After a long holiday weekend that saw moviegoers turn out for a five-day frame—including Independence Day on Tuesday—studios are taking a brief reprieve from releasing major films this weekend.
That said, three counter-programmers could provide some added business to the midsummer market, with under-served genre representation from the horror, comedy, and faith-based indie fields hitting big screen.
Ultimately, however, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will probably continue to lead the market with another first place finish in its sophomore frame. Despite opening on the low end of final forecasts with an estimated $84 million five-day start, the sequel has shown some encouraging signs in day-to-day holds that suggest its staying power will be healthier than some recent franchise titles.
Please note that holdover forecasts below are based on multiple estimates, as studios had not yet reported actuals for all films over the holiday weekend before this report’s publication.
Insidious: The Red Door
Sony Pictures / Screen Gems
July 7, 2023 (WIDE)
Opening Weekend Range: $20M-$27M
- As outlined in a prior analysis, the Insidious franchise enjoyed a rebound with 2018’s The Last Key; The Red Door could ride that wave of momentum, especially given the return of original cast members Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins.
- Pre-sales have been trending in the neighborhood of recent summer thriller/horror releases like The Black Phone and Candyman, while outpacing The Boogeyman by a factor of more than three.
- With very few high-profile horror offerings so far this summer, this sequel could stand out among genre fans and the franchise’s own dedicated following.
- Coming off a crowded holiday frame could prove a challenge for The Red Door, as could the upcoming releases of several other tentpoles in July. The film will also have little premium screen footprint, as Indiana Jones continues to command those auditoriums.
- Pre-sales were sluggish out of the gate, though that’s largely attributable to the combination of holiday activities being on the forefront of moviegoers’ minds and horror’s history of lighting a late fuse in ticket purchases.
July 7, 2023 (WIDE)
Opening Weekend Range: $7M-$11M
- In a similar vein to this summer’s relative lack of big screen horror options, comedy films—outside of No Hard Feelings—has been a missing piece to the season’s box office puzzle. The glut of male-driven films in theaters in July, with the obvious exception of Barbie, could allow Joy Ride some space to stretch it legs.
- Critics’ reviews have signaled a potential crowd-pleaser; Joy Ride‘s Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 96 percent from 45 entries as of Wednesday morning.
- As No Hard Feelings recently proved, it can be challenging for R-rated comedy to exceed expectations at the box office—with or without star power.
- Joy Ride likewise has to consider the gauntlet of competition ahead in July, notably Barbie, with which it shares a female target audience.
Sound of Freedom
July 3, 2023 (WIDE)
6-Day Opening Weekend Range: $20M-$28M
- Faith-based films have seen an occasional resurgence in recent years, in particular those from Angel Studios (His Only Son, “The Chosen”).
- Pre-sales for this Jim Caviezel-led thriller have impressed thanks to the strong grassroots campaign mounted by the studio.
- Reliance on faith-driven audiences can sometimes create films to be frontloaded. The holiday release of Sound of Freedom is another factor, as it may make daily holds going into the traditional weekend difficult to predict.
Current projection ranges call for a 15% to 20% percent decrease from last weekend’s estimated $122.1 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Studio||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, July 9||Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny||Disney / Lucasfilm||$28,600,000||$125,800,000||~4,600||-53%|
|Insidious: The Red Door||Sony Pictures / Screen Gems||$24,100,000||$24,100,000||~3,000||NEW|
|Sound of Freedom||Angel Studios||$8,900,000||$25,600,000||~2,600||NEW|
|Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse||Sony / Columbia Pictures||$8,000,000||$357,300,000||~3,200||-33%|
|Elemental||Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar||$7,400,000||$104,700,000||~3,500||-39%|
|No Hard Feelings||Sony / Columbia Pictures||$4,500,000||$39,800,000||~2,700||-43%|
|Transformers: Rise of the Beasts||Paramount Pictures||$4,500,000||$146,100,000||~2,600||-39%|
|The Little Mermaid (2023)||Walt Disney Pictures||$3,600,000||$288,700,000||~2,200||-33%|
|Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken||Universal / DreamWorks Animation||$2,600,000||$11,200,000||~3,400||-53%|
All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of opening previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are either studio estimates OR unofficial projections if preceded by “~”.
The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.