Predictions for the opening of Paramount Pictures’ sci-fi drama “Arrival” and Universal’s holiday-themed comedy “Almost Christmas” are no longer neck and neck for this weekend’s new wide releases.
The Amy Adams sci-fi drama is now expected to earn roughly $24 million in its opening weekend for third place, pulling away from “Almost Christmas,” estimated to make $16.2 million.
Disney-Marvel’s holdover hit starring Benedict Cumberbatch, “Doctor Strange,” is on its way to making $45 million for No. 1 at the box office for its second weekend in a row, trouncing the two new titles in the process.
The newbies are also having a tough time beating DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls” in its second weekend, on track to be No. 2 with an estimated $34 million to $35 million.
“Doctor Strange” earned $85.1 million last weekend and “Trolls” grossed $46.6 million.
Meanwhile, new EuropaCorp thriller “Shut In” likely won’t eke out a place in the top five at this point, now expected to open to roughly $4 million.
Holdover “Hacksaw Ridge” is tracking toward an $11 million second weekend for a probable 5th place.
Here’s more of the breakdown:
“Doctor Strange” made $14.9 million on Friday night, making its current domestic cumulative $124.9 million. Fox’s “Trolls” earned $12.2 million on Friday night, bringing its cumulative to $93.1 million.
Off glowing reviews, “Arrival” is beating estimates of $17 million made earlier in the week by roughly $7 million. It’s playing in 2,317 locations this weekend and was made for $47 million, not counting marketing costs. (Paramount acquired U.S., Canadian and China distribution rights out of the Cannes Film Festival in 2014 for $20 million.)
It stars Amy Adams as a language expert who risks her life in an attempt to communicate with the inhabitants of a mysterious spacecraft. The film also features Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg and Mark O’Brien, and was directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Prisoners”).
“Arrival” passed with flying colors when it screened on the festival circuit earlier this year and currently has a 93 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Predictions for “Almost Christmas” match those made earlier in the week, as the film made $5.9 million on Friday from 2,376 locations.
Written and directed by David E. Talbert (“Baggage Claim”), the comedy stars Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover, Romany Malco, Mo’Nique, Nicole Ari Parker, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Jessie Usher and DC Young Fly. The film is tracking strongest among African-American women.
“Almost Christmas” was produced for $17 million and is playing in 2,372 theaters. It centers on the family patriarch’s one wish as his family gathers for five days over the holiday: to get along.
In EuropaCorp’s “Shut In,” Naomi Watts plays a child psychologist whose son (Charlie Heaton of “Stranger Things”) becomes bedridden following a car accident that killed her husband.
The movie made $1.4 million on Friday night, and now its three-day estimates have sharply declined.
“Room” star Jacob Tremblay is also in the PG-13 thriller, playing in 2,058 theaters. He plays a young patient who goes missing, is later presumed dead, and appears to haunt her home in rural New England during a dangerous winter storm.