'The Predator' Targets Weekend #1; 'Simple Favor', 'White Boy Rick' & 'Unbroken' Also Debut
by Brad Brevet
September 13, 2018
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $10.45 million on Friday, Fox's The Predator is on its way to a #1 finish at the weekend box office, but the result is far from what one would expect for a $100 million production opening in over 4,000 theaters. In fact, the studio is currently anticipating a $25 million three-day debut while others expect that total to reach $27+ million. No matter how you look at it this is likely to be the worst opening ever for a live-action film opening in over 4,000 theaters, taking the crown from last year's The Mummy, which opened in 4,035 theaters with $31.6 million. The Predator received a troubling C+ CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Lionsgate's A Simple Favor is delivering solid business, bringing in an estimated $5.92 million on Friday, heading toward a $16+ million opening. The film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Sony's release of Studio 8's White Boy Rick is delivering on expectations, bringing in an estimated $3.47 million on Friday, heading toward a $9+ million opening. The film received a "B" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Lastly, Pure Flix's Unbroken: Path to Redemption is finishing on the lower end of industry expectations after an estimated $820,000 Friday, heading toward a $2.3 million opening. The film received a "A" 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: Not good news for Fox's The Predator, which started its weekend run last night with $2.5 million from Thursday night previews beginning at 7PM. For comparison, Alien: Covenant brought in $4.2 million in previews prior to its $36.1 million opening while Blade: Runner 2049 delivered $4 million in previews ahead of a $32.7 million opening. This is very close to the $2.66 million in previews The Mummy brought in ahead of its $31.68 million debut last summer.
Paul Feig's A Simple Favor brought in $900,000 from Thursday night previews in ~2,400 locations
Sony and Studio 8's White Boy Rick took in $575,000 from Thursday previews starting at 7PM. in 2,176 locations.
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: On the heels of The Nun's strong start to the fall season, this weekend sees the release of Fox's The Predator, which should top the weekend box office, though a cloud of controversy may stall what might have been a larger performance. Also releasing this weekend is the Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick thriller A Simple Favor, Studio 8's White Boy Rick and Pure Flix's Unbroken: Path to Redemption, all poised for a spot in the top ten.
Debuting in over 4,000 locations, Fox's The Predator isn't having the best of time leading up to release. The controversy swirling around the film has been all anyone is talking about and reviews are, at best, lackluster. The film is currently looking as if it will fall short of Alien: Covenant's disappointing $36.1 million opening last May with studio expectations for the $88 million production in the high 20s, perhaps reaching $30 million for the weekend.
Beyond Alien: Covenant, another comp we've been looking at is Terminator Genisys, which brought in $42.4 million over its first five days in release, $27 million of that over the three-day weekend from 3,783 theaters. There is something to be said for the film opening in 4,037 locations, which you would expect to help bolster the film's overall weekend performance, but don't forget Tom Cruise's The Mummy opened in 4,035 theaters and could only muster a $31.6 million debut in the middle of the summer. As a result, The Mummy's opening is the fourth worst opening ever for a live-action film debuting in 4,000+ locations. With expectations as low as they are, we could be looking at a record-breaking opening, though not the kind of record any film is looking for.
In second we have Warner Bros. and New Line's The Nun, which delivered a franchise record opening last weekend, but the film is looking at a rather steep drop this week. The fifth entry in the Conjuring franchise received a a franchise-worst "C" CinemaScore from opening day audiences suggesting a second weekend drop around 65% or so for a three-day around $18-19 million is most likely. Should those expectations hold and it doesn't drop any further than that, the film should push over (or just shy of) $85 million domestically by the end of the weekend.
Lionsgate's thriller A Simple Favor finds director Paul Feig stepping outside his wheelhouse. Feig, who is best known for comedies such as Bridesmaids and The Heat, directs Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in this R-rated thriller, which will debut in 3,102 locations and isn't looking as if it is going to do half-bad. Industry expectations are in the low-to-mid-teens and while IMDb page view data shows the film pacing behind the likes of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train leading up to release, it is performing well enough (and has solid reviews) to expect a debut around $17 million isn't at all unreasonable.
WB's Crazy Rich Asians will enjoy its fifth weekend in the top five this week, dropping around 33% for a $8.8 million three-day, pushing the film's domestic cume near $150 million.
Rounding out the top five is Studio 8's White Boy Rick, an adult-targeted R-rated crime drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Richie Merritt. Studio expectations are for a debut around $8-10 million, which is exactly what we're looking at with upside potential suggesting either a stronger debut this weekend or a satisfying hold over the coming weeks.
Outside the top five we find Pure Flix's Unbroken: Path to Redemption, which will debut in 1,620 locations. Telling the story beyond that which was explored in Angelina Jolie's 2014 feature Unbroken, again based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book. Industry sources suggest the film is looking to open with $2-4 million this weekend while we remain a bit more bullish on the title, anticipating a $4-5 million opening.
Finally, look for Mission: Impossible - Fallout to become the highest grossing release in the franchise. The film may end up in something of a battle with Christopher Robin for the tenth and final spot in the weekend top ten, but that shouldn't prevent it from topping Mission: Impossible II's $215.4 million to become the highest grossing domestic release in the Mission franchise.
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.
- The Predator (4,037 theaters) - $29.0 M
- The Nun (3,876 theaters) - $18.5 M
- A Simple Favor (3,102 theaters) - $17.0 M
- Crazy Rich Asians (3,385 theaters) - $8.9 M
- White Boy Rick (~2,500 theaters) - $8.6 M
- Peppermint (2,980 theaters) - $7.4 M
- Unbroken: Path to Redemption (1,620 theaters) - $5.0 M
- The Meg (2,851 theaters) - $3.3 M
- Searching - $2.9 M
- Mission: Impossible - Fallout (1,761 theaters) - $2.3 M
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