Box Office, Franchise

Franchise Movie Box Office Predictions For The Year 2018 – PART I

Wall Picture Y18P1
Pictures courtesy of respective film studios.

Hi, everyone. I would like to say a few things first to clear some air before we go ahead and look into the box office future of the franchise movies arriving at theatres this year. Speak of which, this year looks like yet another crazy and sweetly unpredictable one. Thanks again to some overcrowding and some potential mega blockbusters arriving so close to each other. It’s not just about nailing those next-in-line billion dollar movies but was more about carefully examining and nailing the pattern and nature of the choices people were waiting to make, even in the very last minute.

To site one of the most recent debatable example, many were arguing as if ‘Jumanji‘ reboot had literally took the money out of The Last Jedi’s pocket. And it was rather a much comfortable excuse for the some who didn’t see that coming had claimed that they cancelled each other out. But honestly speaking, people were waiting till the very last minute to decide on whether to go see ‘Last Jedi’ or ‘Jumanji’. And all of a sudden the buzz was more louder and stronger for latter than the former, during the entirety of Christmas Weekend. Audiences not at all abandoned the ‘Last Jedi’ in exchange of ‘Jumanji’. Actually it was those divisive fans who abandoned the movie after they got a ‘Star Wars’ movie they didn’t like, thus so taking away a huge chunk of those ‘repeat audiences’ (and being fair enough they were also among those in majority who waited in queues for days to catch a glimpse of the very same movie  as earliest possible). So yes, it was a crucial factor for TLJ‘s slump from the previous episode.

Yet despite the fan’s backlash, general audience would still loved to have a ‘Star Wars experience’ on a given day. But majority of those audiences were presented with a difficult choice. They equally considered both but could be able to pick only one. (I was plainly assuming this as much as I was sure about it.) They decided go with the buzz. A virtual coin toss in my opinion. As a result, they picked Jumanji simply because it was enjoying a great buzz at that juncture and may be if they had listened to the buzz coming out just a week before, they could have easily went ahead and picked ‘The Last Jedi’. And Jumanji happily took the advantage despite arriving second, which was not the case for most (all) of the movies which followed similar pattern last year.

Justice League, King Arthur, The Mummy, War For The Planet of The Apes to name a few were the casualties of entering the fray as ‘the second one’, to an extent. You might argue as if I was claiming, that if any of those came out without facing any competition then they would have succeeded, hypothetically? My answer would be still a very solid NO. I rather believes ‘the factor of having a healthy, good will earning movie so closer to the other only ended up hurting them a lot more. And also almost all of them didn’t even regained any momentum after that initial hiccup despite being ‘good enough’. In much simpler terms, they would have either got a somewhat decent legs or slightly bigger frontloaded run when the other was placed at somewhat safer distance. The same still applies for ‘The Last Jedi’. Theoretically, if provided with enough space and some much needed luck, Jedi would have done slightly/marginally better, say $1.5bn possibly but may be not beyond that. (Yeah, those disgruntled fans-cum-repeat audiences alone would have possibly contributed around $150m globally.)

Earlier, I was strangled by those  second thoughts on whether to include the whole “Jumanji/Last Jedi Hypothesis” in my previous post but only decided to give it a skip in the last moment. Feel for those who came here expecting to see the some numbers straightaway, but in contrary I hoped it will warm things up. (I can hear you all yelling at me saying, “Come on, dude. Let do it already“.) Okay, HERE WE GO.

Hollywood was brimming with franchise movies, the fact we all well aware of and 2018 wasn’t going to be any different, we were somehow aware of that too. Here, I decided to do the ‘prediction thingy’ for ? movies. (Sorry, I haven’t yet fixated on a solid list of movies, so I will let you know soon.)

  1. If there was any regret I ever had, before kicking start my predictions for 2018, I got just one. Damn, I missed ‘Maze Runner Finale’ and even if I gave away my prediction numbers right now it won’t be much accurate and honest. Yet I would like to let you know where my expectations might have stood. The threequel, 20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure arrived at theatres on January 26, 2018 starring mostly the returning cast which includes Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Aiden Gillen, Walton Goggins, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson and was directed by Wes Ball. As off now, it was doing every bit fine, with $42m+ from NA and $150m+ from overseas bounty. So with current $192m+ worldwide box office total against  the $62m budget, I think it already justified itself as a solid and consistent YA adaptation movie. Setting aside Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight franchises it was safer to say that it was the ‘best YA franchise’ box office performance-wise. I was hoping it would somehow clear $300m globally but will have no trouble reaching $275m-$280m total (with $60m+ from NA; $220m from around the world). Also with one of the franchise’s most lucrative market ‘France’ yet to open one can still hope. Well, I would have predicted a softer drop in NA with possible $70m total (15% drop) and would have loved to see it  besting the original’s $245m+ overseas cume. I conclude by saying that I could have went on to predict a $315m+ global gross for this YA trilogy capper.

  2. Up next, we have one ‘hot and steamy’ thing here and yet another such closing/final installment for trilogy of films. Sounds more like the last one, right? But it was a very distinct and altogether different subject we have here. Indeed it was Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed, just married arrived at theatres earlier today (February 9, 2018) featuring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan alongside Kim Basinger, Arielle Kebbel, Max Martini, Brant Daugherty, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora with James Foley returning to direct. It seems pretty evident the things between Grey and Anastasia had caught more steam, but for reasons aplenty the box office was expected to lose some steam. If this third installment did drop as much steam as second one did, then things were not looking bright for this one.  In figures, a similar 34% drop from the previous/second installment would set things up for $250m+ climax. ‘Anti-climax’ might be more appropriate to call it, if when that happens. Still against a $55m budget it would be enough and suffice. I also believe parties at Universal were hoping for a bit more extra. Here, I am too going a bit softer on this one as I predict a $280m$300m finish with around $80m from NA (opening might be around $35m) and little over $220m from the offshore revenues.

    Following content updated on February 14th, 2018 :

  3. Next in line was one movie when looked at from a perspective what we possibly see was a ‘ground breaking superhero film‘ (with all due respect to Blade’). As soon as it was announced three and a half years ago, it became a ‘thing’. For the MCU as whole. For the Marvel Fans in general. For the people of colour in particular. Then the stint in the little movie called ‘Captain America: Civil War’ radically changed things as it increased the curiosity and hype around the movie in subject by several folds. Then the ‘trailer’ dropped. Hype quickly became a ‘fever-pitched anticipation’. As it drew nearer and nearer and nearer it began to solidly position itself as an ‘event’.  Notably not just as an ‘another event film’ but rather as a “singular, unique, cultural event film”. When it was announced, we guessed (a  very wild guess) that  it would do around $70m-$75m opening and $200m+ finish in NA when being as much optimistic as possible. Then it started pealing the layers of reality one by one. Thus how it had now shaped up into one drastically different reality, which was once considered an exaggerated fantasy. As a result of these latest developments, a further-revised $100m figures was revised into a probable $120m+ total and now finally at this point it’s looks like it was locked up for a $150m+ launch.

    Evidently enough, it was very challenging to nail the final prediction numbers yet having a very solid idea about where it was headed. I was not  stating that it was ‘unpredictable’ one rather it was something which simply keeps growing bigger as each day passes. I believe it will rack up around $160m in the opening weekend ($nearly $200m for the long weekend). Also with the buzz which most likely to propel and favour the film in the long run, the movie will probably look to become one of the biggest ever non-holiday season movie with $400m-$420m NA total. I didn’t care if it got trimmed down a little but feel much better if it goes even higher than I predicted. (A dream finish would be, a $480m domestic total with 3x final multiplier. Oddly, I was kinda expecting it to get there.) With overseas it can work wonders, if people of all/other colors must see it as a opportunity to ‘honor’ this effort and make the case better for ‘humanity’ as whole. I had a feeling that it will finish somewhere in the range of $420m-$450m. If the overseas number pulls anywhere closer to $500m total, I would proudly call it a “collective” (though I was bit stressed to use that word) triumph.  A worldwide total of $820m-$870m range was in the vicinity. So yes, it was fourth consecutive $800m+ milestone for MCU. But it means more than that. It matters a lot more than just that.

    Marvel/Disney’s Black Panther will launch into theatres on February 16, 2018 starring an ensemble cast of Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke with Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis, directed by Ryan Coogler.  If you haven’t yet decided to see it then set aside any decision you made and just go see it. Go join this wonderful ‘cultural event’. I even dare say ‘a carnival or a festival’. Since ‘Black Panther’ was not just a movie the world needed, it was a movie the world deserve.

  4. Coming fresh off from one ‘good enough’ yet not ‘great enough’ year, looks like Warner Bros. were pinning lots of hope on this one. A reboot. Because it was so very difficult to nail a reboot these days than an original or a biopic. Speaking of which, WB’s Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas among others. If when considering the history of video-game adapted movies and box office performance of the same, then future looks grim for this reboot. But if done right and more importantly timed right even a reboot can do well beyond our wildest expectations like Jurassic World, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Adding the factor of increase in demand and scope for female-centric movies (as most recently been proved by the WB’s own Wonder Woman) then for the current scenario, the future looks crazy good. By taking cues from all these scenarios, we were probably looking at a ‘mixed bag’. A possible opening of around $35m+ coupled with a somewhat decent 2.3x multiplier then $85m+ NA total which would be just fine (if and only if the budget was kept within $75m-$80m range). With few came out-of-nowhere performances here and there, then it will make around $220m+ overseas for a halfway decent $300m+ worldwide total.

    If people did actually want more of such films then for that to happen these movies had to succeed one after another, after another and to an extent even some ‘average ones’ had to succeed as well. Because if you didn’t show up, then “some people” were quick enough to point out those occurrence(s) as evidence of sorts, to prematurely declare how ‘such ideas usually fail’ rather than it was the ‘movie quality/scope’ that let the whole thing down. So, if movie was good then go see it without making any excuses. Even if it was ‘just okay’, still consider seeing it once. I was sincerely hoping that it won’t turn out to be a ‘bad one’.

That’s it. It was not out of respect I haven’t considered Insidious: The Last Key and Paddington 2, but was more about me being slightly selective about picking the list of movies I wish to do every year. As it happens so few movies including those two didn’t made the final cut, unfortunately. Will catch up with you all later along with the inevitable part II post of franchise box office predictions.  Please do comments, if  you like what I ‘m doing here and share if you want more such people especially those who have very specific interest in stuffs like these, for them to see it. Thank you for your support. Until next time.

Legends: m stands for million; for billion, NA for North America.
Sources: Wikipedia, Box Office Mojo.