As 'Guardians 2' Repeats at #1 'King Arthur' & 'Snatched' Will Duel Over Mother's Day Weekend
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: While it does look like our forecast was right and King Arthur and Snatched will be in a fight for second place it looks like they will be making around $8-10 million less than we projected. King Arthur so far has the lead after taking in an estimated $5.3 million on Friday as it heads toward a $14-15 million weekend while Snatched took in $5 million as it is likely to pull ahead of Arthur due to the Mother's Day holiday and might manage a $15.5 million three-day.

Meanwhile, at the top it's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is also performing below our expectations after taking in an estimated $16.3 million on Friday and looking at a $60-63 million second weekend, dropping a bit more than we expected, but pretty much right in line with Marvel tradition as we noted in our weekend preview below.

You can check out all the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword brought in $1.15 million from Thursday previews last night in ~3,200 theaters. To continue our comparison to WB's The Legend of Tarzan from our preview below, that film brought in $2.55 million on Thursday night ahead of its $38.5 million opening.

As for Snatched, it brought in $675,000 from 2,625 locations. This is a number that's difficult to compare as similar Thursday performances have resulted in wildly different opening weekends such as Dirty Grandpa bringing in $660k on Thursday and opening with $11.1 million versus 21 Jump Street bringing in $700k on Thursday before opening with $36.3 million. That said, Amy Schumer's Trainwreck brought in $1.8 million on Thursday night before its $30 million opening and How to be Single had a $700k Thursday night before debuting with $17.8 million. Question remains as to whether Snatched will get a Mother's Day weekend bump over Saturday and Sunday or if it's more likely to settle in around that $17 million number.

We'll be back tomorrow with a look at Friday estimates, for now you can read our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: The 2017 summer movie season kicked off last weekend with the strong opening for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which enters its sophomore session this weekend and will once again find itself atop the box office as the week's new wide releases—King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Snatched—aren't looking to offer much competition. Question is, with the Guardians sequel outperforming the opening weekend of the original by more than 55% (the best opening performance for a first sequel among all Marvel Cinematic Universe films), will the second weekend for the galactic superheroes also outperform the norm?

In our showdown featuring Marvel First Sequels you can see the average second weekend drop for the four other films on the list is 58.2%, an average that would have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 delivering over $61.2 million this weekend. The best hold among those comparisons belonged to Captain America: Winter Soldier at 56.6% and both Age of Ultron and Iron Man 2 dipped 59.4% giving us a range of $59.4-63.6 million for Guardians this weekend. Looking elsewhere, openings within the $146.5 million opening for Guardians 2 such as Furious 7 ($147.2m), Spider-Man 3 ($151.1m), The Hunger Games ($152.5m), Rogue One ($155m) and Catching Fire ($158m) saw an average second weekend drop of 58.9%, which would still suggest a weekend over $60 million.

This is all to say a weekend prediction right around that $61.2 million figure would be a good, conservative forecast. We're expecting better. Right now we're anticipating a 52% drop and a weekend as high as $70 million as the weekend's two incoming films shouldn't steal much of Guardians' audience.

Internationally Guardians 2 is up to $325.8 million, pushing its global cume over $500 million as it is set to open in Japan, its final overseas market, this weekend. The original Guardians of the Galaxy opened with $2 million in Japan before delivering $9.5 million overall.

Looking at a second place finish is Warner Bros.'s release of King Arthur as director Guy Ritchie attempts to inject his particular style of filmmaking into the story of the folklore hero in the same way he did Sherlock Holmes back in 2009. The immediate problem we see is King Arthur star Charlie Hunnam does not have the same box office draw as Sherlock star Robert Downey Jr. who was coming off Iron Man and Tropic Thunder ahead of Sherlock's release. As for Hunnam, his recent theatrical output, acknowledging his seven season stint on television in "Sons of Anarchy", includes Pacific Rim and The Lost City of Z, the latter of which, despite it's solid critical reviews, doesn't exactly have the demographic appeal necessary to drive King Arthur to the top of the domestic box office and given the $175 million production budget for Arthur, that doesn't bode well for this weekend's opening.

Set to debut in 3,702 theaters, industry expectations for Arthur are $23-25 million and based on what we're looking at it's tough to disagree. A look at titles such as Pacific Rim, The Legend of Tarzan and Ritchie's last film, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., show Arthur trailing all three based on IMDb page view performance at the same point in the release cycle.

Just as concerning, while we do see a few peaks at moments when new trailers dropped for King Arthur, deep valleys shortly followed as online audience interest didn't remain, or significantly trend, upwards. In fact, while Arthur reached #53 on IMDbPro's MOVIEMeter following the trailer drop at the end of February and #51 following another trailer in early April, it's status dropped over the weeks to follow. Compared to something like Tarzan, which only saw one such trailer peak in the two-plus months leading up to release and yet still saw a steady increase prior to its opening weekend. And while Tarzan, a $180 million production, didn't exactly dominate domestically, it still pulled off a $38.5 million opening, which Arthur doesn't look like it will come close to touching.

Therefore, it will be the international market where Arthur will be looking for some love as it debuts in ~57% of the overall international marketplace this weekend including China where Tarzan, just to continue the comparison, delivered over $46 million.

In third we come to Fox's release of Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, which is positioned as the Mother's Day weekend film, debuting in just over 3,500 theaters. Industry projections have the film opening in the "mid-teens", which appears to be rather conservative given the holiday weekend and the fact Schumer's Trainwreck outperformed expectations upon release and delivered a $30 million debut. That's not to say Snatched is likely to match that figure (though we wouldn't be terribly surprised), but our basement figure is $18 million while an opening closer to $25 million doesn't seem the least bit unreasonable, which is to say it could serve as strong competition for King Arthur and possibly take second once the dust settles.

Comparing to similar titles, we find Snatched in a tight bunch at the same point in the release cycle along with the likes of The Boss, How to Be Single, Bad Moms and Mother's Day, the latter of which debuted one week before Mother's Day last year with just $8.4 million, but showed a 32.5% increase over the actual holiday weekend for an $11 million second weekend. Can Snatched tap into that same audience and outperform its meager expectations?

Also jockeying for a spot in the top ten, a pair of moderate releases are hitting theaters this weekend beginning with Roadside's release of The Wall from director Doug Limn and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena. The film is arriving in 541 theaters and with releases this size it's always tough to gauge just how they'll perform. Based on IMDb page views, the film is pacing better than last weekend's release of The Dinner from Orchard, which opened with $655k from 505 theaters, and is actually out-performing the recent Focus release The Zookeeper's Wife, which brought in $3.2 million when it opened at the end of March in 541 theaters. While this doesn't exactly give us a clear insight into how the film will perform it does suggest it could place as high as eighth, possibly delivering anywhere from $2.5-3 million if not a bit more.

Additionally, BH Tilt is releasing Lowriders this weekend into 290 theaters where the goal is an opening anywhere from $750k - $1.25 million thanks to a digital-heavy spend on the film's marketing campaign which fell within the single digit millions. For this film, Tilt has taken a targeted marketing approach similar to those they've taken with their horror features. This, however, is the smallest number of theaters they've opened a film in since taking over from the time High Top Releasing handled all of their releases making it tough to consider just what to expect. That said, in comparing the film's page view performance to titles that targeted more specific demographics we see it pacing in such a way that it should top $1 million this weekend if not debut a little higher than $1.3 million. Whether that's enough for the top ten depends on how STX's The Circle performs as it's losing over one thousand theaters this weekend and looking at a steep dip.

In limited release Sony Classics is releasing Paris Can Wait into four theaters while Roadside is pulling double duty this weekend, releasing The Wedding Plan alongside The Wall, though Wedding Plan is only debuting in two locations.

Additional limited releases include Atlas Distribution's Absolutely Anything; FilmRise will premiere Dead Awake; Vladar is releasing Generation Iron 2; and Yash Raj is releasing Meri Pyaari Bindu.

Finally, Janus will be re-releasing Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris into theaters this weekend on the heels of the stellar performance last weekend of the re-release of Tarkovsky's Stalker, which delivered $20,540 from just one theater.

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.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (4,347 theaters) - $69.9 M
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (3,702 theaters) - $25.0 M
  • Snatched (3,501 theaters) - $21.0 M
  • The Fate of the Furious (3,066 theaters) - $5.4 M
  • The Boss Baby (2,911 theaters) - $4.1 M
  • Beauty and the Beast (2,172 theaters) - $3.7 M
  • How to be a Latin Lover (1,123 theaters) - $3.3 M
  • The Wall (540 theaters) - $2.5 M
  • Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (350 theaters) - $2.2 M
  • The Circle (2,132 theaters) - $1.7 M

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