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Blumhouse Makes a Wish for Another #1 Opener with 'Happy Death Day'

by Brad Brevet
 

 
October 12, 2017

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Universal and Blumhouse's Happy Death Day delivered big business on Friday, bringing in an estimated $11.6 million, heading toward an opening around $26 million and an easy #1 finish.

Looking at a third place finish, STX's The Foreigner brought in an estimated $4.75 million on Friday and is expected to deliver an opening around $13 million. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore.

Open Road's Marshall brought in an estimated $1 million and should finish the weekend around $3 million.

Annapurna's Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is the latest from the studio to struggle out of the gates as it brought in an estimated $248,000 and is looking at an opening that won't likely reach $1 million.

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.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Universal and Blumhouse Productions's Happy Death Day grossed $1 million in late night shows in 2,450 theaters beginning at 7 PM. This compares favorably to 2015's The Visit, which brought in $1.02 million from Thursday previews and went on to open with $25.4 million. It's also a shade above Sinister and Ouija, which brought in $930k and $911k before opening with $18 and $19 million respectively.

STX's The Foreigner an estimated $775,000 from preview showings. This is a number that's a bit too low to glean too much information from, but given our weekend preview comparison to Brick Mansions, that film brought in $400k from preview showings before its $9.5 million opening. Another comparison would be to John Wick, which brought in $870k from preview showings before its $14.4 million debut.

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: It's been a good couple years for Blumhouse Productions with films such as Get Out and Split delivering impressive returns on minuscule budgets. This weekend their latest, Happy Death Day, hopes to follow suit as it targets a #1 finish, pushing WB's Blade Runner 2049 into runner-up position after just one week in theaters. Additional new releases include STX's The Foreigner, Annapurna's Professor Marston & the Wonder Women and Open Road's Marshall as there's a little something for everyone in theaters, though it doesn't appear that little something will deliver big numbers at the box office collectively.

On the heels of a very strong year so far, Blumhouse brings Happy Death Day to 3,149 theaters nationwide. The film takes the Groundhog Day concept and turns it into a horror film with Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones director, Christopher Landon, at the helm. Industry expectations are for a debut in the mid-teens, though we're anticipating a result just a bit higher.

Using comps such as Ouija and Sinister, IMDb page view data shows Happy Death Day, trying to keep pace with a rather spike in interest over the past few days. We've seen patterns such as this before and they can be a little misleading, which is keeping us from forecasting a debut over $20 million, anticipating a performance somewhere around $17-18 million this weekend.

Looking at a second place finish is Warner Bros.'s Blade Runner 2049 after a disappointing debut last weekend. While the "A-" CinemaScore is a definite positive, the underperformance in terms of the film's opening begins suggests widespread interest in the film just isn't there, at least not on the level that was expected. Continuing the comparison to 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road from last weekend, that film debuted with $45.4 million, but was greeted with far more adulation following its release. Blade Runner simply doesn't have the same kind of buzz. While there remains an outside chance it could repeat at #1, it would need Happy Death Day to underperform as we can't see this one bringing in more than $17.5 million this weekend and are actually counting on a sophomore session closer to $16.5 million.

In third we come to the second of the weekend's new releases in STX's action feature The Foreigner starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. Opening in 2,515 theaters, studio expectations are for an opening over $10 million and it's hard to disagree. Using comps such as Snitch and 2014's Brick Mansions we're seeing similar page view performance on IMDb. The film, which is directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) was made for a reported $35 million and has already more than doubled that figure internationally, pulling in over $74 million so far from just a handful of markets, including over $66 million from China alone.

Maintaining a foothold in the top ten, WB and New Line's It will look to add another $6-7 million to its cume this weekend as it pushes toward $315 million domestically, and last weekend's new release of The Mountain Between Us should round out the top five with ~$6 million.

Down near the bottom of the chart we have two of this weekend's moderate sized new releases in Annapurna's Professor Marston & the Wonder Women opening in 1,229 theaters and Open Road's Marshall debuting in 821. The two films should finish anywhere from $2-4 million this weekend, fighting for the final two spots in the top ten. Both films are looking for strong starts, hoping for healthy play and expansion throughout the month.

In limited release, Bleecker is debuting Breathe in four locations; IF C will release the documentary Hitchcock's Shower Scene in one theater; and Fox Searchlight is opening Goodbye Christopher Robin into 8 theaters.

Finally, it will be interesting to see where Flatliners finishes this weekend as it will be playing in just over 1,900 theaters, but Sony will also be rolling in grosses from sneak showings of Only the Brave, which will have one screening in 604 theaters on Saturday ahead of its nationwide opening next weekend. Unfortunately, the actual effect the screenings will have on Flatliners's performance will mostly likely remain unknown.

Overall, the top twelve this weekend are looking as if they'll be pulling in around $85 million or so, just a shade off the same timeframe last year, though that isn't going to help the month too much as October is already pacing 22% behind last year. With just over $193 million so far, this month is currently the worst October since 2007, the last time the month failed to top $600 million total.

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.

  • Happy Death Day (3,149 theaters) - $18.0 M
  • Blade Runner 2049 (4,058 theaters) - $16.5 M
  • The Foreigner (2,515 theaters) - $10.5 M
  • It (3,176 theaters) - $6.9 M
  • The Mountain Between Us (3,259 theaters) - $5.9 M
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2,982 theaters) - $5.0 M
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2,528 theaters) - $4.8 M
  • American Made (3,090 theaters) - $4.8 M
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie (3,053 theaters) - $4.1 M
  • Marshall (821 theaters) - $3.0 M
  • Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (1,229 theaters) - $3.0 M

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LATEST UPDATES
DAILY: Friday Estimates, 'Boo 2!' #1
WEEKLY: 'Happy Death Day' Tops the Week with $31.3m
DAILY: Thursday, 10/19 (57 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 10/11 (38 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 10/17 (43 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 10/16 (41 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Happy Death Day' #1
> MORE UPDATES