One of the likely headaches facing Disney in their upcoming acquisition of 20th Century Fox revolves around the decisions to be made about the future of a few Fox franchises. While some, like ‘Kingsman’, ‘X-Men’, and the ‘Fantastic Four’ are nailed on certainties for continued usage and redevelopment, others, such as the ‘Independence Day’ franchise, are potential casualties in Disney’s pursuit of market domination.
Which brings us to ‘The Predator’.
Made on an eye-watering $88m budget (before another $120m was splashed on promo), Shane Black’s latest directing foray succumbed to its poor critical reception and casting controversy by opening to a measly $24.6m – the 3rd worst opening ever for a film released in over 4,000 cinemas. To put this into context, it’s $12m behind ‘Alien: Covenant’s opening, and even $7m behind last summer’s disappointment ‘The Mummy’.
With its Box Office fight lost before it really even begun, ‘The Predator’ series now falls prey to a potential culling by Disney.
The opening mirrors its 2010 prequel ‘Predators’, which made $24.8m in its opening 3 days, on its way to an so-so $52m domestic finish. While that performance benefited from its $40m budget, a similar domestic finish for ‘The Predator’ puts heavy emphasis on its international gross (which has seen a similarly poor start at just $30.1m).
The performance shouldn’t really be a surprise. Its C+ on Cinemascore and ever-dropping Rotten Tomatoes rating (currently 33%) only compounds the misery of the surrounding negative press, which resulted in the film earning just $6m more than second-place ‘The Nun’, which dropped an expected 66% to earn $18.2m. The horror’s current worldwide total of $229.9m leaves it on track to become the biggest ‘Conjurverse’ film to-date.
Our forecast for ‘A Simple Favor’ may have been optimistic, but its $16m opening from a $20m budget is nonetheless a solid start for the mystery-thriller. With 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, currently sits on $19.5m worldwide, and hopes to leg it out in a similar vein to ‘Gone Girl’.
Meanwhile, crime-drama ‘White Boy Rick’s $8.9m puts it just ahead of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ ($8.7m) and ‘Peppermint’ ($6m) as expected, but those over at Sony may be cursing their decision to greenlight its $29m budget.
‘The Meg’, a joint American-Chinese production, finally broke the $500m worldwide mark this weekend, and earned $3.9m domestically, ahead of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s $2.3m. The action-thriller recently became the biggest domestic hit of the franchise, and currently sits on $216.1m, just ahead of ‘MI:II’s $215.4m. Its weekend earnings scraped ahead of Christian biopic ‘Unbroken: Path to Redemption’, directed by Harold Cronk. Cronk’s second release in consecutive week continued the trend of disappointed openings, as ‘Unbroken’ only got in at number 10 with just $2.2m.
‘The Predator’s poor opening leaves the future of its franchise in a perilous position – is it worth saving? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE