For this weekend’s box office, we’re seeing the release of two new films, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Logan Lucky, and while I don’t see either film breaking any box office records any time soon, I do think there’s room for both films to do at least okay at the box office while fighting with the leftovers from the past few weeks.
To start things off, I think we will have a pretty close call between the number one and the number two slot: The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Annabelle: Creation will both be at each other’s throats. And honestly, I’m thinking the difference could be as small as a few thousand dollars. It seems every few years during this time of year, whether that’s late August or in early to mid September, there’s a close call. While I’m thinking the winner of these two will be Hitman’s Bodyguard, that could be a mistake. The reason I’m going with the newcomer here is twofold: star-power and marketing. First off, having Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson on-board for a film like this is a genius move, despite critics not liking it so far at 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have talents like Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Richard E. Grant, and Joaquim de Almedia in the supporting cast. Now with the marketing, while I haven’t seen a bunch of TV ads for the film, it’s the online marketing that has been on overtime. I’ll even go so far as to say they’re going to Deadpool (2016) levels of Internet interest, especially when they’re highlighting the fact that Deadpool and Nick Fury are played by these actors, so if there’s one crowd you want to bring in that doesn’t always go to comedies, it’s comic book and superhero movie fans. So with all that, I’m going a bit above the tracking and say $19.5 million in first place. It will play in 3,377 theaters and is heading for a per-theater average of $5,774. So no spoilers here, but Annabelle will likely have to settle for second place this weekend. While critics have been liking it a lot and it made a small fortune at the box office last weekend, some of the fan reactions have been less than positive, so I’m going with a 50% drop and a second weekend of $17.5 million.
Third place looks like it will go to Logan Lucky, the first film for returning director Steven Soderbergh, and that little nugget might be selling more tickets than anything else here. But still, let’s roll-call the cast here: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Hilary Swank, and many others, Soderbergh has never been known to not play his actors to their strengths, for the most part, and with an ensemble like this, it’s hard to resist. Also it’s hard to resist the great reviews, 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, so again this film will enter the conversations of some of the best reviewed films of the summer. So while I’m psyched to see the film, I don’t see it being a close third. The television ads have given the basic gist, but I don’t think they’re selling tickets here. Tracking has it hitting $12 million, but with 3,031 theaters playing it, I’ll go a bit lower and say $9 million.
So that leaves fourth and fifth place to other leftovers, and I think the obvious one will be Dunkirk in fourth place with another $7 million this weekend, off only another 35%, and I might shock some of you, but I’m keeping Girls Trip in fifth place with $3.8 million its fifth weekend, down 50%. Though it’s worth noting that The Nut Job 2, The Dark Tower, and The Emoji Movie will be all in the $3.5-$2.8 million range, so it could get pretty convoluted.
Okay, so now let’s step back and take a look at what happened with the top five at the box office last weekend and see how I did predicting them. Well, as mentioned before, Annabelle: Creation dominated in first place with a massive $35 million opening. Horror movies this summer have almost all been catastrophes at the box office, but this one is the exception. I had it only earning $24 million, so it proved me and a lot of other analysts wrong. Second place was incorrectly predicted for The Nut Job 2, with Dunkirk remaining in that spot, only falling 36% and hitting $10.8 million its fourth weekend. Pretty good. Nutty by Nature had to settle in third with a record-low $8.3 million for a film showing in more than 4,000 theaters. Yikes! I had it at $12.5 million with Dunkirk not far behind, $11.9 million. Fourth place was back on track with The Dark Tower, which fell 59% and made $7.8 million its second weekend, not too far away from my $7.6 million prediction. And in fifth place, initially, was The Emoji Movie, but thank God, Girls Trip‘s numbers went up ever so slightly after the actual numbers came in late Monday, so I got 3/5. Girls Trip made another $6.4 million, again not far away from my $6.8 million prediction. And I also had an opening weekend number for The Glass Castle, $4 million. It’s actual number wasn’t that, but not too far off, $4.6 million, so I can’t really complain a whole bunch there. So overall I was okay last weekend. We’re getting pretty close to the end of the line for the summer movie season, and I doubt Hitman’s Bodyguard makes the same amount of money that Annabelle did last weekend. We’ll have to wait a few more weeks til we get the adaptation of It, which I once thought I’d boldly predict would hit $50 million, but now we’re hearing up to $60 million, so maybe there’s a lot more buzz than I thought. Anyways, I’ll have two more blog posts to go for the rest of this summer movie season, then I’ll probably do a retrospect on what hit, what missed, what got people promoted, and what got people fired. That sounds like fun.