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Moviegoers Likely To Spend Fewer George Washingtons Over Presidents Day Weekend: Box Office Preview

Deadline logo Deadline 2/15/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
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Since 2013, Presidents Day weekend at the box office has had the added benefit of Valentine’s Day falling on or adjacent to the four-day holiday weekend. But not this year, which spells a dull weekend.

Try blaming the holidays for not coinciding, but the real culprit is a lack of great, new product popping off the tracking boards — the likely result of which is more moviegoers voting to stay home than previous Presidents Days. Last year’s Valentine’s/Presidents Day weekend will be challenging to top for quite some time, as Deadpool pushed total ticket sales to $239 million.

As we mentioned, Warner Bros’ The Lego Batman Movie will easily top No. 1 with $30M-plus, repping a 43% decline from its opening weekend. Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker is expected to fall harder with at least a 65% slide at $16M+ putting Christian Grey potentially underneath New Line/Warner Bros’ Fist Fight and Universal/Legendary’s The Great Wallwhich are expected to post in the high teens over three days. Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 2, is also in this pile-up, expected to decline 40%-50% for a second FSS between $15M-$18M.

There’s also 20th Century Fox/New Regency’s Gore Verbinski psychedelic spa movie A Cure For Wellness, which has zero hope for a remedy at the B.O.: The pic, which cost an estimated $40M-plus before P&A (chiefly financed by New Regency), is looking at a sickly $6M-8M over three days at 2,703 venues, possibly $10M over four. The movie stars Dane DeHaan, who delivered Fox a little B.O. wonder back in February 2012 with Chronicle, which opened to $22M stateside and made $126.6M worldwide — all off a $12M budget. Thursday previews start at 8 PM.

The Great Wall, which stars Matt Damon as a mercenary who assists the Chinese in defending their epic barrier from dragons, arrives in the U.S. in 3,326 theaters after conquering China with a $171M take, as well as an additional $53.5M (total overseas: $224.5M) from 31 Universal territories. Like Legendary’s Warcraft before it, this movie was built for a global audience with a focus on the Chinese market (it’s directed by Hero‘s Zhang Yimou), and it isn’t expected to wow anyone stateside. With a production cost of $150M and an additional $110M-$120M global P&A, some insiders believe it’s too early to call this fantasy action pic a loser (though it looks daunting). In addition to the U.S., Great Wall will rise in 21 additional markets including Australia, Korea, Russia and the UK.

New Line’s Fist Fight teams Ride Along’s Ice Cube with Horrible Bosses’ Charlie Day. Cube plays a teacher who is fired and challenges Day to a fight after school. The pic will play at 3,185 locations, with 2,300 of that number starting showtimes at 7 PM on Thursday. Keeping with New Line’s history of low-budget comedies, the R-rated Fist Fight carries an estimated production cost in the $20M vicinity before P&A.

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