Another week, another box office prediction for the upcoming weekend. Now we have American Made and the remake of Flatliners being thrown into the mix for the upcoming weekend, plus the expansion of Battle of the Sexes, but it’ll be a one-on-one battle between former champion It and current champion Kingsman: The Golden Circle. All right, let’s get going.
It’s a tough choice between what will be the weekend winner, and by my estimates I have Kingsman holding on with a 55% drop in store and a second weekend of $17.5 million. It will be closed with a 45% drop and a fourth weekend of $16.3, which again most September movies hope for in their opening weekend, depending on the subject matter and the audience.
American Made is expected to do better between the two new releases this weekend, which is nice because usually these movies open in the fourth or fifth place position and something like Flatliners being toward the top. Well, we’ve got a talented cast including Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jessie Plemons, Lola Kirke, and Caleb Laundry Jones, a credible director in Doug Liman, and an interesting true story to base the movie around, and with the marketing push being a good effort from Universal, and positive word of mouth from critics with 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, things are lining up for the film to do decent work this weekend, but I think it will fall short of the $16 million forecasted. I’m instead going with a competitive $14.5 million in third place. 3,024 theaters are playing it, so we’re looking at a per-theater average of $4,795.
Fourth place I have going to the big loser last weekend, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which due to lack of competition for family audiences I see only falling 40% and making another $12.2 million. And in fifth place we’ll go with the other newcomer, Flatliners. Once again a good cast in this one, like Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, and of course Kiefer Sutherland, and the marketing has been pretty good for this one with lots of social media and YouTube ads playing, but I don’t get a lot of excitement from anticipated audiences on this one, and with no Thursday night previews and few critical reviews, none of which have been positive, then we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Interesting how we’ve had three big horror/thriller movies open since It, all in successive weekends, and all have fallen way below expectations: mother!, Friend Request, and now I see the same happening for Flatliners. $12 million is the expected number from tracking, but I’m going with $9.5 million. The theater count on this one is 2,552, so $3,723 is the expected per-theater average.
Also let’s talk about the wide expansion of Battle of the Sexes, which is personally one of my most anticipated films of the fall season. So we’ve got an all-star cast with Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Risenborough, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Eric Christian Olsen, and Bill Pullman, the acclaimed directors of Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and good press from film festival screenings all doing well, plus the true event has been gaining attention and putting the film on the map. 86% of Rotten Tomatoes’ critics have given it a positive review and even though the theater count is going to be low this weekend, I think there is an interest to see the film, but not enough to crack the top five. I see a $4.5 million weekend in store, and with 1,213 theaters playing it, $3,710 is the expected per-theater average.
All right, now before we go let’s go down the top five from last week and see how I did trying to predict them. In the top spot was Kingsman: The Golden Circle with $39 million, which was a pretty good opening and higher than Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015), barely. Still, it was lower than my $42 million prediction. Second place was incorrectly placed for The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which had to settle for third place with a low $20.4 million opening, way lower than my second place $38 million opening. It just wasn’t in the cards for the film and it gets added to the list of disappointing or disastrous openings for family-friendly films, which is ever-growing through the last five months with a couple exceptions, mainly Despicable Me 3. So second place went to the horror champs of champs, It, with another $29.7 million. My third place prediction was $30 million, so that was almost spot-on, just in third place instead of second. The money train just doesn’t stop for Stephen King’s highest grossing adaptation, which could conceivably clear $290 million domestically by the end of the weekend, and it’s already over $500 million worldwide. Fourth place went to American Assassin with $6.2 million its second weekend, which was in the right place but was not the $8.1 million I put on it. And my fifth place prediction of $3.2 million for Friend Request was nowhere near right with a $2 million opening down in seventh place. The real fifth place finisher was mother!, which I did not have predictions for. I did, however, have a prediction for Stronger with $2.5 million, but that didn’t pan out either with a $1.6 million start. Ooh. Let’s hope that improves over the coming weeks as it plans to expand. All right, a lot on our plates this weekend, but we’ll see how this record-breaking September ends, with a whimper or a bang.