Can The Great Wall Overtake LEGO Batman at the Box Office?
After easily conquering highly-anticipated sequels Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick 2, LEGO Batman Movie has its sights set on three more newcomers hitting theaters this weekend, to retain its box office crown. The animated spin-off will go up against Universal's big budget action epic The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, Warner Bros.' comedy Fist Fight starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day and 20th Century Fox's A Cure For Wellness starring Dane DeHaan. We're predicting that, at least for this weekend, The LEGO Batman Movie finds a way to stay on top at the box office, with a projected $29.6 million.
One reason that The LEGO Batman Movie will likely stay on top is because it will still be playing in hundreds of more theaters than any of these newcomers. The LEGO Batman Movie debuted in 4,088 theaters last weekend, a number that will likely remain unchanged this Friday, with Box Office Mojo reporting that The Great Wall will have the widest release of these newcomers with approximately 3,200 theaters, followed by Fist Fight in roughly 3,000 theaters and A Cure For Wellness arriving in 2,700 theaters. While there are not enough reviews in for Fist Fight yet to warrant a Rotten Tomatoes score, neither The Great Wall (39% on RT) nor A Cure For Wellness (35% on RT) are shaping up to be critical hits.
We're predicting that The Great Wall debuts in second place with $20.6 million, followed by John Wick: Chapter 2 in third place with $19.4 million, Fifty Shades Darker in fourth place with $18.7 million and Fist Fight rounding out the top 5 with $17.6 million. Since this top 5 is so closely packed together, these could change quite a bit, but it all depends on how big of a decrease both John Wick 2 and Fifty Shades Darker suffer, especially since they both debuted on opposite ends of their predecessors. John Wick 2's $30.6 million opening was more than twice as much as John Wick's $14.4 million debut in 2014, while Fifty Shades Darker's $46.6 million is just under half of Fifty Shades of Grey's $85.1 million debut. That opening also represented 51.3% of its total domestic take, with the erotic thriller dropping a whopping 73.9% in its second weekend.
Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary's The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world's most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau. The Great Wall has come under fire in the past for its "whitewashed" casting of Matt Damon in the lead role, but that controversy seems to have simmered down for now, but it remains to be seen how that will affect the box office.
Ice Cube and Charlie Day star as high school teachers prepared to solve their differences the hard way in Fist Fight. On the last day of the school year, mild-mannered high school English teacher Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) is trying his best to keep it together amidst outrageous senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that are putting his job on the line just as his wife is expecting their second baby. But things go from bad to worse when Campbell crosses the school's toughest and most feared teacher, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), causing Strickland to be fired. To Campbell's shock, not to mention utter terror, Strickland responds by challenging him to a fist fight after school. News of the fight spreads like wildfire as Campbell takes ever more desperate measures to avoid getting the crap beaten out of him. But if he actually shows up and throws down, it may end up being the very thing this school, and Andy Campbell, needed.
A Cure For Wellness centers on an ambitious young executive who is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure. From Gore Verbinski, the visionary director of The Ring, comes the new psychological thriller, A Cure For Wellness. The cast includes Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Celia Imrie, Susanne Wuest, Mia Goth and Lisa Banes.
Rounding out the top 10 this weekend will likely be A Cure for Wellness ($8.5 million), Split ($6.2 million), Hidden Figures ($5.9 million), A Dog's Purpose ($3.8 million) and Rings ($2.9 million). Also opening in limited release that weekend is IFC's American Fable, Pantelion's Everybody Loves Somebody, Sony Pictures Classics' Land of Mine, Strand's Lovesong and Reliance Big Pictures' Runningshaadi.com. Everybody Loves Somebody is expected to debut in 325 theaters, but no theater counts were given for the rest of these platform titles. It remains to be seen whether any of these movies will expand into a nationwide release in the weeks ahead.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new movies arrive in wide release, with Open Road Films' action-thriller Collide, Universal's horror-thriller Get Out and Lionsagate's animated feature Rock Dog. Also arriving in limited release is Roadside Attractions' Bitter Harvest, CJ Entertainment's action film Fabricated City, Film Movement's drama Pelle the Conqueror, Well Go USA's comedy Punching Henry, The Weinstein Company's drama Tulip Fevr and Real Women's dramatic comedy Year By the Sea. Check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again next Tuesday for the next wave of predictions. Until then, here's our projections for the weekend of February 17.
|1||The LEGO Batman Movie|
|2||The Great Wall|
|3||John Wick: Chapter 2|
|4||Fifty Shades Darker|
|6||A Cure for Wellness|
|9||A Dog's Purpose|