Happy Foreign Death Day-er
It’s that time of year when everything from coffee creamers, to moonshine, to hollow-point bullets are being sold with Pumpkin Spice variations. The marketplace is ushering in the Fall season, and that also means the onset of Halloween. Hollywood has a tendency to get one or two creepy titles out for the spooky holiday and well, roll a Friday the 13th into the month and they cannot resist pulling the trigger on a horror release.
It was actually a crowded release slate with a pair of major releases as well as a number of independent titles entering the cinnamon-coated marketplace. So load up a frappe, grab an orange-frosted donut, and let’s peek in at the nutmeg-scented titles that were in theaters this weekend.
1. HAPPY DEATH DAY – $26.5Million
The vastly successful micro-budget studio Blumhouse Productions (partnering with Universal) followed its formula exactly and it paid off instant dividends. No stars, limited effects, and a budget under $5million follows their template perfectly. Expectations had this in the $15-20million range – which still would have been a success story. Doing 20-25% better is cause for celebration. The audiences rated this with a “B” CinemaScore, which exceeds the normal “C” grade of these type of films. That means sustained interest in the weeks going into Halloween could actually lead to a $60-65 million haul by the end, and $70 million within reach.
2. BLADE RUNNER 2049 – $15.1m
Needing a very healthy second session to push this through October with decent numbers, this just isn’t it. While not a terrible second week drop of -54% this bloated sci-fi epic was in need of inspired audience reaction. Instead this is standing pat from its weak opening. Internationally it has gleaned slightly better numbers, but the global tally of $150million so far is a long way off. Warner Brothers probably needs at least $400million total to start seeing profits.
3. THE FOREIGNER – $12.84M
Jackie Chan makes a more dramatic turn in this action piece, and he has received raves from many critics. This was a Chinese co-production and is primarily an international title, so it should make money easily for the smaller STX Entertainment studio. Audiences graded this out favorably, but it will be tough to stand out in the crowded American marketplace.
4. IT – $6.05m
The totals are baffling. $300million domestic, and about to clear $650million worldwide. This has become entrenched in the popular culture, becoming the root of a political spoof on Saturday Night Live and Pennywise even makes a cameo on the goalie mask of the minor league Philadelphia Phantoms.
5. THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US – $5.65m
Striving to be recognized as the “serious” option in theaters, this one bares a respectable hold by only dropping -46%. It still has a long way to go to earning a profit off of a modest $35million budget.
6. AMERICAN MADE – $5.42m
Tom Cruise has stumbled quite a bit lately, but this one is still fighting for relevance. It actually added a few dozen theaters in week #3, so it maintained a bit better than expected. The foreign sales are actually floating this — $40million, versus $72million. This means there is still a chance at seeing a profit, though it is a longshot.
7. KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE – $5.31
Only now starting to shed a few theaters after 1 month it has done well over all. This title is about to cross over the $300million plateau globally.
8. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE – $4.31m
It has taken a month for this one to barely leg it out over $50million, and the foreign numbers are even lower. This is falling WELL below the other LEGO movie titles. Best to break this up into pieces and build them into something new.
9. MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE – $4.0m
Falling below the weak LEGO film, that had been released weeks prior, says everything. This should have been dumped directly to the rental/TV market to cut losses.
10. VICTORIA AND ABDUL – $3.11m
Climbing back into the top-10 this Oscar-bait added just over 1160 screens, and ended up berating out other independent boutique titles released this weekend.