Last weekend, Warner Bros. unleashed Birds of Prey, which was poised to become the first big comic book movie hit of 2020. Things didn’t exactly go according to plan. While the Harley Quinn spin-off topped the box office with $33 million, it came in well below industry expectations. With that, its run atop the box office will be short-lived, as it’s going to be a crowded Valentine’s Day weekend. Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog, Sony’s Fantasy Island, Universal’s The Photograph and Searchlight Pictures’ Downhill all arrive in theaters starting this Friday.
Sonic the Hedgehog, which serves as the directorial debut for Jeff Fowler, is set to take the top box office spot this weekend with an opening in the $40 million range. The movie, based on the Sega video game title, will benefit from not only the Valentine’s Day crowd, but the President’s Day holiday falls on Monday as well. This adaptation has had a long road to screens, as Paramount Pictures spent a great deal of money and time redesigning the main character after the original design was trashed by fans online. Jim Carrey and James Marsden star, with Ben Schwartz providing the voice of Sonic.
Birds of Prey could be in a tight race for the number two spot, as Fantasy Island, which is produced by Blumhouse Productions, is eyeing a debut in the $13 to $15 million range. If Fantasy Island, which comes from director Jeff Wadlow, hits the top end of expectations and Birds of Prey has a drop greater than 50 percent, it could end up having to settle for third place. That would be brutal for the DC adaptation, as critics and audiences who have turned up to see Margot Robbie’s return as Harley Quinn have generally enjoyed it.
Fantasy Island, meanwhile, was produced for a mere $7 million. With a cast that includes Michael Pena and Lucy Hale, this should be a solid win for Sony and Blumhouse either way. Photograph will be nipping at the heels of these movies as well, as the Stella Meghie-directed love story is expected to earn between $12 and $15 million as well. The movie stars Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield. Ultimately, the two, three and four spots will likely be decided by narrow margins come Monday.
The weekend’s final newcomer, Downhill, won’t fare nearly as well. The remake of Force Majeure is directed by Nat Faxon with a cast led by Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Unfortunately, the family comedy didn’t fare well with critics following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, as it currently sits at 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s expected to earn around $4 million, which should put it somewhere in the bottom of the top ten, which marks yet another possible flop for a Fox production since the Disney merger last year. Be sure to check out our full list of weekend box office predictions below and check back with us on Sunday for the weekend estimates. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.
|1||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|2||Birds of Prey|
|5||Bad Boys for Life|
|8||Jumanji: The Next Level|