Tracking & Forecasts

Weekend Forecast: Will BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE and THE WATCHERS Start to Reverse the Summer Slump?

Credit: Robrecht Heyvaert & Sony / Columbia Pictures; Eli Arenson & Warner Bros. Pictures

This summer’s early box office gets a welcome boost this weekend with the release of two counter-programming titles aiming to give June some momentum as the release slate begins to pick up in the weeks ahead.

Last week was topped by the second frame of The Garfield Movie with its $14 million sophomore showing, part of an overall $60.3 million top ten market that kept the season mired in an unwelcome slump heading into the heart of vacation months.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Sony Pictures
June 7, 2024
Domestic Opening Forecast: $45 – 55 million

Key Tracking Factors:

  • Although the studio is cautiously expecting a $30 million domestic start this weekend, our pre-release models have regularly been a little more bullish. As of Wednesday, June 5, pre-sale trends are comparable to those of Creed III, with weekend trends that mirror other diverse audience performers such as Fast X.
  • The third film over-performed expectations with its MLK record $62.5 million three-day start back in January 2020 thanks to healthy casual audience appeal and demand from under-served Black communities. A similar advantage could again be in play for Ride or Die, especially with competition at a minimum.
  • Ride or Die‘s biggest variable, aside from its age as a franchise and less novelty than its predecessor enjoyed after an 18-year break between sequels, could be moviegoer sentiment toward Will Smith following 2022’s Oscar controversy. It’s challenging to assess how much, if any, significant impact that might have on what is his first major theatrical release since the incident and his Best Actor win for King Richard. Still, his return alongside Martin Lawrence as the beloved character duo will be appealing to many.
  • As usual, a strong PLF footprint — IMAX included — will be advantageous for average ticket prices as well as the ability to draw adult audiences whose consumer habits have evolved to the point of being far more likely to see a film in theaters when it’s given the premium experience treatment.
  • Early reviews are mostly positive with a 68 percent fresh score from 73 Rotten Tomatoes critics.

The Watchers
Warner Bros. Pictures
June 7, 2024
Domestic Opening Forecast: $8 – 13 million

Key Tracking Factors:

  • Horror films have been somewhat proliferated at the box office in recent months with very few truly standing out beyond hardcore genre fans. Pre-sale models are slightly behind those of Abigail at the same stage, but leading Tarot by more than 25 percent in our sample markets.
  • A PG-13 rating and potential appeal to young women alongside fans of M. Night Shyamalan, whose daughter Ishana makes her feature film directorial debut with Watchers, could give this original release some extra profile.
  • Reviews may be meaningful in this social media- and buzz-sensitive era of media consumption. Unfortunately, critics’ reactions were not yet available at the time of this report’s writing.

Weekend Forecast

This weekend’s top 10 films are tracking to earn 40 percent behind the same weekend in 2023 ($163.5 million, when Transformers: Rise of the Beasts opened to $61.1 million) and 38 percent behind the same weekend in 2019 ($$158.3 million, when The Secret Life of Pets 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix debuted).

Top 10 Forecast Chart Available on Box Office Theory’s Substack

All forecasts above are subject to revision prior to the start of the weekend and will be notated accordingly. Theater counts are estimated unless otherwise stated.

For media inquiries or questions about the forecast, please contact us.

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