Weekend Box Office Predictions: Can Avengers Eclipse Force Awakens?

Infinity War 2

This weekend sees a single release (guess), a lone wolf if you will. You may have heard of it.

 

Avengers: Infinity War (Disney)

Here we are. Ten years and eighteen movies later, the pseudo-finale to the biggest franchise in modern… oh, there’s another one next year? Well.

Anyway, Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is going to be fucking huge, no matter which way you dice it. Tracking has consistently rose from “eh, maybe somewhere around Age of Ultron” to “watch your flippin’ back, Star Wars.” For good reason, too, given the movie makes waves at every turn, selling double the presale tickets this February’s behemoth Black Panther ($202 million opening/$681.83 million domestic tally thus far) sold at the same point plus selling more than the last seven Marvel titles combined. According to data from the Wall Street Journal, the movie has gathered over $50 million in presale revenue alone. Infinity War‘s first trailer ranks as the highest-viewed trailer on YouTube ever, managing a whopping 170 million views. It brings together pretty well every Marvel character in the current cinematic book. It’s following a string of big hits for Marvel last year; namely, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($389.81m), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($334.2m), and Thor: Ragnarok ($315.06m), not to exclude the aforementioned Black Panther.

In short, if there’s any movie that can overtake the $247.97m opening record set by 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s Infinity War (or maybe Avengers 4 next year, depending). Nailing down a precise number for Infinity War proves tricky, as there really isn’t a precedent for this kind of event. Perhaps caution is necessary to temper expectations – e.g., 2016’s Captain America: Civil War‘s hype led to a general assumption it would open over/under Age of Ultron ($191.27m), which didn’t pan out with a still-huge $179.14m, a figure then seen as slightly disappointing. Point here being that Infinity War can open to “just” around the first Avengers ($207.44m) and it would not be a tarnish on its reputation, since it’s super easy to overhype something to the point of presumption. I’m about to go into a paragraph that may seem counterintuitive to this.

There’s a good goddamn chance this’ll pass The Force Awakens. As of this writing, Infinity War boasts a 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 7.6/10 from ~100 reviews) and a glowing 9.4/10 score on IMDb from >11,000 ratings (with the obvious caveat that that score is most definitely fan-loaded, but then again fans are the harshest critics), nullifying the chief worry that the film wouldn’t be able to handle everything it’s going for (i.e., all those characters). As per Deadline, unaided awareness (non-frequent moviegoer indicator) for Infinity War is 59%, beating out both The Force Awakens and last December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220.01m debut). It’s the event movie of the year, with a stronger hook (culmination, arrival of the big bad Thanos) than Age of Ultron, which arguably suffered from a lack of novelty. Regarding the estimations that peg Infinity War at $275m for the weekend, maaaaybe not, but the fact it’s not an outlandish claim speaks to the momentum this movie has. It has everything going for it, and even if it doesn’t surpass The Force Awakens, it’ll probably be close.

Either way, it’s Disney competing with itself at this point.

Prediction: $240 million, #1 rank

 

HOLDOVERS

© Paramount Pictures

2. A Quiet Place (Paramount) – $12.55 million (-40%), $150.1m cume
3. Rampage (Warner Bros.) – $9 million (-55%), $80m cume
4. I Feel Pretty (STX) – $7.2 million (-55%), $28.1m cume
5. Super Troopers 2 (Fox) – $6.1 million (-60%), $25.2m cume
6. Blockers (Universal) – $4.1 million (-40%), $54.4m cume
7. Truth or Dare (Universal) – $3.5 million (-55%), $35.8m cume
8. Ready Player One (Warner Bros.) – $3.3 million (-55%), $131.6m cume
9. Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) – $2.4 million (-30%), $28m cume
10. Traffik (Lionsgate) – $1.8 million (-55%), $7m cume

Thanks for reading! Do you think Avengers: Infinity War will break the opening record? Comment below and check back next week for final results.

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