With the pandemic still hampering the theatrical industry’s restoration to former glories, studios have been wary of stacking the deck too heavily on any given weekend in an effort to ensure that each new release has the potential to fly as high as possible.
That being said, a trio of major new titles are all hitting the big screen tomorrow, and they each come bearing plenty of critical acclaim. Despite the widespread adulation being pointed their way, though, none are expected to emerge at the head of the pack by the time the dust settles.
The battle for box office supremacy is more than likely set to boil down to a straight shootout between blockbuster sequels Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, unless of course The Northman, The Bad Guys, or The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent can pull off a major upset.
Robert Eggers’ Viking epic holds an 89% Rotten Tomatoes score but is only expected to earn somewhere between $10-15 million. DreamWorks’ animated family feature holds a 90% rating on the aggregation site and could be in with a shot at $20 million, while the single best-reviewed entry in Nicolas Cage’s entire filmography is projected to debut within the $8-12 million range.
It’s not a coincidence that none of the aforementioned efforts are franchise fare, proving once again that recognizable IP is a much safer bet for putting butts in seats than the critical consensus, even if they’re nonetheless expected to live up to (and possibly exceed) expectations from a commercial perspective.