It’s unclear if Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman-led ensemble comedy “Office Christmas Party” will have enough mistletoe to boot Disney’s “Moana” from first position at this weekend’s box office.
Estimates are all over the place for the Paramount, DreamWorks and Reliance Entertainment title, the only wide release in theaters this weekend, which is historically a low-performing one at the box office.
Trackers have the R-rated comedy opening anywhere between $20 million and $29 million — which would foreseeably be more than enough to rise above Disney’s animated hit in its third weekend.
But Paramount’s own projections paint a very different picture, with estimates in a much more conservative range of $13 million to $15 million — in line with the opening of the also R-rated “Sisters,” which debuted to $13 million at this time last year.
The lower end of estimates makes the movie an iffy bet for No. 1 — still not impossible — but has a more sure shot at No. 2.
“Office Christmas Party” also stars Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jillian Bell, Courtney B. Vance, Rob Corddry and Kate McKinnon and was helmed by directing duo Josh Gordon and Will Speck (2007’s “Blades of Glory”). It was made for $45 million, not counting marketing costs, and is set to open in roughly 3,100 locations.
Meanwhile, indie movies “Miss Sloane” and “Nocturnal Animals” expand wide this weekend.
EuropaCorp’s “Miss Sloane,” which will enter its third weekend as it fans out into more theaters, is not expected to exceed $5 million. Jessica Chastain’s R-rated mystery, which has a 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, centers on the most formidable lobbyist in Washington, D.C., as she takes on a powerful opponent. It has so far amassed $123,889 in its very limited release.
Focus Features’ moody thriller “Nocturnal Animals” is expanding in its fourth weekend, having earned $2.7 million so far in limited release. Written and directed by fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford, it stars Amy Adams as an art gallery owner who can’t shake threatening thoughts inspired by the writings of her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal), who penned a violent revenge-themed novel which she takes to heart. It has a 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Office Christmas Party” stars Aniston as a company CEO trying to thwart the success of her hard-partying brother (Miller) and his CTO (Bateman).
The two guys have to rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.