Weekend Box Office Predictions: Annabelle to Spook #1; Nut Job 2, Glass Castle Open

Annabelle: Creation is set to possess (sorry) the box office this weekend. What are you watching?

This weekend, three new wide releases continue August, with Warner Bros.’ Annabelle: Creation ready to haunt first place. Open Road’s The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature should perform okay, as should Lionsgate’s The Glass Castle.

 

Annabelle: Creation (Warner Bros.)

This fourth entry in the Conjuring universe and the first sequel to 2014’s Annabelle comes courtesy of David F. Sandberg, who helmed last year’s Lights Out ($67.27m domestically/$148.87m globally). Sandberg’s Annabelle: Creation has received positive notices, in stark contrast to the first film (80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 6.4/10) vs. 29% (avg. critic score being 4.4/10). Annabelle opened to $37.13m in October 2014, on its way to an $84.27m domestic/$256.87m global haul. Since it cost a frugal $6.5m to produce, it is no surprise Annabelle received a follow-up.

Creation has a few benefits going for it – it is the first “notable” horror film since May’s Alien: Covenant, its reviews are positive, and the goodwill from last year’s The Conjuring 2 may offset the fact Annabelle was largely disliked. Annabelle opened -11.3% lower than the first Conjuring ($41.86m); if Annabelle: Creation drops the same from Conjuring 2 ($40.4m) it will open with $35.84m. It is important to consider the franchise fatigue that has plagued this summer, as well as the possibility that some may avoid Creation due to the first Annabelle. Regardless, Annabelle: Creation should be a decent horror hit until Warner’s It arrives in September.

Prediction: $30 million, #1 rank

 

The Glass Castle (Lionsgate)

Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) directs this adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ 2005 memoir, and it stars Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts. The memoir in question was a very successful book; it spent 261 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, which gives the film a name-recognition boost. The Glass Castle’s reception has been interesting – on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 58% rating, but its average critic score is 8.5/10 (granted, these metrics are taken from a small number of reviews, so this is subject to change). Some reviews state it is “one-note” (Claudia Puig, TheWrap) while others claim it is “easily one of the best films of the year” (Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment). The Glass Castle arrives at a time when audiences begin embracing awards season fare, which live or die based on reception. If Glass Castle edges closer to its 8.5/10 critic score than its 58% rating, it could make a decent amount for Lionsgate. Conversely, if it’s closer to its 58% rating, The Glass Castle may be forgotten.

One factor that limits Glass Castle is its theatre count – as of this writing, the film is set to release in around 1,400 venues. If Glass Castle hits a similar per-theatre average as last weekend’s nationwide release of Detroit ($2,370), it will make around $3.3 million. With the goodwill of Glass Castle’s source material on its side, it should make a bit more.

Prediction: $4.9 million, #9 rank

 

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (Open Road)

This follow-up to 2014’s The Nut Job is Open Road’s first release since The Promise in May ($8.2m domestically/$10.48m globally off a $100m budget). As of this writing, there are no reviews for The Nut Job 2, indicating it may fall closer to the first film (10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; 5.8/10 score on IMDb) than mark an improvement. It’s doubtful that Nutty by Nature will have a drop akin to the Hoodwinked! series ($51.39m gross for the first film, $10.14m for the second), but there is the “did anybody ask for this?” factor playing against it. Just for fun, if Nut Job 2 did play like Hoodwinked! Too vs. its predecessor, it would make $6.4 million.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature could benefit from The Emoji Movie’s negative reception, but perhaps audiences will tire of poorly-received animated movies (assuming Nutty by Nature falls into that category).

Prediction: $10 million, #3 rank

 

HOLDOVER PREDICTIONS

Dunkirk

2. Dunkirk (Warner Bros.) – $12.85 million (-25%), $158m cume
4. The Dark Tower (Sony) – $8.04 million (-58%), $36m cume
5. Girls Trip (Universal) – $7.98 million (-30%), $99.1m cume
6. The Emoji Movie (Sony) – $6.96 million (-42%), $65.6m cume
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony) – $5.48 million (-38%), $307.2m cume
8. Kidnap (Aviron) – $5.2 million (-48%), $19.8m cume
10. Atomic Blonde (Focus) – $4.73 million (-42%), $43.6m cume

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