October 14, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Happy Death Day” Indeed; “The Foreigner” Soft; “Blade Runner 2049″” Fades


HAPPY DEATH DAY (Blumhouse/Universal) continued a remarkable year for Blumhouse, following the giant successes of Split and Get OutDeadline has its Friday at a preliminary $11.3M (including $1M from Thursday night), and its 68% Rotten Tomatoes score is comparable to Split‘s 74%.  That film had a 2.7x weekend multiple, and even if Happy Death Day doesn’t play out quite as strongly, it could still be headed for a $27M weekend, making it a lock for serious profit on a production cost of $5M and a moderate marketing campaign.

That strong start pushed BLADE RUNNER 2049 (Alcon/Sony/Warners) into 2d place for the weekend (3rd place on Friday), down 67% from last Friday to $4.2M.  That decline will stabilize over the course of the weekend, but the weekend total will still be just $14M or so, putting the hugely expensive sequel (it cost at least 30x as much to produce as Happy Death Day, and its marketing costs may triple Blumhouse’s campaign) on track for a US total that may not top $90M.  Results in China and Japan will determine whether Blade Runner 2049 can scrape its way out of red ink.

The weekend’s other openings ranged from blah to much worse.  THE FOREIGNER (Sparkle Roll/Wanda/H Brothers/STX) started with a slow $4.5M for a $12M weekend.  It may total $35M in the US, and its $70M in China (where it benefits from being a locally-financed production, thus able to retain more of its earnings than a Hollywood film is allowed) will make that its biggest market by far.

MARSHALL (Starlight/Open Road) never quite figured out how to present itself, a quasi-prestige bio that bypassed the film festival circuit because it’s really an old-fashioned courtroom potboiler at heart, which opened in an 821-theatre run that wasn’t truly wide or effectively platformed.  It took in $1M on Friday, and will probably have a $3M weekend with little obvious upside.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN (Annapurna) made its freshly-minted studio 0 for 3 on wide releases, after Detroit and Brad’s Status collapsed when they went wide after only a week in limited runs.  Marston is their biggest disaster yet, with $250K on Friday in 1229 theatres, for a weekend that may only average $700 per theatre.  It was a tough sell–a recounting of the sexual history of Wonder Woman’s creator that definitely wasn’t meant for the superhero audience–that didn’t get the nurturing or critical raves it would have needed to have any chance at the box office.

VICTORIA & ABDUL (Focus/Universal) expanded its theatre count by about 20% to 900, and held well, down 23% from last Friday to $950K.  With a $3M weekend, its per-theatre average will drop around 42% from last weekend to $3300, about 25% below Philomena‘s average at 835.

The arrival of Happy Death Day didn’t hurt IT (RatPac/New Line/Warners) at all, down 28% from last Friday to $1.9M.  A $6.5M weekend keeps it heading for $325-330M in the US.

THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US (20th) had an OK hold, down 51% from last Friday to $1.7M, for a $6M weekend that aims it at a mediocre $30-35M in the US.

It’s too little to do AMERICAN MADE (Cross Creek/Universal) any good, but the film is holding well, down just 34% from last Friday.  However, that still means a $1.5M day, a $5M weekend and $50M or so in the US.

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (MARV/20th) continues to grope toward $100M in the US (which would still be almost 30% below Secret Service), down 36% from last Friday to $1.4M for a $5M weekend.

The family market is shared by the 4th weekend of THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE (Warners Animation) and the 2nd of MY LITTLE PONY (Lionsgate), both with $1M Fridays (respectively down 38% and 67% from last week) for $4.5-5M weekends.  LEGO should top $60M in the US, while Pony may get to $25M.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT (A24) expanded to 33 theatres and should average a fair $8.5K.  No word yet on the limited release arrivals of BREATHE (Bleecker Street) and GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Fox Searchlight).


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."