Weekend Box Office (September 30 - October 2, 2016)
THIS WEEKEND Director Tim Burton scored his first number one opening in over six years with the fantasy adventure Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which debuted on top with an estimated $28.5M. The PG-13 film from Fox averaged a sturdy $8,092 from 3,522 theaters. Reviews were decent and audiences polled by CinemaScore gave a satisfactory B+ grade.
Based on the best-selling novel, Miss Peregrine played to a more female audience at 59% while the split between those over and under 25 was even. With a production cost of over $100M, the adventure film posted a global debut weekend of $65M including a $36.5M international bow from 59 markets. Leading the way were Korea at $5.2M and the U.K. at $4.6M. 20 more markets are still to come next weekend including France, Russia, and Germany.
Another new expensive film followed in second place. The disaster drama Deepwater Horizon opened to an estimated $20.6M from 3,259 theaters for a good $6,321 average. Lionsgate's PG-13 pic anchored by Mark Wahlberg earned strong reviews from critics and did well with paying audiences too taking an A- grade from CinemaScore. The production cost was north of $110M.
Like the recent hit Sully, Horizon takes a recent real-life American disaster from 6-7 years ago and turns it into a well-reviewed motion picture event anchored by a big Hollywood star as the hero who fights to overcome the odds and save lives. But the Tom Hanks pic performed much better opening to $35M. For Wahlberg, this was not even among his top ten career openings. Deepwater Horizon rolled out in a handful of international markets grossing an additional $12.4M including debuts in the U.K., Russia and Mexico.
Following its top spot debut, The Magnificent Seven tumbled 55% to an estimated $15.7M boosting Sony's cume to $61.6M. That was a larger drop than the 45% of Denzel Washington's last film, The Equalizer, which the studio also released during the end of September. Seven should finish at or just below $100M domestic.
The baby-delivery toon Storks enjoyed an encouraging 35% sophomore decline to an estimated $13.8M playing as the main option for younger children this weekend. With $38.8M in the bank for Warner Bros., a final of around $75M may result. Tom Hanks scored the 19th $100M+ domestic blockbuster of his career this weekend as Sully took in an estimated $8.4M, down 38%, for a $105.4M cume to date. The double Oscar winner has delivered such hits across four consecutive decades now starting with his first which was 1988's Big.
Crashing into sixth place was the new comedy Masterminds which was rejected by moviegoers opening to only $6.6M, according to estimates, from 3,042 locations for a weak $2,170 average. Relativity had this one bouncing around the calendar and the many delays did nothing to excite ticket buyers. Reviews were mostly negative for the PG-13 pic.
Critics were all cheers for the chess drama Queen of Katwe but audiences spent an estimated $2.6M this weekend for its national expansion resulting in a soft $2,100 average from 1,242 theaters for Disney. Total is $3M. The horror hit Don't Breathe kept on rocking slipping 37% in its sixth weekend in the top ten - a rare feat for a fright film. Sony collected an estimated $3.4M, pushing the sum to $84.7M, and could be headed for $90M.
A couple of underperformers rounded out the top ten with drops of 50% each. Bridget Jones's Baby grossed an estimated $2.3M for Universal while Open Road's Snowden took in an estimated $2M. Disappointing cumes are $21M and $18.7M, respectively.
In limited release, the new legal drama Denial got off to a nice start averaging $20,420 from five New York and Los Angeles theaters for a $102,000 weekend estimate. Bleecker Street will widen the PG-13 film starring Rachel Weisz next weekend into ten more markets. The critically-acclaimed teen drama American Honey delivered a good result in its platform debut averaging $18,843 from four locations in NY/LA. The R-rated film expands Friday into more cities before going national on October 14.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $102.9M which was down 26% from last year when The Martian debuted at number one with $54.3M; and down 24% from 2014 when Gone Girl opened in the top spot with $37.5M.
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Watch the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Compared to projections, Miss Peregrine opened ahead of my $24M forecast while both Deepwater Horizon and Masterminds were on target with my respective predictions of $19M and $7M.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Girl on the Train, The Birth of a Nation, and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life all 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 2, 2016 at 4:25PM ET
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