Weekend #1 Up for Grabs as Record September at the Box Office Comes to an End
by Brad Brevet
October 1, 2017
As a record September comes to an end, it's a race for number one with three films separated by a mere $310k. Based on estimates, it's a return to #1 for WB and New Line's It, but hot on its heels is Universal's American Made along with Fox's Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Otherwise, Sony's Flatliners debuted on life support, Novus's Til Death Do Us Part found its way into the top ten and Pure Flix's A Question of Faith finished on the outside looking in.
With just over $300k separating number one and number three on this weekend's box office chart, first place currently belongs to WB and New Line's It, which is back on top after last weekend saw the killer clown finish in the runner up position. With an estimated $17.3 million, the record-breaking horror has now topped $291 million domestically and will spend Sunday enjoying its third weekend out of four atop the weekend box office as we wait for weekend actuals to arrive on Monday afternoon.
It's international performance also continues to impress as it debuted in Germany this weekend with an estimated $11.6 million, the market's largest opening ever for a horror film. Overall, the film brought in an estimated $35.6 million overseas this weekend bringing its international cume to $262 million for a $553.1 million global tally.
Currently in second place is Universal's release of American Made starring Tom Cruise and directed by Doug Liman. The R-rated adult-targeted film brought in an estimated $17.01 million from 3,024 theaters and received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences . Overall, the film's audience was 55% male vs. 45% female, of which 56% were over the age of 30. For Cruise, the debut is ~$2 million better than Jack Reacher's opening in December 2012 before it went on to gross over $80 million. That said, given the amount of competition surrounding American Made, legs as long as Reacher's seem unlikely as we expect a domestic run finishing somewhere around $55 million.
Internationally, American Made first started playing at the end of August and has since grossed $64.7 million, which includes an additional $3.8 million this weekend. The film has yet to debut in Russia and Ukraine where it will open on October 12 followed by an October 21 release in Japan and a November 2 opening in Argentina.
And in third by a hair is Fox's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which dropped 56.4% in its second weekend for a $17 million finish. The film's domestic cume now stands at $66.7 million, which means it is now pacing behind the original film after ten days in release, rather than ahead as Mojo forecasted heading into the weekend.
Golden Circle continues a strong performance overseas bring in over $50 million this weekend from 77 markets pushing its international cume to $126 million for a global tally reaching $192.9 million, outpacing the original film by 53% in the same markets at current exchange rates. Still to come, Golden Circle will open in France and Argentina in mid-October, in China on October 20 and not in Japan until January 5.
Also in its sophomore session, WB's The LEGO Ninjago Movie dropped 41.3% in its second weekend for an estimated $12 million. The third film in the LEGO franchise now stands at $35.5 million domestically, pacing well behind its predecessors. Internationally the film brought in an estimated $10.6 million this weekend from 56 markets for an international total of just $22.7 million for a global cume toping $58 million.
Rounding out the top five is Sony's Flatliners, a $19 million remake of the 1990 film, and it struggled this weekend. Heading into release Sony anticipated a conservative, $7-8 million opening of which the film failed to meet, delivering an estimated $6.7 million three-day, more than $3 million shy of the now 27 year-old original. Audiences responded with a "B-" CinemaScore and of that audience, it was split 49% male vs. 51% female with 50% coming in under the age of 25. The film kicked off its overseas rollout in 21 markets, bringing in an estimated $3.1 million.
Landing in sixth position is Fox Searchlight's Battle of the Sexes, which expanded nationwide this weekend into 1,213 theaters (+1,192) and brought in an estimated $3.4 million. The performance is quite a bit below Mojo's $5 million forecast, but with an "A" CinemaScore and strong reviews perhaps its continued expansion next weekend into 1,900+ theaters will help it find a larger audience.
The last of the weekend's new releases to make it into the top ten is Novus's 'Til Death Do Us Part, which delivered an estimated $1.56 million from 562 theaters for a ninth place finish.
Outside the top ten, Pure Flix's A Question of Faith brought in an estimated $1.05 million from 661 theaters. This is a rather soft start based on the pre-release data we were looking at as we expected a debut at least $500k higher.
Finishing in the twelfth slot is Focus's Victoria and Abdul, bringing in an estimated $1.03 million from just 77 locations ($13,393 PTA). The film will look for a spot in the top ten next weekend as it expands nationwide into over 750 theaters.
In limited release, Fox International's Judwaa 2 brought in an estimated $605,000 from 192 theaters ($3,151 PTA); Abramorama's Pearl Jam - Let's Play Two finished with an estimated $55,274 from five locations ($11,055 PTA); Sony Classics' Mark Felt opened with $35,138 from five theaters ($7,028 PTA); Te Ata from Paladin opened with an estimated $28,640 from 14 theaters ($2,046 PTA); IFC's Take Every Wave opened with $13,819 from one theater; Newcity's Signature Movie opened with $18,935 from one location; and Magnolia's Lucky brought in $46,000 from five theaters ($9,200 PTA).
Overall, the weekend helped contribute to a massive September at the box office led by It, which delivered over 40% of the month's record $694.9 million. The total gross tops the previous record of $626.4 million brought in over the course of September 2015 by almost $70 million. September also helped give 2017 a little jolt in the right direction following a disappointing August, which ended with the year down 6.3% compared to 2016. As of the end of September, 2017 now trails 2016 by just 4.6%.
Next weekend Warner Bros. will release Blade Runner 2049 into over 3,900 locations, Fox will debut The Mountain Between Us in ~2,900 theaters, Lionsgate opens My LIttle Pony into 2,500 locations and Quality Flix will release The Stray in ~630 theaters.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo.