After a barrage of new releases in the past 2 weekends, we’re now seeing a slowdown as a mixed summer period at the U.S. Box Office comes to an end. Fox Searchlight’s ‘Ready or Not’, a horror-thriller-comedy starring Andie MacDowell, Samara Weaving, and Adam Brody, opens on Wednesday and seeks a win against Lionsgate’s trilogy-ending ‘Angel Has Fallen’, while Christian drama ‘Overcomer’ hopes for some divine intervention from just 1,500 cinemas.
So, what’s opening this weekend?
This weekend sees the drop of the 3rd chapter in the $400m-grossing ‘Fallen’ franchise, ‘Angel Has Fallen’, starring Gerard Butler as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, and Morgan Freeman as U.S. President Allan Trumball. It’s a series that further showcases Lionsgate’s penchant for the action-thriller genre, as the studio has grossed close to $1bn alone from both ‘Fallen’ and ‘John Wick’.
While ‘John Wick’ has consistently been increasing its grosses domestically, with ‘Chapter 3’ earning $170.7m in the States alone (more than the 1st 2 films combined), ‘Fallen’ has worryingly done the opposite: 2013’s ‘Olympus’ opened to $30.4m on its way to earning $98.9m stateside, but ‘London’ started at just $21.6m to finish on $62.5m. The rapid diminishing returns led Lionsgate to release ‘Angel’ in the summer instead of the usual March date, to take advantage of the holidays.
That wasn’t the only change. In comes the 3rd different director of the trilogy, Ric Roman Waugh, as well as a larger $80m budget, and a promotion push aiming at reminding/educating audiences on what went on in the 1st 2 films, with the hope that cinemagoers won’t feel out-the-loop by watching the 3rd film in a series they may not know about. Whether it’ll work in stopping the domestic lull, Lionsgate will at least find solace in the franchise’s global appreciation, which saw ‘London’ double the overseas gross of ‘Olympus’ from $71m to $143m.
What do we forecast? Quite simply, more of the same. ‘Angel’ ditches the famous landscape destruction that the series is (somewhat) famous for more a deeper look into Banning himself, including an introduction to the character Clay Banning – his father. Whether or not this appeals to viewers down the line is one thing, but we can’t see it drawing larger crowds than ‘London’, meaning a $17m opening’s in store.
Aiming to spoil ‘Angel’s party is black comedy-horror ‘Ready or Not’, which opened on Wednesday. The film sees bride Grace (Samara Weaving) play a deadly game of hide-and-seek with her new in-laws, who include Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell, and Henry Czerny playing Daniel, Becky, and Tony Le Domas respectively.
It’s a unique premise looking to find another horror angle outside of the shark-attack thriller of last weekend’s ’47 Meters Down 2’, or the scares of ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’. Whether it can hold its own against both, as well as the 8 other releases in the past fortnight will be seen on Sunday night, although its release into just 2,500 cinemas is a cause for concern.
What isn’t, however, is its critical reception; the film boasts 90% on the Tomatometer, and could become a surprise hit like similar films in the genre (think ‘Cabin in the Woods’). It’s ‘Cabin’s $14.7m opening we’re basing our own forecast off of, with $14m over 5 days, and thus $10m from Friday.
Finally, Christian drama ‘Overcomer’ enters 1,500 cinemas with hopes to emulate the success of recent religious hits ‘Breakthrough’ ($11.3m), ‘I Can Only Imagine’ ($17.1m), and ‘Miracles From Heaven’ ($14.8m). Although it lacks the A-star appeal of both ‘Breakthrough’ and ‘Miracles’, as well as the popular property of ‘ICOI’, the film hails from the same studio as 2015’s ‘War Room’, which opened to a massive $11.4m (from just 1,135 cinemas) on its way to an astounding $67.8m domestic gross. Armed with a bigger budget and a similar late-August start date (but more competition), we see ‘Overcomer’ opening to around $10m to round-up a successful weekend for the debutants.
What else is on?
Last weekend’s surprise $21m winner ‘Good Boys’ should remain amongst the top players this time around with a $12m gross, leaving it on a running total of around $42m by Sunday night. It marks around a 46% drop from last weekend, in-line with that of another hit Universal comedy ‘Blockers’, whose 48% drop saw it earn $10.8m after its $20.6m opening, for a $37.4m running gross at the same point. ‘Good Boys’ will look to emulate, or even better, ‘Blockers’ $60.3m domestic finish, however with its core audience drawn to the release of ‘It: Chapter 2’ in a couple of weeks, ‘Good Boys’ will need a strong performance to pass the test.
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