‘Downton Abbey’ can’t deal with ‘Abominable’s $20m+ snowstorm
In one of the scarcer weekends of the cinematic calendar, this coming Friday sees just 1 wide release in ‘Abominable’. The Universal animation should comfortably finish atop the charts upon entry into over 4,000 cinemas, unless the same studio’s over-achieving ‘Downton Abbey’ can spring another surprise with a $20m+ weekend. Elsewhere, ‘Ad Astra’ and ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ continue their identical runs as they aim for another top 5 finish this weekend.
So, what’s opening this weekend?
‘Abominable’, the joint venture between Universal and Chinese production house ‘Pearl Studio’, opens on Friday over a month after audiences were last treated to an animated movie. While ‘Angry Birds 2’s $10.4m opening from August left a lot to be desired, Universal hope for a sizeable improvement, especially as the sole release to an audience lacking in quality cinema since the back-to-school period began.
And quality is what they’re getting. ‘Abominable’s 78% on RT marks one of the best for an animated film this year, and its cast, which includes Chloe Bennet (‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’), Sarah Poulson, and Eddie Izzard, as well as director Jill Culton (‘Open Season’), is an enviable line-up of talent.
The film sees teenager Yi (Bennet) find a Yeti in her hometown of Shanghai, and the mishaps she gets into to return it home. Its Chinese influences aren’t hidden here – this is a film that aims to please in the 2 biggest markets in the world.
There’s something a little strange about it however, and that’s its uncanny similarity to last year’s ‘Smallfoot’. Both films center around an animated Yeti in contact with humans. Both films have an all-star cast. Both films carry a similar $80m-ish budget. Both films were even released during the last weekend of September. Will both films open to the same $23m? We expect so, with ‘Abominable’ comfortably finishing in top spot – this year’s biggest opening for an original animated film.
What else is on?
Just how front-loaded is ‘Downton Abbey’? The surprise package of last weekend stunned all with a $31m opening, but lifting under the bonnet saw that a worrying 45% of that gross was earned by Friday night.
With such hotly anticipated releases comes a mad dash to see it 1st, and in this case the older women came in droves on the opening night. Being a PG family drama helps however, widening its appeal towards audiences who’ve never even seen the show. A $16m weekend – less than a 50% drop – should be enough for ‘Downton’ to reach 2nd spot.
Continuing their battle from last week is ‘Ad Astra’ and ‘Rambo: Last Blood’, with both looking to edge the other out after the neck-and-neck finish 7 days ago. It’s ‘Ad Astra’ who’ll come out as victor, grossing $10.6m, while ‘Last Blood’ will manage just $8m.
|Rank||Last Week’s Rank||Film||STUDIO||Budget||JUMPCUT’s prediction||Weekend drop||Week no.|
|2||1||Downton Abbey||Focus Features||$20m||$15.9m||-48.8%||2|
|5||4||It Chapter Two||Warner Bros||$70m||$8.8m||-48.3%||4|
|6||3||Rambo: Last Blood||Lionsgate||$50m||$8.3m||-56.0%||2|
|7||6||The Lion King||Disney||$250m||$1.9m||-29.0%||11|
|9||8||Angel Has Fallen||Lionsgate||$40m||$1.4m||-41.8%||6|