The only major wide release this weekend comes in the form of ‘Hunter Killer’, the Summit Entertainment action-thriller and Gerard Butler’s latest vehicle. It’s quite literally a vehicle; mainly set on a submarine, the film draws inspiration from such cinematic classics as ‘Crimson Tide’ and ‘The Hunt for Red October’, but won’t be able to sink ‘Halloween’ in its second weekend.
The slasher sequel looks to draw blood again in its sophomore weekend, with a gross close to $33m. After securing the second biggest October weekend with $76.2m, ‘Halloween’ remains on track to hit the $100m mark by Friday evening. Entering the weekend of its namesake should also welcome a smaller-than-expected drop in the mid-fifties, comfortably placing it above newbie ‘Hunter Killer’.
The pre-Halloween weekend is usually one of little fanfare, demonstrated by last year’s weekend winner ‘Jigsaw’, which topped the charts with only $16.6m. In fact, ‘Halloween’s gross should mark the biggest pre-Halloween weekend #1 in 7 years, since ‘Puss in Boots’ opened to $34.1m in 2011.
Moving onto ‘Hunter Killer’ now and the film, directed by Donovan Marsh, follows a group of Navy SEALs who must rescue the kidnapped Russian president. Alongside Butler, it features a strong cast of Common, Linda Cardellini, and Oscar-winner Gary Oldman, but can’t seem to make best of use of the talent at its disposable, with just 36% on the Tomatometer (but an audience score of 84%).
Will the conflicting critical reception harm its opening? With limited competition in the action sphere (only ‘Venom’ in its 4th weekend marks any real serious opposition), ‘Hunter Killer’ may have real room to breathe (or swim). An opening around $13.6m is optimistic but possible, a gross similar to Butler’s last 2 films ‘Den of Thieves’ ($15.2m opening) and ‘Geostorm’ ($13.7m).
The next release comes in the form of Jonah Hill’s directorial debut,‘Mid90s’, the critically-acclaimed comedy-drama produced by indie darlings A24. Starring Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, and Katherine Waterston, its release into 1,200 cinemas comes after a successful limited cinema roll-out last weekend. The film grossed over $258k from just 4 cinemas, earning one of the best per-cinema averages of the year thus far with $64.5k.
The film follows Steve (Sunny), a 13-year-old in 90s LA who befriends a group of skateboarders. It’ll hope to ramp up its Box Office pedigree with a $3m gross this weekend, enough for 10th place. Finally, ‘Indivisible’, the Christian drama distributed by Pure Flix in just 800 cinemas, will barely reach the $1m mark in its opening weekend.
As ‘Halloween’ tightens its grip on top spot with a second weekend mirroring ‘Venom’, which will end up as the bigger film domestically? Will ‘Mid90s’ reach ‘Lady Bird’ levels of success? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.