Comic book films still take over the form of theaters.
A couple of new releases have very impressive openings that managed to start the new month with the biggest October weekend ever. The blockbuster/awards season holiday frame could be said to be opening as a Marvel action epic debuts with an Oscar-favored drama, with both exceeding projections.
2018 has been a flush year for Hollywood and that momentum from a strong summer carried through to keep a normally slow Aug-Sept frame rather successful, and now the Fall season is starting very strong. This will make the holidays very interesting to watch.
1. VENOM – $80.03 Million
The advance word was not good on this Marvel-connected release by Sony, and it sports a lowly Rotten Tomatoes score of 30% approval. But fans would not be swayed away and were eager to see this spinoff from the Spider-Man universe. Since Sony had made the decision to partner with Marvel/Disney with their most successful property (Spider-Man joined their Avengers films in the MCU) the studio is looking to expand the cinematic universe of those Marvel characters for which it retains rights. That plan is starting off strong. The return this weekend beats projections by a hefty 30%, but it will be worth watching how strong it will be going forward. The CinemaScore was okay (audiences graded it at B+) and the ticket buyers were notably younger, with only ⅓ being in the adult demographic. This could lower expectations in the longterm.
2. A STAR IS BORN – $41.25m
Bradley Cooper was the force behind this remake of the Hollywood classic storyline (he directed, wrote, and produced as well as stars). He and Lady Gaga have been earning raves at festivals and advance screenings and the film has to be seen as a favorite come Academy Awards time. The popularity will fuel the awards hype, so put this one on the inside track for Oscar.
3. SMALLFOOT – $14.9m
A very strong hold for a smaller animated venture with some other family fare in the market. It dips only -35% in week two against massive competition at the top. The yeti yarn has drawn over $40 million so far which has to exceed some of the anticipated performance before the opening.
4. NIGHT SCHOOL – $12.27m
A hefty -55% is not unexpected here but the Kevin Hart comedy is actually performing well enough, considering how bad this category has been in recent years. While adult comedies have suffered a $46 million haul after 2 weeks is actually a strong performance as a result.
5. THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS – $7.29m
The schedule is becoming choked with Halloween-centric releases so this title may have gathered in as much as it is likely to earn, sitting currently with a so-so $55 haul. Jack Black will end up competing with himself as his upcoming “Goosebumps 2” feature will be drawing from the same audience.
6. A SIMPLE FAVOR – $3.43m
The female thriller is lingering, and it is shedding theaters a slower rate than expected after four weeks. The ladies are gradually crawling over the $50 million total.
7. THE NUN – $2.61m
Beginning to ease significantly it will coast in the coming weeks with some lingering Halloween interest. The convent dweller has now earned over $110 million domestically.
8. HELLFEST – $2.07m
By comparison this foundering horror attempt has been roundly ignored, and it fell a steep -60% after a very weak opening. So far it has not even managed to earn over $9 million. That’s what is truly scary.
9. CRAZY RICH ASIANS – $2.06m
It has now been in the top-10 for two months, paving the way to a massively surprising $170m total.
10. THE PREDATOR – $900,000
The real victim here is the franchise. Another drop of -75% means that Fox has a complete dud on its hands. This new version has not made $50 million yet, after a month in theaters.