The God of Thunder will easily top the weekend box office for a second weekend in a row but eyes will also be on how a couple of new releases will perform as they come in with their own share of buzz.
Thor: Ragnarok has seen solid weekday grosses and is experiencing solid word of mouth. In fact, the word of mouth has been the strongest of all the Thor films released so far. Since it doesn’t face much action competition until the gang from the Justice League comes out swinging next weekend, it gives the Marvel title more room to dominate further this weekend. It’s in the nature of these films to drop about half in week 2 so I expect this entry to follow suit but a $60 million weekend is in the cards which is great for a film that has already grossed over $500 million worldwide.
Daddy’s Home 2 should perform the best of the two new releases but I doubt it will which the heights of its predecessor which was inflated due to being released during the holiday season of 2015. Despite competition from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and prestige Oscar bait, the first film opened to $38.7 million and grossed $150.4 million domestically. Films like Daddy’s Home tend to do well over the holiday season but the sequel comes in a bit early, despite having a premise that is geared toward the holiday audience. The addition of Mel Gibson and John Lithgow should turn in some extra interest but the lack of reviews as of this writing could signal that the film isn’t very good. Where A Bad Moms Christmas has attracted female audiences, Daddy’s Home 2 should bring in the mean with at least $20 million for the weekend.
Murder on the Orient Express brings an old school murder mystery back to theaters courtesy of director Kenneth Branagh. The film, based on the Agatha Christie book of the same name, comes into the weekend with decent but not fantastic reviews (66% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing) and this is the kind of movie that relies a bit on critical acclaim to boost its credibility. An all-star cast does help its case with names such as Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench on board to name a few. I actually think the race between Daddy’s Home 2 & Express could be close if the latter can garner some positive word of mouth. I’m calling about $18 million for the weekend but it could go higher if it happens to capture the attention of moviegoers.
Check back on Monday for the full box office results!