.7 million yesterday and is looking at an opening weekend barely above $10 million.
Sunday Update: Fences earned $750K last night. That may not be that indicative of how it will do today, though. Merry Christmas everyone!
Here are my official predictions for the weekend.
1. Rogue One: $86.7 million (-44%)
2. Sing: $28.3 million
3. Fences: $18.2 million
4. Passengers: $17.2 million
5. Assassin's Creed: $14.3 million
Outside the Top Five:
Why Him?: $13.3 million