Wonka Tracking to Have Massive Box Office on Christmas Weekend

Wonka is currently tracking to have a much bigger box office debut over the Christmas Weekend, according to the latest box office projections.

According to reports, Wonka is currently looking at a $35M-40M box office debut starting on its December 15th release date, with room to grow its audience and box office haul going into its second weekend of release during Christmas. This is an increaase on earlier estimates released this same day; Apparently, early tracking has Wonka – a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel/musical starring Dune’s Timoth?e Chalamet in the titular role – scoring “great” with women both under and over 25. More than that, unaided awareness (i.e. viewers’ awareness of a film without marketing impact) is tracking equally well with females, coming in slightly above pre-release polling of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, and well ahead of other big holiday season family-film releases like Trolls Band Together (2023) and Mary Poppins Returns (2018).

(Photo: Warner Bros.)

Marry Poppins Returns is an especially interesting case to look at and compare to: That film opened on December 19th of 2018; it was projected to earn about $40M-50M on opening weekend – only to be undercut by the release of DC and Warner Bros.’ Aquaman, which had unexpected family-film appeal and went on to make over a billion dollars at the box office. Mary Poppins Returns ended up with a worldwide total of $349.5M on a budget of $130M.

Wonka will be facing something of a similar challenge to Marry Poppins, as the Christmas 2023 release slate is packed with mix of family-friendly films and Oscar contenders. Ironically, the Aquaman sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be hitting theaters on Christmas day, giving families and male viewers of all ages a different option. Universal Pictures’ animated duck movie Migration will also be arriving just before Christmas, cutting into the demographic of child viewers and families with young children. Cinephiles drawn to big-name actors or directors will have Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix’s Napoleon or Michael Mann and Adam Driver’s Ferrari to choose between – while even Warner Bros. itself will also be going for a whole other demographic with its remake of the classic African-American novel and film, The Color Purple.

That all said, Wonka has all the elements to appeal to the same female crowd that already made both Barbie and Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour movie into some of the biggest box office hits of 2023. If not the subject matter, the star power of Timoth?e Chalamet is strong enough to contend with all those other aforementioned films. The last film of this vein (the 2013 Wizard of OZ prequel/James Franco vehicle Oz the Great and Powerful) earned a modest $493.3M on a whopping budget of $215M. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opened to $56.1M domestically back in the summer of 2005.

Source: Deadline