'10 Cloverfield Lane' Looks Strong, 'Zootopia' Set for Second Weekend at #1
Saturday AM Update: Zootopia will top the box office yet again after taking in an estimated $12 million on its second Friday, pushing it over the $100 million mark in eight days of release and heading toward a $48-50 million weekend. As for the newcomers, coming in second will be 10 Cloverfield Lane, which brought in an estimated $9 million on Friday (including $1.8 million from Thursday previews), which would put it on track for a three-day total around $24-25 million, similar to that of M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit last year, which opened with $25.4 million after a $9.2 million Friday. Like The Visit, 10 Cloverfield Lane also scored a "B-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

Focus' The Young Messiah hasn't found a lot of traction, bringing in an estimated $1.38 million on Friday, which includes $475,000 from Thursday night previews making up for more than 34% of that opening day number. That's a strikingly high percentage suggesting the several local premieres that were set up the night before release didn't do much to garner much word of mouth among the core demographic. The film, however, did score an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

The biggest bust of the weekend, however, is Sony's The Brothers Grimsby, scoring only $1.2 million on Friday along with a surprisingly healthy "B+" CinemaScore. Expect that number to translate into $3-3.5 million for the weekend.

Lionsgate's The Perfect Match brought in an estimated $1.56 million from 925 theaters, heading toward a weekend around $4-4.5 million.

Finally, with an estimated $3 million on Friday, Deadpool is now over $320 million, pushing it ahead of Iron Man's $318.4 million and making it the third highest grossing superhero origin movie of all-time.

You can see the complete chart with Friday's estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow with a complete look at the weekend.

Friday AM Update: 10 Cloverfield Lane got off to a great start from Thursday night previews with an impressive $1.8 million from 2,500 theaters. Comparisons in the immediate vicinity include Edge of Tomorrow, which also brought in $1.8 million and opened with $28.7 million back in June 2014 and Super 8, which brought in $1.5 million back in June 2011 and opened with $35.5 million. The only thing to remember when making these comparisons is to remember both of those were summer films with Edge bringing in $10.6 million on Friday and Super 8 bringing in $13.1 million on Friday.

For those wondering, it's difficult to draw a comparison to Cloverfield's early numbers considering it opened back in the day when it wasn't Thursday previews beginning at 7 PM, but instead early screenings began at midnight. That said, Cloverfield brought in $1.14 million from midnight screenings on its way to a $17.1 million Friday and a $40 million opening back in 2008. So come back tomorrow morning as these numbers should all supply a solid basis for comparison once Friday estimates are in.

Elsewhere, Sony's The Brothers Grimsby took in $235,000 from Thursday shows in 1,937 locations. It's not much so any kind of real comparison is difficult, but That Awkward Moment brought in $246,000 from Thursday showings in January 2014 and opened with $8.7 million and Top Five brought in $191,394 from Thursday showings in December 2012 and opened with $6.8 million while playing in only 979 theaters..

Focus' The Young Messiah brought in $475,000 from 1,300 locations, which is more than the $425,000 Sony's Risen brought in just last month before opening with $11.8 million.

Finally, Lionsgate's The Perfect Match brought in $155,000 from 790 locations, just a hair behind the $155,000 that Addicted brought in back in October 2014 before opening with $7.4 million. We'll be back tomorrow morning with Friday estimates.

Weekend Forecast: 10 Cloverfield Lane is the latest mystery box thriller from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot and it's looking to top a list of four new wide releases this weekend. Additional new releases include Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy The Brothers Grimsby, the new faith-based feature The Young Messiah and the romantic-comedy The Perfect Match. All four will be competing with some strong holdovers, most notably Disney's Zootopia, which will be holding on to the top spot for a second week in a row, and Deadpool, which could top $10 million in its fifth weekend in release.

Zootopia enters its second weekend in release after breaking the The Lorax's March opening weekend record for an animated film. As such, it seems appropriate to use The Lorax's 44.7% second weekend drop as a basis for comparison this weekend. On a daily basis Zootopia has performed well when compared to The Lorax, suggesting the smart money is on a second weekend drop anywhere from 34-40%. That would give the animated Disney feature a #1 finish for the three-day in the range of $45-49.5 million, resulting in a domestic cume around $140 million by the end of the weekend.

Coming in second, and first among the weekend's new releases, will be 10 Cloverfield Lane, but figuring out just how well it will do is a mystery box unto itself. The film, previously referred to as Valencia, wasn't on anyone's radar until the first trailer was attached to 13 Hours less than two months ago. If Google trends are anything to go by, the marketing worked. Trends show a significant spike back in mid-January, they briefly dipped once the excitement settled and began to climb again in early February once the viral marketing campaign kicked in and haven't slowed since.

The shroud of mystery surrounding the film is no different than the tactics used to promote Cloverfield in 2008, though that film had a much lengthier build to its release. A strong marketing campaign, perfect timing and a long weekend resulted in Cloverfield opening with a massive $40 million in January 2008, which was, at the time, a January opening weekend record. Stiffer competition suggests 10 Cloverfield Lane isn't likely to climb that high, but it should also outperform studio expectations, which are currently set in the high-teens.

Direct comparisons are difficult, if not impossible. From a mystery perspective Cabin in the Woods comes to mind, though the comparison gets a little wishy-washy right away due to its R rating. The April opener took third in its opening weekend with $14.7 million as it faced off against competition that included the fourth weekend of The Hunger Games and the opening weekend of The Three Stooges.

Strictly from a timing perspective, Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage, brought in $24.6 million in the third weekend of March 2009. If you wanted to go high, but not Cloverfield high, there is, of course, Super 8, which had to contend with the second weekend of X-Men: First Class and still brought in $35.4 million for a first place finish.

Does that mean we're talking a range as wide as $15-35 million? If you're looking at it from the most pessimistic to the most optimistic ends of the spectrum, yes, but a more down-to-earth range seems anywhere from $22-28 million. The one thing to keep an eye on will be the CinemaScore as Cloverfield scored only a "C" and ended up dropping over 68% in its second weekend. Reviews have been very strong for 10 Cloverfield Lane, however, and both a strong Saturday boost and a decent second weekend holdover seem like a good possibility before the arrival of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in two weeks.

Before we get to the next three new releases, London Has Fallen and Deadpool will be battling for third, both likely finishing the weekend with $10 million or thereabouts. For Deadpool that will push its domestic cume over $325 million as it will be passing Iron Man's $318.4 million domestic gross in short order on Mojo's list of highest grossing superhero origin features.

Getting back to the new releases, The Young Messiah arrives a few weeks after Sony's Risen and just ahead of Miracles of Heaven. This unfortunate timing appears as if it could have a slightly negative effect on Messiah's weekend performance as Miracles appears to be sucking all the air out of the room ahead of its release next Wednesday.

Timing considered, The Young Messiah is based on the novel "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" from "Vampire Chronicles" author Anne Rice, and some support for the film is sure to come from the book and author's fanbases. Rice has already taken to social media to show her support and faith leaders are set to host screenings the night before the film's official release, all of which will help, but will unlikely have too profound an effect. Overall, the film is looking to bring a modest, $6-7 million from 1,761 theaters this weekend.

Next is Sacha Baron Cohen's The Brothers Grimsby, which seems to have been left to its own devices. Rumors began swirling last weekend that the studio was attempting to distance itself from the film over an AIDS joke related to Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. With controversy and Cohen seeming to go hand-in-hand does that hurt or help the film at the box office?

From a marketing perspective, the film exhibits signs of being incredibly difficult to market, filled with jokes too rude for primetime television. All told, Grimsby is looking like it will land somewhere in the $5.5-7.5 million range. We're left to wonder, however, if the film's soft performance in the UK, where it dropped 57% in its second weekend is a signal for how it will perform domestically. Could something as low as $4.5 million be a possibility?

The weekend's final, new wide release is Lionsgate and Codeblack's romantic comedy The Perfect Match from director Bille Woodruff. The film is opening in only 925 theaters, but this is territory where Lionsgate and Woodruff have found success in the past with the romantic thriller Addicted, which opened with $7.4 million from 846 theaters back in October 2014. The competitive field wasn't quite as stacked then as it is now, so an opening that high doesn't seem to be in the cards, but given the film's strong cast—including Terrence Jenkins, Paula Patton and Kali Hawk—don't sleep on its chance of over-performing. Heading into the weekend an opening around $5-6 million seems likely, but with zero competition in the target demographic it won't be a surprise if it surges higher.

Opening in limited release this weekend Bleecker Street delivers the drone thriller Eye in the Sky starring Helen Mirren into five theaters, Sally Field stars in Hello, My Name is Doris in four theaters and Samuel Goldwyn is releasing the war feature Hyena Road into ten theaters. For a full look at this weekend's calendar click here.

Predictions for this weekend's top ten are below and we'll be updating this post tomorrow and Saturday morning as the weekend progresses...
  • Zootopia (3,827 theaters) - $47.67 M
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane (3,391 theaters) - $27.98 M
  • London Has Fallen (3,492 theaters) - $10.49 M
  • Deadpool (3,331 theaters) - $9.7 M
  • The Young Messiah (1,761 theaters) - $6.78 M
  • The Brothers Grimsby (2,235 theaters) - $5.59 M
  • The Perfect Match (925 theaters) - $5.46 M
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2,413 theaters) - $4.09 M
  • Risen (2,095 theaters) - $2.29 M
  • Gods of Egypt (2,306 theaters) - $2.13 M

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