Weekend Forecast (Updated): ‘The Fate of the Furious’ Eyes Repeat Finish Over ‘Unforgettable, ‘Born in China,’ ‘The Promise’

Croak

Thursday 4/20 Update: Cinelou Films has confirmed that Phoenix Forgotten will open in 1,588 locations this weekend and that they are projecting a $3 million opening weekend. If it hits that target, it could be enough for the low-budget film to hit the top ten for the weekend. BoxOffice Pro’s expectation remains closer to $2 million for this weekend.

Meanwhile, we’ve slightly increased our forecast for The Promise to $3.4 million, while A24 has confirmed Free Fire will open in 1,070 locations this weekend. An opening between $3-4 million appears likely for that film.

Original Report: After weeks of sustained strength at the box office, 2017 finally arrives at what has long been expected to mark a brief slow period on the calendar as the lull between spring and summer begins. The good news is that lull will only last two weekends before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 launches on May 5, while The Fate of the Furious should remain on top of the box office until then.

Still, with five relatively low-profile openers this week, we’re foregoing the typical film-by-film analysis and instead opting for a general rundown of pros and cons relating to the slew of new releases.

PROS:

  • Unforgettable appears to have the most traction among this weekend’s openers thanks to recognizable stars, decent Facebook activity, and fair tracking. As a counter-programming option, we expect the film to appeal to crowds who turned out for the likes of When the Bough Breaks.
  • Born in China marks the latest Disneynature film, and its timely release with Earth Day on Saturday makes it a good choice for families who’ve already seen The Boss Baby and Smurfs over the past few weeks.
  • The Promise boasts solid leads in Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, helping mainstream appeal. In addition to a decent marketing push recently, this may be an appealing option for adults.
  • Phoenix Forgotten is receiving a semi-wide release from newcomer distributor Cinelou Films. With producing credits from the likes of Ridley Scott, it will hope to appeal to horror and conspiracy fans.
  • A24’s Free Fire is generating positive reviews and boasts a strong ensemble, making this a good choice for genre flick fans.

CONS:

  • Unforgettable‘s Twitter and Flixster activity haven’t measured up to its stronger points elsewhere. Both social media and traditional tracking pinpoint its opening markedly below that of When the Bough Breaks.
  • After a string of Disneynature films over the past eight years that have generally landed within the same performance range, it’s difficult to see Born in China exceeding that trend by a wide margin (not that it necessarily needs to).
  • The Promise is generating lukewarm critical reviews, which puts it at a slight disadvantage as another adult-driven counter-programmer — The Lost City of Z — looks to ride momentum from its strong platform release last weekend into a limited 500-theater expansion. Social media activity has also left much to be desired.
  • Social media buzz is tepid at best for Phoenix Forgotten. This can likely be chalked up to the fledgling studio’s short marketing reach. Based on a projected 1,500 theater count and very minimal life signs in tracking, we don’t expect it to crack the top ten this weekend.
  • Unfortunately, A24 hasn’t updated its theater count for Free Fire since last providing us with a projected number below 1,000 theaters two weeks ago. As such, we’ve opted to exclude it from our official forecast due to the limited amount of metrics supporting it as a true wide release. Should it’s final count come in significantly above 1,000, however, a healthy opening weekend between $3-5 million would seem more than achievable.

Check out our top 10 weekend forecast in the table below.

TitleDistributorWeekendDomestic Total through Sunday, April 23% Change
The Fate of the FuriousUniversal$37,500,000$164,670,000-62%
The Boss BabyFox$9,610,000$135,820,000-40%
UnforgettableWarner Bros.$9,000,000$9,000,000NEW
Beauty and the Beast (2017)Buena Vista$8,910,000$470,670,000-35%
Born in ChinaDisney$5,000,000$5,000,000NEW
Going in Style (2017)Warner Bros. (New Line)$3,650,000$29,660,000-42%
Smurfs: The Lost VillageSony / Columbia$3,490,000$32,900,000-48%
The PromiseOpen Road Films$3,400,000$3,400,000NEW
The Lost City of ZBleecker Street$2,250,000$2,400,0001942%
Get OutUniversal$2,090,000$170,690,000-30%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.