'Terminator: Dark Fate' Eyes Disappointing $28M Debut; 'Harriet' Looks at Strong $10.5M+ Debut
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Paramount's Terminator: Dark Fate is looking very soft after an estimated $10.6 million Friday, heading toward a three-day performance that could come up shy of the $27 million debut for 2015's Terminator Genisys. The film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

Meanwhile, Focus's Harriet is looking to outperform our forecast after bringing in an estimated $3.9 million on Friday, heading toward a $10.5+ million three-day performance. The film also received an "A+" CinemaScore, which could give it some legs over the coming weeks.

As for WB's Motherless Brooklyn, it brought in an estimated $1.05 million on Friday and is looking to finish in the top ten, right around $3 million for the three-day.

Entertainment Studios's Arctic Dogs is struggling mightily, delivering just $700k from 2844 locations and is looking at a $2.5 million opening, and a per theater average around $880 for the weekend. The film received a "B-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

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: Paramount's Terminator: Dark Fate took in $2.35 million from Thursday night previews beginning at 7PM. Given last night was Halloween does suggest comps aren't necessarily apples-to-apples, but this is just ahead of the $2.3 million in previews for Terminator Genisys, which opened with $27 million back in 2015. You could also look to Ender's Game, which is the last time a preview night took place on Halloween and it brought in $1.4 million from previews ahead of a $27 million opening.

Additionally, Focus Features's Harriet brought in $600k from Halloween night previews.

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, four new films hope to add to the bottom line beginning with Terminator: Dark Fate, the latest installment in the Terminator franchise, this time with not only Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Linda Hamilton, back in her iconic role as Sarah Connor. Also debuting this weekend is Focus's Harriet, Entertainment Studios's Arctic Dogs and WB's Motherless Brooklyn while The Lighthouse, Jojo Rabbit and Parasite all continue to expand.

The last installment in the Terminator franchise was 2015's Terminator Genisys, which debuted with a disappointing $27 million and fell just shy of $90 million over the course of its domestic run. The film also torpedoed what was hoped to be the start of a whole new Terminator trilogy, but while those films never came to life, the franchise itself has not yet died. This weekend sees the release of Terminator: Dark Fate, marking what is now the sixth film in the now 35-year-old franchise. The film will launch in 4,086 locations, serving as the widest release for any Terminator film ever, opening in 328 more theaters than Genisys did. Expectations, however, are remaining muted for now, while some industry source are anticipating an opening anywhere from $41-47 million, Paramount is dialing that back just a bit, looking for a debut in the high $30s to $40 million.

A look at IMDb page view performance over the two weeks leading up to release has us more in line with the studio's expectations as we're currently forecasting a debut anywhere from $38-41 million. That said, we have some evidence a debut as high as $47 million is possible. The film is, however, pacing behind the likes of Blade Runner 2049 and Star Trek Beyond heading into release as well as Terminator Genisys, which has us a little more cautious when it comes to our expectations, though if it can top Terminator 3's $44 million debut, it will serve as the largest domestic opening for a Terminator film ever.

Second and third place looks as if it will once again be a heated battle between Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Joker. Last weekend, WB's Joker was initially believed to be the weekend champ based on estimates, but Maleficent eked ahead once actuals were counted. This weekend we're looking at another dead heat, expecting both to finish around $12.5 million and we'll just have to wait and see where things stand once the dust settles. That said, Joker should finish near $297 million domestically this weekend, pushing it ahead of Man of Steel, becoming the seventh largest DC Comics adaptation domestically.

Focus Features
Fourth is where we expect to find Focus's release of Harriet, a look at the life of Harriet Tubman, debuting in 2,086 locations. Industry expectations for the picture are in the range of $7.5-9 million for this weekend and while we see some evidence it could pop a bit higher, for the most part our comps have it closer to $8 million for the weekend. The one film it will be competing with mostly, in terms of audience, is Black and Blue, which is in its second weekend, but if we look at that film as a direct comp, IMDb page view data shows Harriet outperforming it over the two weeks leading up to release by a significant margin.

Rounding out the top five is UAR's The Addams Family, which has played well so far and should continue to do so this weekend with families getting in the Halloween mood. We're anticipating a drop around -37% and a $7.5 million three-day, pushing the film's domestic cume right around $84 million by the end of the weekend.

Outside the top ten is where we find Entertainment Studios's Arctic Dogs. Originally the film was expected to launch in over 3,600 locations, but once theaters were announced it's actually opening in 2,844 this weekend with the studio anticipating a three-day performance around $10 million. Based on the information we're looking at, that's a tough forecast to match as our numbers suggest something in the single digit millions is far more likely. In fact, we're looking for a $5 million debut and even that seems a little optimistic as we've struggled to find a comp that would suggest anything higher.

A24's The Lighthouse enjoyed a solid performance last weekend in moderate release, generating over $3 million from just 586 locations. This weekend they've added nearly 400 more locations and we're going out with a $4.4 million forecast and will be interested to see just how it ends up doing.

Outside the top ten is where we find WB's Motherless Brooklyn, which is debuting in 1,332 theaters, far fewer than I believe most anyone expected. As such we can't see much reason to have too high of expectations to the point $2.5 million might be right on target.

Additionally, Disney is expanding Jojo Rabbit into 256 locations (+201) this weekend and Neon's Parasite will add another 334 locations for a total of 463. Both films could be looking at $2+ million weekends and perhaps challenge for a spot in the top ten.

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.

  • Terminator: Dark Fate (4,086 theaters) - $38.0 M
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (3,820 theaters) - $11.25 M
  • Joker (3,519 theaters) - $11.25 M
  • Harriet (2,086 theaters) - $8.0 M
  • The Addams Family (3,607 theaters) - $7.6 M
  • Zombieland 2: Double Tap (3,337 theaters) - $6.7 M
  • Arctic Dogs (2,844 theaters) - $5.0 M
  • The Lighthouse (978 theaters) - $4.4 M
  • Countdown (2,697 theaters) - $4.1 M
  • Black and Blue (2,062 theaters) - $3.4 M


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