Long Range Forecast: 'Hail, Caesar!', 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', & 'The Choice'
Featured Stories - on December 11, 2015
By Daniel Garris
Three wide releases are set to debut over Super Bowl weekend this year: Universal's Hail, Caesar!, Sony's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Lionsgate's The Choice. BoxOffice feels Universal's Hail, Caesar! has the most potential of the three, though it should also experience the most back-loading of the three as its target audience is more likely to wait until after Super Bowl weekend. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Choice should find themselves in a close battle for teens and young adults, especially with both films being rated PG-13.
With early critical reviews in mind, we have also increased our forecast for The Big Short and decreased our forecast for Joy. While we still feel Joy has more opening weekend potential over Christmas weekend, early reviews being significantly stronger for The Big Short than for Joy should help The Big Short out more over the long haul.
Hail, Caesar! (Universal)
- With the success of films such as 2007's No Country for Old Men, 2008's Burn After Reading and 2010's True Grit, The Coen Brothers have established a larger following over the past decade, while still remaining critical favorites.
- The film has a very strong ensemble cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
- Clooney has been an especially consistent draw at the box office when it comes to his films aimed at adult moviegoers.
- Opening over Super Bowl weekend is especially tough for films aimed at adult audiences. As mentioned, that should lead to additional back-loading for Hail, Caesar!
- The film's setting in 1950s Hollywood could prove to be a tough sell for today's audiences. Teens in particular are likely to choose either Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or The Choice instead.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Sony / Screen Gems)
- Zombies are still especially popular thanks in big part to The Walking Dead. And fellow zombie film Warm Bodies had recent success opening against the Super Bowl back in 2013 with a debut of $20.4 million.
- While it has been several years since they have released a film over Super Bowl weekend, Sony's Screen Gems division has a very strong history with Super Bowl weekend releases. Six of the top twelve all-time Super Bowl weekend debuts belong to Screen Gems releases.
- Thus far the film has over 3.5 times as many likes on Facebook than The Choice does.
- Action horror and period horror both find their current popularity in an obvious downturn. Crimson Peak disappointed back in October, while Victor Frankenstein downright tanked in November.
- Coming so soon after Krampus, The Forest and The Boy will likely limit demand for another PG-13 horror film.
- The film will face direct competition for teens and young adults in opening against The Choice.
The Choice (Lionsgate)
- Adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels have performed well over the years. 2010's Dear John and 2013's Safe Haven both performed especially strong as February releases.
- While it won't help against the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day should provide a boost in the film's second weekend.
- The two most recent adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, last year's The Best of Me and this year's The Longest Ride, have been the two lowest grossing Sparks adaptations to date. That is a troubling trend for The Choice.
- Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer are unlikely to provide much additional drawing power on their own.
- The film will face direct competition for teens and young adults in opening against Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Check out our complete long range forecast in the table below.
|Title||Release Date||Distributor||Opening Weekend||Cumulative|
|Hail, Caesar!||Feb 5, 2016||Universal||$14,000,000||$48,000,000|
|Pride and Prejudice and Zombies||Feb 5, 2016||Sony / Screen Gems||$9,500,000||$25,000,000|
|The Choice||Feb 5, 2016||Lionsgate||$8,500,000||$24,000,000|
|Kung Fu Panda 3||Jan 29, 2016||Fox / DreamWorks Animation||$44,000,000||$150,000,000|
|Fifty Shades of Black||Jan 29, 2016||Open Road||$15,000,000||$33,000,000|
|The Finest Hours||Jan 29, 2016||Disney||$10,000,000||$32,000,000|
|Jane Got a Gun||Jan 29, 2016||Weinstein Company||$5,500,000||$13,000,000|
|Dirty Grandpa||Jan 22, 2016||Lionsgate||$13,000,000||$43,000,000|
|The Boy||Jan 22, 2016||STX Entertainment||$11,500,000||$28,000,000|
|Ride Along 2||Jan 15, 2016||Universal||$50,000,000*||$118,000,000|
|13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi||Jan 15, 2016||Paramount||$22,000,000*||$60,000,000|
|The 5th Wave||Jan 15, 2016||Sony / Columbia||$16,000,000*||$37,000,000|
|Norm of the North||Jan 15, 2016||Lionsgate||$13,000,000*||$35,000,000|
|The Revenant (2015)||Jan 8, 2016||Fox||$24,000,000||$100,000,000|
|The Forest||Jan 8, 2016||Focus / Gramercy||$9,000,000||$20,000,000|
|The Hateful Eight||Jan 1, 2016||Weinstein Company||$30,000,000||$110,000,000|
|Joy||Dec 25, 2015||Fox||$18,000,000||$85,000,000|
|Daddy's Home||Dec 25, 2015||Paramount||$15,000,000||$70,000,000|
|Concussion (2015)||Dec 25, 2015||Sony / Columbia||$12,000,000||$58,000,000|
|Point Break (2015)||Dec 25, 2015||Warner Bros.||$10,000,000||$42,000,000|
|The Big Short||Dec 23, 2015||Paramount||$13,500,000||$75,000,000|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Dec 18, 2015||Disney||$223,000,000||$790,000,000|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip||Dec 18, 2015||Fox||$13,000,000||$82,000,000|
|Sisters||Dec 18, 2015||Universal||$10,500,000||$65,000,000|
* Indicates a four-day weekend.
Daniel Garris, Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.