20th Century Fox’s release of “The Predator” may have topped the weekend box office, but whether it was the controversy stemming from Munn’s rightful decision to speak out against Shane Black, or the dwindling franchise interest, or a combination of both, the film delivered the lowest opening weekend gross for a live-action debuting in over 4000 theaters. With an estimated $24 million gross, “The Predator’ was able to secure the #1-weekend spot, but the film has little to celebrate.
Debuting in 4307 theaters, the film averaged a near $5500 average, unseating “The Mummy” which opened to $31.6 million in 4035 locations which equates to a near $7830 per theater average. It even opened short of the 2010 shotty reboot “Predators,” which opened with $24.76 million in just 2669 locations. That film went on to gross over $52 million, which may set “The Predator” on the path for a domestic cume just shy of $50 million. The film received a “C+” Cinemascore, which isn’t a good sign for its future, and neither is the 34% Rottentomatoes score. The road ahead doesn’t look promising for the once prominent alpha killer.
Internationally wasn’t exactly a different story, debuting in 72 markets “The Predator” walked away with an estimated $30.7 million. Leading the way was Russia with an estimated $4.7 million, followed by the UK ($3.1m. The film is set to open in Argentina, Mexico, and an additional nine markets next weekend, but I don’t see a bright future for the Xenomorph’s competition.
In the runner-up position was Warner Bros “The Nun” which delivered yet another franchise record though not in the same positive frame as last weekend, the film dipped with a franchise-worst of 66% this weekend, delivering an estimated $18.2 million for a domestic gross that now tops $85 million. On the bright side, the film is still on track to top $100 million, becoming the fourth film in the franchise to do so. On the even brighter side, “The Nun” added another $33.1 million internationally, pushing it running overseas cume to $143.6 million which pushed its global tally over $200 million. In fact, it finished at $228.7 million.
Landing in the third position was Lionsgate’s “A Simple Favor” with an estimated $16 million. The R-rated thriller had approval from both audiences and critics with a “B+” Cinemascore from opening audiences and an 82% RottenTomatoes score from critics. Carrying a reported $20 million budget, the film is on the right track and has the chance to either crack $30 million or, if it's so lucky, $40 million.
Internationally, “A Simple Favor” brought in an estimated $3.5 million from 28 markets with Australia leading the way with $1.5 million. The film is set to debut in the UK, Russia, and Finland next weekend followed by openings in France, Mexico, and many more in the weeks to come.
Sony’s release of Studio 8’s “White Boy Rick,” landed in fourth place with an estimated $8.8 million debut from 2504 locations. The drug-fueled drama scored a so-so “B” Cinemascore and a mediocre 63% RottenTomatoes score. Rounding out the top five is WB’s “Crazy Rich Asians” which is now just shy of $150 million domestically after an estimated $8.7 million weekend. Internationally the rom-com added another $7.3 million for an overseas cume that now tallys $37.9 million for a worldwide total of $187 million.
Outside the top five is where we found Pure Flix’s “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” which fell to the lower end of expectations with a $2.35 million weekend gross from 1620 locations, a theater average of $1450. Elsewhere, WB’s “The Meg” added $3.8 million to its domestic total reaching $137 million, as well as $6 million internationally for a global tally of $505 million. Additionally, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” landed another $2.3 million, pushing the film’s domestic cume over $216 million, becoming the highest domestic grossing release in the franchise. The film also aggregated $15.9 million from overseas for a global tally that now exceeds $760 million.
Next weekend, Universal will release its family-targeted feature “The House with a Clock in its Walls” in 3000+ locations, and Amazon Studios will debut “Life Itself” into 2500 locations, and “Fahrenheit 11/9” will release into 1500 theaters. The weekend looks busy and promising for both audiences and critics as the year begins to heat up as we near the year’s end.