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'American Made' and 'Flatliners' Target Spots in the Weekend Box Office Top Five

by Brad Brevet
 

 
September 28, 2017

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Universal's American Made brought in an estimated $6 million on Friday and will be in a very close race for #1 at the weekend box office, not only with last weekend's #1 film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, but with WB and New Line's It, all of which are looking to finish anywhere from $16.5-17 million for the weekend.

Sony's Flatliners is, well, flatlining as the film brought in an estimated $2.1 million on Friday and is expected to finish around $5.5-6 million for the weekend.

And at the bottom of the top ten a pair of moderate new releases in Novus's 'Til Death Do Us Part and Pure Flix's A Question of Faith will battle for that tenth spot after bringing in an estimated $506k and $370k respectively, looking to finish with $1+ million each.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Universal Pictures' American Made grossed $960,000 in late night previews in 2,455 theaters beginning at 7 PM. Using titles mentioned in our weekend preview below, this is an improvement on the $600k Money Monster brought in before its $14.7 million opening and the $500k Bridge of Spies brought in before its $15.3 million debut. It's also an improvement on the $600k from previews for Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard's Allied, which opened with $12.7 million last November.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: As of the end of the day Wednesday, the month-to-date gross is less than $6 million shy of becoming the largest September ever. Much of the month's $620+ million is thanks to the record performance from It, which has grossed over $272 million domestically and $500 million globally. The month should become the largest September ever by the end of day today and this weekend offers one last chance to add to the total with new releases including Tom Cruise's American Made and Sony's Flatliners remake hitting theaters. Mojo's weekend forecast has the top twelve bringing in around $89 million, which would mean the month is likely to finish over $690 million, though just a bit shy of becoming the first September ever to hit $700 million.

A pair of holdovers are likely to repeat atop the weekend box office beginning with Fox's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which should pull in somewhere around $19.5 million, again finishing #1. This would serve as a drop right around 50% and push the film's domestic total near $70 million, keeping the film slightly ahead of the original, though whether or not it will have the same legs as the first film beyond the second weekend will be something to keep an eye on.

In second we expect to find WB and New Line's It, which enters its fourth weekend. Hoping to help fuel this weekend's returns, WB announced It: Chapter Two will be arriving September 2019. How much that will encourage people to make sure they see the first one in theaters while they can is likely small, but every little bit helps. We anticipate a weekend gross around $17 million, which will push the film's domestic total near $290 million.

Third position is where we find the first of the weekend's new wide releases in which Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for American Made. The adult-targeted R-rated feature is debuting in just over 3,000 theaters and Universal is anticipating an opening in the low to mid-teens, which is right around where Mojo expects this one to play, though on the higher end of those expectations.

Looking at IMDb page view comparisons leading up to release, American Made is outpacing films such as Bridge of Spies ($15.3m opening), Savages ($16m opening), Money Monster ($14.7m opening) and Argo ($19.4m opening) at the same point in the release cycle. Additionally, similar genre titles from Universal debuting in this many theaters open, on average, around $20 million. This data, along with the consistently solid reviews, which have earned the film a 64 rating on Metacritic, suggests a solid opening for the $50 million production (after ~$30 million in tax rebates).

Whether American Made can cross that $20 million mark and deliver a surprise number one finish, as did Cruise's Valkyrie back in December 2008, isn't expected, but we are anticipating a debut around $16-17 million,which means it could be competing for second place and might make for an interesting scuffle among the top three films at the box office this weekend, especially if Kingsman underperforms.

On the heels of last weekend's rather disappointing debut for The LEGO Ninjago Movie, the third film in the animated LEGO franchise is looking at a drop around 45% or so and a second weekend anywhere from $11-12 million for a domestic total around $35 million.

The second new wide release this weekend, Sony's remake of Flatliners, should round out the top five as it vies for the attention of those that have already seen It and not interested in American Made. Debuting in over 2,500 theaters, the studio is anticipating an opening around $7-8 million for the $19 million production, and if that might seem low at first sight, we have a mix of data suggesting a variety of returns.

For starters, films in a similar genre released by Sony, debuting in a similar number of locations, open, on average, around $12-13 million, which might be more in line with what you'd expect for this release. That being said, while looking at IMDb page view comparisons for films such as Nerve ($9.4m opening), Unfriended ($15.8m opening), The Gallows ($9.8m opening), The Lazarus Effect ($10.2m opening) and Project Almanac ($8.3m opening) we found Flatliners performing below all five. In fact, the closest comparison is to Nerve, which leads us to believe a $9 million opening may be the best this one can do, which is why our forecast is currently targeted at an opening around $8.25 million, though this one could go +/- a million or so either way.

Just outside the top five we have Fox Searchlight's Battle of the Sexes, which debuted in 21 theaters last weekend to a strong $24,545 per theater average. This weekend it will expand into 1,213 theaters (+1,192) where it should pull in north of $4 million. Some of the best comparisons we had to work with were films such as Gifted and The Founder and Battle of the Sexes is showing signs of easily outperforming both, which leads to our $5 million forecast for this weekend.

The final new wide release expected to finish in the top ten is Pure Flix's A Question of Faith, which is debuting in 661 theaters and industry expectations are for a $1-1.5 million opening. Looking at comparisons such as Pure Flix's Hillsong has us expecting this one to pop just a bit higher and enjoy a much longer run than that film did.

Elsewhere, Novus is debuting 'Til Death Do Us Part starring Taye Diggs in ~550 theaters; Fox International will debut Judwaa 2 in 192 theaters; Sony Classics will release Mark Felt into five theaters; IFC's Take Every Wave opens in one theater; and China Lion will release Youth into 45 locations.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (4,038 theaters) - $19.5 M
  • It (3,917 theaters) - $17.0 M
  • American Made (3,024 theaters) - $16.8 M
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie (4,047 theaters) - $11.5 M
  • Flatliners (2,552 theaters) - $8.3 M
  • Battle of the Sexes (1,213 theaters) - $5.0 M
  • American Assassin (3,020 theaters) - $3.6 M
  • Home Again (2,370 theaters) - $1.7 M
  • A Question Of Faith (661 theaters) - $1.7 M
  • mother! (1,840 theaters) - $1.6 M

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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