September’s Abominable – not to be confused with the 2018 yeti movie Smallfoot – is hitting theaters this weekend. Looking into the numbers, it seems as if the animated flick could unseat the period drama Downton Abbey off of its box office high horse. The Dreamworks film is expected to win the box office during its opening weekend.
Granted, it’s worth pointing out Downton Abbey had a heck of a weekend out of the gate last weekend. Initially expected to open in the $16-$21 million range, Downton Abbey actually opened to $31 million, proving there's an appetite for former TV content on the big screen. In fact, it could go on to have a really good second weekend at the box office as well.
Despite this, movies usually drop at least 45% in Week 2 (and usually more), which gives Abominable its first edge at the box office. Then, there’s the fact Abominable has had cute previews in theaters for weeks and it’s a Dreamworks original movie, which is a well-known and quality property. Tonally, early looks at the movie also remind me of the incredibly popular How To Train Your Dragon series. If you haven't caught the trailer yet, you can take a look below.
In addition, perhaps the more important reason why Abominable is expected to win the box office this weekend is the dearth of family content that’s come out in recent weeks. The Lion King and Toy Story 4 were both summer releases. In August, we got The Angry Birds Movie 2 and the slightly older-skewing Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark, but those both came out over a month ago.
There’s certainly room in the movies schedule for an animated movie right now, and the next animated flick, The Addams Family, won’t be out for a couple of weeks.
As an original movie and not an animated sequel, sure, Abominable is expected to bring in fewer dollars than animated sequels that have come out this year, including Toy Story 4, which crushed its run at the box office thanks to familiarity with the subject. Still, if the movie makes $17 million or more, it will be the largest opening for an original animated film in 2019.
It’s possible that Downton Abbey and Abominable will end up neck and neck this weekend and that the Julian Fellowes movie could surprise again, but if this early look at the box office is any guesstimate, the 4000+ theaters Abominable will be in should help it sashay to the win.