The month of January doesn't often usher in huge box office grosses, but horror fans came out in droves to see M. Night Shyamalan's Split, which took in just over $40 million last weekend. This thriller will have its work cut out for it this weekend, going up against three new releases, Sony's Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Universal's A Dog's Purpose and The Weinstein Company's Gold to close out the month of January. We're predicting that, while it certainly may be a close race this weekend, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will take down Split with a projected $21.7 million, just barely beating Split with $20.6 million.
Box Office Mojo reports that Resident Evil 6 will open in roughly 3,000 theaters, followed by A Dog's Purpose in 2,900 theaters and Gold in 2,200 theaters. As of now, Gold is sporting a middling 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and A Dog's Purpose don't have enough reviews posted for a RT score at this time. There has been plenty of controversy swirling around A Dog's Purpose, though, which could certainly impact its performance at the box office.
Last week, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asked fans to boycott A Dog's Purpose after a disturbing video surfaced that showcased animal abuse on the set. The footage was filmed on the Winnipeg set in November 2015, during a second unit scene where the dog was supposed to save a child from drowning. The video shows a frightened dog was forced into a pool, with the production using outboard motors in the pool to re-create a river rapids environment. Director Lasse Hallstrom was reportedly present during this scene, where at least one crew member was disgusted by the dog's treatment. We're predicting that it will finish in fourth place, between XXX: The Return of Xander Cage in third place with $11.2 million and Hidden Figures rounding out the top 5 with $9.1 million.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter follows Alice Abernathy (Milla Jovovich) as she continues her battle against The Umbrella Corporation's hostile AI system The Red Queen (Megan Charpentier) with the help of her friends Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), Leon Scott Kennedy (Johann Urb), Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), and her daughter Becky (Aryanna Engineer), while continuing an uneasy alliance with the former head of Umbrella, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts). Along the way, they will reconnect with former comrades Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller), Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), and Kmart (Spencer Locke). Their epic battle will lead them back to where it all began in the dark mansion built by Umbrella founder Lord Ozwell E. Spencer and the deep underground research and development center known as The Hive, where The Red Queen plots total destruction over the human race.
We're predicting the top 10 will be rounded out by Gold ($7.2 million), Sing ($6.1 million), La La Land ($5.2 million), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($4.7 million) and Monster Trucks ($3.9 million). The Weinstein Company's Gold is the epic tale of one man's pursuit of the American dream, to discover gold. Starring Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, he teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on an journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street. The film is inspired by a true story. Directed by Stephen Gaghan, the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez and Bryce Dallas Howard.
A Dog's Purpose follows a dog as he looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners. The ensemble cast includes Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Peggy Lipton, K.J. Apa, Logan Miller, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Bryce Gheisar, Caroline Cave, with Josh Gad voicing the dog. Lasse Hallstrom directs from an adapted screenplay by Cathryn Michon, based on W. Bruce Cameron's best-selling novel. Also opening in limited release is Orion Pictures' Get the Girl, China Lion's Buddies in India, Indican's Massacre on Aisle 12, Cohen Media Group's The Salesman and Pantelion's Un Padre No Tan Padre.
Looking ahead to next weekend, there are only two new films debuting in wide release, Paramount's Rings and STX Entertainment's The Space Between Us. There are also a number of indie films debuting in limited release, such as Sony Pictures Classics' The Comedian, CJ Pictures' Confidential Assignment, Vertical Entertainment's Eloise, Indican's The Grace of Jake, Magnolia's documentry I am Not Your Negro, Sony's Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back and another Indican release, The Trouble with Terkel. Take a look at the top 10 projections for the weekend of January 27.