We’ve reached the halfway mark of the fall movie season, and with October starting, usually this first weekend of the month starts everything off strong, then by the end of the month we’ve reached our limits and we have some of the lowest weekend numbers of the year, but to start off strong, how about Blade Runner 2049? We’ve also got The Mountain Between Us and My Little Pony opening up, but they’re gonna be leftovers compared to the main course that is Blade Runner, so let’s get going.
The obvious winner of the weekend will be Blade Runner 2049, and there’s a lot of reasons to get pumped for it doing a really good job at the box office. From a talented cast including Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, and Dave Bautista, and from acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve, whose really been on a roll recently, and with the factor of the original Blade Runner (1982) being a very popular sci-fi film in many people’s eyes, not mine, but it’s still got a hell of a marketing campaign behind it and it’s become something of a critical darling with 90% of Rotten Tomatoes’ critics giving it a recommendation. All eyes are on this movie doing well this weekend, and tracking has it aiming for around $48 million, with many being bullish on its chances of somewhere between $50-65 million, but I’m definitely not going that high. While people are really liking this one, the original film did have a mixed to negative reaction upon release and it wasn’t until years later that the cult following picked up, and the film’s running time of two hours and forty-five minutes (approximately) will take up a lot of time, but I like where tracking is so I’m actually going to have to default to that and agree $48 million will be the number. 4,058 theaters are going to show the film, so that means $11,828 is the expected per-theater average.
Second, third, and fourth place are all going to be repeats from last weekend by my estimates, and I see it going down this way: It will repeat for second place again with a 45% drop and a fifth weekend total of $10.1 million and clearing $300 million domestically. Third place goes to American Made, dropping 45% and making $9.2 million its second weekend, and fourth place going to the champ from last week, Kingsman: The Golden Circle dropping another 55% and $7.6 million would be the total by those numbers.
So the last one in the top five this weekend will be a new release: The Mountain Between Us. Despite having Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Dermot Mulroney, and Beau Bridges in the cast, none of which always bring in huge opening weekends, and a present marketing campaign, I’m not sensing a lot of excitement around this one. Only 53% of Rotten Tomatoes’ critics are liking it, and the once Oscar-hopeful literally looks like it’ll be left out in the cold. Tracking is going super high with $11.5 million, but I don’t think it’s getting anywhere near that number. Instead, $6.5 million is closer to reality. I see 3,088 theaters opening this one with the per-theater average of $2,105.
That leaves the latest edition of My Little Pony outside the top five. Now I get that the franchise has a lot of fans from this and past generations, and the voice-cast is loaded with talent, including Emily Blunt, Michael Pena, Tara Strong, Zoe Saldana, Uzo Aduba, Sia, Kristen Chenoweth, and Liev Schreiber. However, I personally haven’t seen any marketing material on this, and I think that the negative attitude from some people will keep some away. Still, die-hards will turn out for it and the lack of family audience films recently, and those that have come out have landed below expectations. $7 million is the expected number from tracking, and again I’m going lower and saying $5 million is about all we can expect from it. 2,528 theaters are playing it so $1,978 is the per-theater average by my estimates. Also outside the top five this weekend, look out for the moderate expansion of Victoria & Abdul, which has been killing it in limited release, doing very well in 732. Maybe $2 million or more? We’ll have to wait and see.
All right, now looking back on what happened last weekend at the box office. Sunday’s estimates were very tight with It, American Made, and Kingsman topping the charts, in that order, all within $1 million of each other. However, with the actual numbers out Monday, Kingsman ended up winning the weekend with $16.9 million, off 56% from its opening weekend. I had it winning the charts as well with $17.5 million, so it wasn’t way too far off on that. It was in second place with $16.9 million as well, technically $30 thousand separate the two, but still only 43% off, not way too far from my $16.3 million prediction, which was also correct for second place. Third place was for newcomer American Made, which landed with $16.7 million, which was slightly above tracking and also above my conservative $14.5 million prediction. Another one in the plus column. Fourth place went to LEGO Ninjago Movie with $11.6 million, down 43%. My number was $12.2 million, so I wasn’t too far off on that one, either. And fifth place was another correct one for the remake of Flatliners, $6.5 million opening weekend. I saw a lower number than expected coming but not that low. $9.5 million was my number, but tracking was at $12 million, just a little under double of what it actually learned, another victim of It. And finally I had a prediction for Battle of the Sexes, which was outside the top five, as correctly predicted by me, with $3.4 million. I was higher with $4.5 million, which is one of the furthest off of my prediction from last week. 5/5 last week, awesome. Let’s see how this week goes.