After ‘Endgame’ smashed every conceivable record in the book as last weekend’s sole release, it remains the biggest story come Friday as it aims to beat ‘The Force Awakens’ $149.2m 2nd weekend gross to add yet another ‘of all time’ to its gauntlet. Standing in the film’s way are 4 new releases in STX animation ‘Uglydolls’, Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron comedy ‘Long Shot’, psychological thriller ‘The Intruder’, and indie vigilante film ‘El Chicano’, all of which will find themselves locked into a tight battle for 2nd place.
So, what’s opening this weekend?
We start with ‘Uglydolls’, the animated musical comedy based on the range of American stuffed toys. Originally intended to be an Illumination (‘Minions’, ‘The Grinch’) release, the rights were then bought by STX Entertainment, and marks the studio’s 1st foray into animation.
Starring the voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae among others, and directed by Kelly Asbury (‘Shrek 2’, ‘Spirit’), the film sees a group of anthropomorphic dolls venture out of their town of Uglyville to discover Perfection, a town where only the most beautiful dolls reside.
Judging by the film’s critical reception (47% on RT) and the looming cloud of ‘Endgame’s 2nd weekend, it won’t be the prettiest of openings for ‘Uglydolls’, with a forecasted $17m on the agenda. Luckily, STX spent just $45m to produce this one, meaning all isn’t lost after its 1st 3 days.
Following closely in ‘Uglydolls’ footsteps is ‘Long Shot’, the Jonathan Levine comedy starring Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. It follows Fred Flarsky (Rogen), a journalist who reconnects with his old babysitter Charlotte Field (Theron), who is in the running to become the next president of the United States.
Recent R-rated, well-reviewed comedies (think ‘Game Night’ and ‘Blockers’) have seen an opening in the region of $17m+, and considering ‘Game Night’ in particular opened during ‘Black Panther’s 2nd weekend last year, a similar $16m is on the cards for ‘Long Shot’.
Next is Sony’s ‘The Intruder’, opening in around 2,500 cinemas. The $8m thriller stars Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, and Dennis Quaid, and immediately draws similarities to last May’s ‘Breaking In’ featuring Gabrielle Union, due to their minuscule budgets, poor critical reception, comparable plotline, and African-American leads. Their openings can’t compete, however, with ‘The Intruder’s forecasted $9m start falling well short of ‘Breaking In’s $17.6m.
Finally, Latino thriller ‘El Chicano’ opens in just 600 cinemas this weekend. Noted for its all-Latino cast, the story follows a Mexican-American police officer who becomes a masked vigilante. Although it won’t likely enter the top 10 with its gross under $2m, it’s still a solid start for the film in the face of such heavy competition.
What else is on?
This weekend’s all about ‘Endgame’, which, at the point of writing, is currently the 6th biggest film of all time. Its 2nd weekend drop is one of contention; on one hand, 44% of its opening weekend gross was earned by Friday night, implying a front-loaded film with a heavy 60% 2nd week drop. However, its Sunday-Monday drop of just 59% (for context, ‘Infinity War’ dropped 64%, ‘The Avengers’ dropped by 67%) shows such strong demand, especially given its Monday total of $36.9m is the 3rd biggest of all time.
So what will the film earn? We’re expecting a weekend gross a little over $170m – by far the biggest 2nd weekend in history. By Sunday night, ‘Endgame’ will draw dangerously close to sinking ‘Titanic’ to become the 5th biggest domestic release in history, and intentionally has already become China’s biggest U.S. film, overtaking ‘The Fate of the Furious’ after just a week of release to gross $509m in the region.