'Bad Boys for Life' Looking at Third Weekend at #1
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: UAR's Gretel & Hansel brought in an estimated $2.3 million on Friday and may end up coming up just shy of $6 million for the three-day and Paramount's The Rhythm Section isn't performing any better, bringing in an estimated $1.15 million on Friday, expected to finish with just $3 million for the weekend.

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.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Sony's Bad Boys for Life held on to the #1 spot at the weekend box office last week with no issue and this weekend looks to be no different. As for new releases, United Artists will debut the fourth new horror release of the year so far with Gretel & Hansel and Paramount will release the Blake Lively actioner The Rhythm Section, though neither will have a shot at the #1 spot and one may even fall short of the top five.

Looking at a third consecutive weekend at #1 is Sony's Bad Boys for Life, which we're expecting to drop right around -48% this weekend, delivering a $17.7 million three-day, pushing the film closer to $150 million domestically by the end of the weekend.

Second place will also be a repeat from last weekend with Universal's Best Picture contender 1917 likely to continue its strong run as audiences flock to cinemas to try and make sure they are familiar with the year's Oscar crowd ahead of next weekend's Academy Awards. As for expectations, look for a dip around -25% or so and a $12 million three-day, pushing the film's domestic cume over $120 million by the end of the weekend.

Third is where we find the first of the weekend's new releases in UAR's release of Gretel & Hansel. The PG-13 horror based on the Grimm fairy tale is the fourth new horror release of the year so far and we aren't expecting it to be the breakout of the bunch. Tracking suggests a debut anywhere from $7-10 million and we're having issues going much higher than $8 million.

Looking at IMDb page views over the two weeks leading up to release, Gretel & Hansel is pacing behind last weekend's release of The Turning ($6.95m opening) as well as behind Underwater ($7m opening). Looking at other comps such as Winchester and Rings shows similar results, which has us forecasting an $8 million three-day. One thing that could really help the film's chances are the reviews are already much better -- 64% on RottenTomatoes -- than what we saw for The Turning (13%), Underwater (49%) and The Grudge (20%), which could help should word of mouth improve compared to those other recent releases.

Universal's Dolittle held on better than expected last weekend and we're anticipating a -40% dip this weekend, giving the film a three-day around $7.3 million, heading toward a domestic cume topping $55 million as it enters its third week in release. However, whether that will be enough to top STX's The Gentlemen, which is adding over 500 theaters after a solid start last weekend remains to be seen. We're currently looking at a weekend around $7.1 million for the Guy Ritchie feature, but with a "B+" CinemaScore, 84% audience score on RottenTomatoes and an 8.1/10 on IMDb, this one could hold on much stronger.

That takes us out of the top five as we come to Paramount's The Rhythm Section, an action-thriller starring Blake Lively that Paramount acquired the rights for most of the world (excluding China and Germany) for $30 million and is anticipating a three-day performance around $4-7 million this weekend,. This lines up with tracking as well as our expectations despite the fact it's opening in over 3,000 locations.

Comparing IMDb page views to Lively's most recent films -- The Shallows and A Simple Favor -- The Rhythm Section is pacing well behind both over the two weeks leading up to release and it's also pacing behind films such as Peppermint ($13.4m opening), American Assassin ($14.8m opening) and Annihilation ($11m opening). On top of that, it isn't showing signs of gaining any ground, not to mention the 36% RottenTomatoes score isn't likely to change things for the better. For now we're going out with a $5 million forecast, feeling hesitant to even go that high.

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.

  • Bad Boys for Life (3,705 theaters) - $17.7 M
  • 1917 (3,987 theaters) - $12.0 M
  • Gretel & Hansel (3,007 theaters) - $8.0 M
  • Dolittle (3,749 theaters) - $7.3 M
  • The Gentlemen (2,675 theaters) - $7.1 M
  • Jumanji: The Next Level (2,945 theaters) - $5.2 M
  • The Rhythm Section (3,049 theaters) - $5.0 M
  • Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2,202 theaters) - $3.4 M
  • Little Women (2,301 theaters) - $3.3 M
  • The Turning (2,571 theaters) - $2.8 M

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