Exactly 110 days ago, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker joined what is known as the $100 Million Losers Club. A rare feat, a movie can only join this club if its second-weekend gross falls $100 million below its opening weekend sales.
Sometimes it’s an honor to be part of such a club. Very few films can even be eligible to join the club in the first place because…well, not many movies are capable of grossing $100 million on opening weekend. In fact, only 60 movies have ever accomplished that feat. So not only does a movie need to earn at least $100 million on opening weekend, but that movie must make so much money that it’s capable of a $100 million drop on the second weekend.
So, for instance, a second-weekend drop of $209.7 million for a movie like Avengers: Endgame isn’t a bad thing at all. That just proves that the movie’s opening weekend gross of $357.1 million was so gargantuan that such a massive second-weekend drop is inevitable.
But in other instances? It hasn’t been so pretty. That was the case for The Rise of Skywalker—which owns the fourth-lowest opening weekend of any club member. While the movie’s $177.4 million opening weekend was inarguably impressive, its $72.4 million second-weekend gross was not.
So what movie will join the club next?
Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck the world and closed down cinemas, it would have been a tough call to make. Joining the $100 Million Losers Club is a huge achievement that can only be accomplished by the most lucrative of movies. Not even huge projects like Captain Marvel and Frozen II—which own the 21st-largest and 34th-largest opening weekends ever, respectively—were able to join the list in 2019. So what movie will finally make the leap?
The Current Club Members
First, here’s a quick rundown of every movie that’s part of the $100 Million Losers Club, and how much those movies dropped on their second weekends:
- Avengers: Endgame – $209.7 million drop
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi– $148.4 million drop
- Avengers: Infinity War– $142.9 million drop
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – $121.8 million drop
- The Lion King– $115.2 million drop
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – $114.7 million
- Avengers: Age of Ultron – $113.6 million drop
- Captain America: Civil War – $106.5 million drop
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – $105 million drop
- The Avengers – $104.3 million drop
- Incredibles 2 – $102.4 million drop
- Jurassic World – $102.2 million drop
- Iron Man 3 – $101.6 million drop
All of those movies came out within the last ten years. And five of those movies came out in the last five years: Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2, The Lion King and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The 2020 Candidates
To join the club, it seems you need to be a recent film that capitalizes on a storied franchise. As you can see, comic books and Star Wars largely make up the list, with a few outliers (The Lion King, Incredibles 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2) taking advantage of viral fanbases.
With that said, you can look at plenty of 2020 releases that would have fit that criteria (before they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic):
- Mulan taps into the ‘90s Disney nostalgia that benefitted The Lion King
- No Time to Die will be the final film of the most lucrative set of 007 movies to date
- Black Widow will be the latest Marvel movie since Spider-Man: Away From Home hit theaters last summer
- F9 will become the ninth movie in the multi-billion-dollar Fast & Furious franchise
- Wonder Woman 1984 will be the sequel to the highest-grossing film in the DC Extended Universe
While all of those movies will undoubtedly become hugely profitable (whenever they release, that is), it’s hard to imagine any of them joining the club. While Daniel Craig’s 007 movies have been a huge success, none of them have made over $100 million on opening weekend; Iron Man 3 is the only non-Avengers Marvel movies to make the cut so far; not even the Fast & Furious franchise’s biggest movie, Furious 7, could pull it off after a $147.2 million opening; and the original Wonder Woman only grossed $103.3 million on opening weekend.
My guess is that Mulan will come the closest out of all those movies, as it has a pretty adoring fanbase. Yes, The Lion King has been the only Disney re-imagining to pull it off so far—but Beauty and the Beast came close after it made $174.8 million on opening weekend and $90.4 million on the second (an $84.4 million drop).
But on the flip side, the next biggest opening weekend belongs to The Jungle Book, which only made $103.3 million in its first three days. Plus, Beauty and the Beast seems to have had a much wider appeal than Mulan currently has—so it seems unlikely.
Looking Beyond 2020
Past those films, we’ll need to look beyond 2020—which means this year will probably become the first year a movie doesn’t join the $100 Million Losers Club since 2014.
We can start with the DC Extended Universe, but Batman v Superman has been the only DCEU movie so far that pulled it off—in un-spectacular fashion, mind you, as that movies had the lowest opening weekend gross of any club member. Contenders there are The Batman, The Suicide Squad, Black Adam, Aquaman 2 and the future Justice League follow-up.
Then there’s Marvel. Most of the upcoming Marvel movies will step outside the familiar mold: The Eternals (which is likely going to be moved from 2020 to 2021), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Morbius are all new territory for the MCU.
After those movie release, there are plenty of highly anticipated Marvel sequels coming: Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2, Spider-Man 3, Captain Marvel 2, etc. But based on the previous Marvel performances, it’s difficult to believe any of them will make the cut.
Of all those films, Black Panther 2 will have the best shot. The first film avoided joining the club, despite opening to a massive $202 million weekend. On the second weekend, it grossed a whopping $111.7 million—very close to a $100 million difference.
Past that, the only other viable contender is the next Avengers movie—whenever that will be released.
Finally, there’s Star Wars. Whatever movie kicks off the next trilogy in the Star Wars universe will almost undoubtedly join the club when it releases in December 2022.
Although, it must be said, that Star Wars: The Force Awakens avoided the club—despite opening to an insane $248 million weekend. So it’s anybody’s guess this far out from the next Star Wars movie’s release.