'Joker' and 'Maleficent' Neck and Neck for #1 while 'Black and Blue' and 'Countdown' Compete for Fifth
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: STXfilms's horror thriller Countdown took in an estimated $3.1 million on Friday. The $6.5 million production is expected to deliver a $7.5-8+ million debut. The film received a "C+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

Sony's Black and Blue brought in an estimated $3 million on Friday, and is expected to be in a tight race with Countdown for the weekend's fifth slot, if not eke above it with anywhere from $8-8.5 million. The film earned an excellent, "A+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

101 Studios's The Current War: Director's Cut brought in an estimated $947,000 from 1,022 locations and is looking at a weekend performance around $2.7 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: Among the weekend's new wide releases, Screen Gems's R-rated action/thriller Black and Blue led the charge in terms of previews, taking in $675,000 from Thursday evening previews beginning at 7PM in 1,962 locations. We are projecting $6M for the weekend. Compared to some of our pre-weekend comps, this is ahead of both the $410k Sleepless took in and the $335k for Triple 9.

As for STXfilms's horror thriller Countdown, it took in $515k last night from ~2,150 theaters. This is actually ahead of The Bye Bye Man's $400k in previews, though with previews this low it's tough to glean much information when it comes to horror films.

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 will see a flurry of activity, beginning with a battle at the top for #1 between Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Joker. Might the Clown Prince of Crime spoil Maleficent's hopes for a second weekend at #1? Elsewhere, several expanding and new releases take the stage including the STX thriller Countdown and the corrupt cop thriller Black and Blue from Screen Gems. Additionally, films including Parasite and The Lighthouse will expand along with holdover expansions including Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Lionsgate's horror Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

At the top of the box office we're currently expecting Maleficent: Mistress of Evil to hold off Joker by the narrowest of margins, dipping -54% in its second weekend for a $17 million three-day. This drop is a bit better than the -58% dip for Alice Through the Looking Glass, after it opened with $33.5 million over the four-day Memorial Day holiday back in 2016. Should the forecast hold we're looking at a domestic cume approaching $64 million by end of day Sunday.

Hot on Maleficent's heels is Joker, which dipped -47.6% last weekend and we're expecting a drop around -42% as it enters its fourth week in release. This would mean a $16.99 million three-day performance and a domestic cume topping $275 million by the end of the weekend. The film currently ranks eighth among DC Comics adaptations domestically and will soon top The Hangover to become the seventh highest grossing R-rated release of all-time.

Sony's Zombieland: Double Tap performed at the high end of expectations last weekend and should remain in third this weekend as we're currently anticipating a dip around -47% for a $14.2 million three-day and a domestic cume approaching $50 million after ten days in release.

Following suit from last weekend, look for UAR's The Addams Family to once again land in fourth position. The animated feature has had a strong domestic performance thus far and we're expecting it to top $70 million this weekend with a $10 million three-day performance.

STX
Rounding out the top five we come to the first of the weekend's new wide releases in STX's killer app thriller Countdown, which will debut in over 2,600 theaters. Carrying a budget of just $6.5 million the expectations for this one are currently in the mid-single digit millions and that lines up mostly with what we're seeing with some potential for some upside. A look at IMDb page view data shows the film performing closely to STX's January 2017 title The Bye Bye Man, which opened with $13.5 million from 2,220 locations. Given the film's release proximity to Halloween there is definitely a chance it outperforms expectations and nears $10 million, but we're remaining a bit conservative in that respect, anticipating an $8 million debut.

Should Countdown end up on the lower end of expectations it could be in a tight race with Sony and Screen Gems's release of Black and Blue, which the studio is expecting to open with $6 million. Right now we're in line with the studio's expectations if not a little wary. Looking at comps such as Sleepless, Triple 9 and Proud Mary, IMDb page views leading up to release show Black and Blue trailing all three, suggesting it could struggle to hit $5 million, but we'd actually be surprised to see it go that low and are more inclined to suggest it may over-perform with a chance at reaching $8-9 million.

Next, 101 Studios's release of The Current War: Director's Cut will launch in 1,022 theaters. Originally slated to release in November 2017, the film was shelved in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations and it arrives in theaters this weekend with an emphasis on it being director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's cut of the film. Making a forecast difficult is the fact this is 101 Studios's first release, but based on what we're looking at a debut in the vicinity of $2-3 million seems reasonable consider comp titles based on the release's theater count.

Just outside the top ten for the third weekend in a row we have Neon's Parasite, which will expand to nearly 100 new locations this week, playing in 130 theaters. We'll also have our eye on A24's The Lighthouse, which is expanding to 586 theaters (+578) and we currently have it sneaking into the top ten, forecasting a $2 million three-day.

Additionally, Sony is bringing Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood back into 1,674 locations (+1,599) with over ten additional minutes starting this Friday. On top of that, Lionsgate is expanding the reach of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, bringing the horror film back into 1,567 locations (+1,348), looking to take advantage of folks looking for some scares.

In limited release, IMAX will feature Kanye West's Jesus is King in over 350 theaters, Fox Searchlight's Housefull 4 will debut in 315 locations and WB's Bruce Springsteen doc Western Stars will play 537 venues.

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.

  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (3,790 theaters) - $17.0 M
  • Joker (3,936 theaters) - $17.0 M
  • Zombieland 2: Double Tap (3,545 theaters) - $14.2 M
  • The Addams Family (4,207 theaters) - $10.8 M
  • Countdown (2,675 theaters) - $8.0 M
  • Black and Blue (2,062 theaters) - $6.0 M
  • Gemini Man (3,008 theaters) - $4.5 M
  • The Current War: Director's Cut (1,022 theaters) - $2.8 M
  • Abominable (2,191 theaters) - $2.1 M
  • The Lighthouse (586 theaters) - $2.0 M


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