'Hotel Transylvania 3' & 'Skyscraper' Aim to Top Weekend Box Office
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation took in an estimated $16.65 million on Friday and is expected to finish the weekend with $43 million (including $1.3 million in Amazon Prime showings and $2.6 million in Thursday night previews.

Universal and Legendary's Skyscraper is struggling in its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $9.26 million on Friday and looking at a three-day weekend around $25 million. This comes up well short of Mojo's anticipated weekend and even below the studio's anticipated $30 million debut.

In better news, Annapurna's Sorry to Bother You is off to a hot start in its nationwide expansion. The film brought in an estimated $1.5 million on Friday from 805 theaters (+789) and is expected to finish the weekend with $4 million.

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: Sony's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation took in $2.6 million from Thursday night previews, which began at 5PM and took place in 3,276 locations. This total does not include the $1.3 million the film already took in from advanced showings on June 30 for Amazon Prime members, which will be added to the overall weekend cume.

Neither of the previous Hotel Transylvania features held preview showings. However, using the comps from our weekend preview, Ice Age: Collision Course brought in $850k from preview grosses before opening with $21.4 million; Sony's The Emoji Movie brought in $900k from preview showings prior to a $24.5 million debut and How to Train Your Dragon 2 delivered $2 million from preview grosses prior to a $49.4 million debut.

Also opening this weekend, Legendary and Universal's Skyscraper grossed $1.95 million in previews from 2,950 theaters. This comes in behind the $2.4 million in previews Rampage brought in ahead of its $35.7 million opening, but ahead of the $1.8 million in previews for Central Intelligence leading into its $35.5 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: This weekend sees the release of Sony's animated feature Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, marking the first time a film in the franchise has hit theaters during the summer season, and the latest Dwayne Johnson actioner Skyscraper from Universal and Legendary. Also keep your eyes on Annapurna's Sorry to Bother You, which is expanding nationwide and looking to secure a spot in the weekend top ten after a strong limited debut last weekend.

At the top of the box office, look for Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3 to continue the franchise's tradition of opening over $40 million. The first two films in the franchise both set opening weekend records for the month of September at the time of their release, and while this third installment won't be doing the same for the month of July, industry expectations are for an opening anywhere from $38-44 million.

The big test the film faces is its summer release date as it arrives in theaters a week after Disney and Pixar's Incredibles 2 became the highest grossing animated title of all-time. And this weekend Incredibles 2 is looking to add another $17+ million or so to its record number, which is likely to have an effect on Hotel Transylvania's performance, but just how much is tough to say.

Looking at IMDb page view data leading up to release, Hotel Transylvania 3 is performing ahead of last year's The Emoji Movie ($24.5m opening) and 2016's Ice Age: Collision Course ($21.3m opening) over the two weeks leading up to release and just a bit behind 2014's How to Train Your Dragon 2 ($49.4m opening). The performance comparisons actually suggest a debut a notch higher than industry expectations, looking at an opening around $40-48 million. On top of that, don't forget the $1.3 million the film already took in from advanced showings on June 30 for Amazon Prime members, which gives the film a little boost alongside tonight's preview showings, which begin at 5PM. That said, on the very low end, should the film debut closer to the studio's anticipated $35 million debut, it would serve as the smallest opening ever for a film opening in 4,267 locations. We aren't expecting that to happen.

Internationally, Hotel Transylvania 3 has already opened in Australia and New Zealand, but this weekend will expand into ~48% of the overseas marketplace including launches in Brazil, Mexico and Russia today as well as Spain beginning tomorrow.

Runner up at this weekend's box office could feature a very close race between last weekend's #1 film, Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Universal's high-rise thriller Skyscraper.

As noted in our weekend recap last Sunday morning, while Ant-Man and the Wasp vastly outperformed its predecessor, the film appeared incredibly front-loaded. The film's $33.7 million Friday accounted for 44.5% of its overall weekend box office, which is the worst Friday-to-weekend performance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That said, the film has mostly righted itself during the week suggesting the front-loaded Friday had more to do with excited fans and that hefty $11.5 million preview gross rather than anything more drastic. In fact, if you remove preview grosses from the Friday number for all MCU titles, Ant-Man 2's "pure" Friday gross accounted for only 29.3% of its weekend gross, which is just a bit below the 29.61% average among the 20 films in the franchise.

As for this weekend, taking a look at the other first sequels in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, none has ever held on better than 55.5% in its second weekend, and we're not expecting Ant-Man and the Wasp to be the exception to the rule. Right now we're anticipating a drop around 58% for a $32 million second weekend, pushing the film's domestic cume over $136 million.

At this time, it's looking like that won't be enough for the Ant-Man sequel to top Universal's "The Fugitive meets Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno" thriller Skyscraper. The film's star, Dwayne Johnson, has become one of Hollywood's truly bankable actors as his last film, Rampage, inches toward becoming his seventh $100+ million domestic performer out of his last eight starring roles.

Debuting in 3,700 theaters, Skyscraper is outpacing Rampage at the same point in the sales cycle according to online ticket retailer Fandango.com and we're seeing a similar performance when it comes to IMDb page view data. In fact, Skyscraper is not only outpacing Rampage over the two weeks leading up to release, it's outpacing Johnson's Hercules ($29.8m opening), The Legend of Tarzan ($38.5m opening) and Central Intelligence ($35.5 million opening) while pacing behind Johnson's 2015 hit San Andreas, which debuted with $54.5 million.

Universal reports it is anticipating a domestic opening around $30 million, but as we've seen perceived interest improve over the week, that figure is beginning to look like an absolute low end. Right now we're heading into the weekend anticipating a debut around $34 million with plenty of potential upside.

Internationally, Skyscraper debuts day-and-date in 56 international markets including Hong Kong, France, Australia, Brazil, Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom followed by a July 20 release in China.

As already mentioned, we're looking for Disney's Incredibles 2 to deliver around $17+ million this weekend, which should push its domestic cume over $535 million, placing it ahead of The Dark Knight to become the ninth largest domestic release of all-time.

Universal's second film in the top five will be Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as it enters its fourth weekend in release. The film has performed relatively similar to Furious 7 on a weekend-by-weekend basis thus far and we're expecting more of the same this weekend, anticipating a drop right around 41% for a three-day nearing $17 million and a domestic gross topping $360 million by the end of the weekend.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Annapurna's Sorry to Bother You is expanding into over 800 locations this weekend after its limited debut last weekend resulted in $727,266 from just 16 locations for a chart-topping $45,454 per theater average. It's difficult to predict just how well the film will do in its expansion, but interest appears high. IMDb page view data shows it performing well alongside Chris Rock's 2014 comedy Top Five and performing right in line with 2014's Bad Words, the latter of which went wide in 842 theaters over its third weekend and brought in $2.56 million. For our forecast we're going to remain conservative with our expectations, anticipating a performance anywhere from $2.5-3.5 million.

In limited release this weekend, Vertical will release Shock & Awe into 100 theaters; A24 is debuting Eighth Grade into four locations; Amazon Studios is releasing Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot into four theaters; and Sony is releasing Soorma into 50 locations.

Finally, keep an eye on Neon's Three Identical Strangers, which is expanding into 170 theaters (+119) this weekend. The documentary performed quite well over its first two weekends and hopes to keep things rolling this week.

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.

  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (4,267 theaters) - $45.0 M
  • Skyscraper (3,782 theaters) - $34.0 M
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (4,206 theaters) - $32.1 M
  • Incredibles 2 (3,705 theaters) - $17.5 M
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (3,692 theaters) - $15.5 M
  • The First Purge (3,038 theaters) - $9.2 M
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2,006 theaters) - $3.5 M
  • Ocean's 8 (1,618 theaters) - $3.1 M
  • Uncle Drew (1,702 theaters) - $2.9 M
  • Sorry to Bother You (805 theaters) - $2.9 M

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