Weekend Box Office (September 29 - October 1, 2017)
THIS WEEKEND In its fourth round, the horror sensation It reclaimed its position at the top of the North American box office winning a tight three-way race for number one. Dropping only 42%, the Warner Bros. smash took in an estimated $17.3M propelling its domestic haul to a staggering $291.2M. At its current pace, It should break the $300M mark on Saturday, October 7th, and reaching a $325M final seems likely.
The Pennywise creepfest is already the fourth highest grossing R-rated movie of all-time ranking just behind The Passion of the Christ, Deadpool, and American Sniper which all did over $350M. The Stephen King story is truly a worldwide phenomenon. Overseas markets were hot once again and took in an estimated $35.6M lifting the total to $262M for a global gross of $553.2M. With Italy and Japan still to open, It should be able to cruise past the $650M threshold - a monster result for a film coming out of September.
Inches behind It in a two-film tie for second place was last week's top film Kingsman The Golden Circle with an estimated $17M for a steep 56% fall in its sophomore session. Action sequels often drop this hard on the second weekend. Cume for Fox now stands at $66.7M on its way to a $100M finish.
The new Kingsman scored a large international frame with $50.5M from 77 markets powered by a massive $16.2M debut in South Korea. The U.K. still tops all markets with $20.3M through its second weekend there. The overseas total rose to $126.2M putting the worldwide tally at $192.9M with key territories like France, China, and Japan still to come as the sequel aims to beat the $400M of the first Kingsman.
Tom Cruise saw his latest film American Made also gross an estimated $17M this weekend and final numbers to be reported on Monday will determine if the veteran star will finish with the silver or the bronze for the frame. Universal's R-rated film averaged a good $5,622 from 3,024 locations and skewed older male. Studio data showed that 56% were over 30 and 55% were men.
Reviews were quite good for the Doug Liman-directed film and audiences were mostly pleased as Made earned a B+ CinemaScore grade. The opening came in under Cruise's last fall actioner Jack Reacher: Never Go Back which bowed to $22.9M last October on its way to a $58.7M final. Should American Made play out at the same pace, it would end up near the $45M mark which would be extremely low by the standards of a film anchored by Cruise. The international total is $64.7M from 61 markets with Russia and Japan still to come.
Based on weekend estimates released on Sunday, these three films are in a narrow range atop the box office and the final order might change. Saturday-to-Sunday declines that studios are projecting are 44% for It, 40% for Kingsman, and 36% for American Made.
The underperforming toon The LEGO Ninjago Movie was off 41% in its second weekend grossing an estimated $12M for a cume of only $35.6M. That's down a disturbing 63% from last February's The LEGO Batman Movie over the same amount of time. A $65M final may result which would be less than just the opening weekend of the first LEGO Movie.
Opening to soft results in fifth place was the remake thriller Flatliners which attracted an estimated $6.7M worth of business this weekend. Sony went into 2,552 locations with the PG-13 pic but averaged only $2,625. Critics were not given a chance to review in advance and even the standard Thursday night pre-shows were not done to delay audience word-of-mouth. Reviews for the $19M production coming out since its release have been negative across-the-board.
The acclaimed tennis pic Battle of the Sexes expanded nationwide and took in an estimated $3.4M from 1,213 locations for a $2,803 average. Fox Searchlight's Emma Stone-Steve Carell starrer has taken in $4.1M since opening a week ago in limited release. Off 47% was the action title American Assassin with an estimated $3.3M and $31.9M overall for Lionsgate.
Reese Witherspoon followed with her comedy Home Again which dropped 46% to an estimated $1.8M putting Open Road at $25.2M. The relationship thriller Til Death Do Us Part debuted to an estimated $1.6M from 562 theaters for a $2,790 average. Rounding out the top ten was the polarizing drama mother! which fell 56% to an estimated $1.5M giving Paramount just $16.3M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $81.5M which was down 20% from last year when Miss Peregrine opened at number one with $28.9M; and down 42% from 2015 when The Martian debuted in the top spot with $54.3M.
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Compared to projections, both American Made and Flatliners opened very close to my respective forecasts of $16M and $7M.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Blade Runner 2049, The Mountain Between Us, and My Little Pony open.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: October 1, 2017 at 2:15PM ET
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