Weekend BO Predictions: It’s a ‘Halloween’ Holdover As Its Second Week Promises $33m+

Written by Dapo Olowu

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.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Halloween’ Kills It With The Third Biggest Horror Opening Ever At $76m

Written by Dapo Olowu

This weekend saw the newest film in the ‘Halloween‘ franchise (named – get this – ‘Halloween’) come within $4m of breaking ‘Venom‘s recent October opening record, leaving it just a ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero‘ away from Box Office history. This, of course, shouldn’t take away from the remarkable achievement of it grossing $76.2m, which makes it the 3rd biggest horror opening of all time behind ‘It’ and ‘I Am Legend

How did this happen? Was it the ‘It‘-like nostalgia factor? Another masterstroke in production from Blumhouse? A combination of these factors plus more? Its success after just 3 days trumps what most horrors make in their lifetimes, and its $10m budget ensures profitability and a brighter future for a franchise with nearly a dozen iterations (now outside the official story) before its latest release.

The film saw Jamie Lee Curtis return as Laurie Strode, squaring off against recent prison-escapee and mass-murderer Michael Myers. Forty years after his Halloween killing spree of 1978, Myers (played by Nick Castle) is back to finish off Strode, who managed to escape his clutches. Released in just 23 countries abroad so far in its staggered international release, the film grossed around $14m, including $3.6m from the U.K. and Ireland.

Keeping its October record, but moving down to third in the Box Office charts this weekend was ‘Venom’, earning $18m against ‘A Star is Born’s $19.1m. ‘Venom’ is now just $40m off of reaching $500m worldwide, and has earned $171.1m stateside. The critically-acclaimed ‘A Star is Born’, directed by Bradley Cooper and starring Lady Gaga, has reached a $200m global gross, with $126.1m coming from the U.S.

It’s less happy reading for Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle, as ‘First Man’ continues to disappoint. Their second film together after ‘La La Land’, which made an outstanding $446.1m worldwide, brought in just $8.3m this weekend for a domestic total of $29.8m. A finish around $50m is likely for the film which cost $59m – the first wide-release commercial flop of Chazelle’s directing career.    

Opening wide this weekend was 20th Century Fox’s ‘The Hate U Give’, starring Amanda Stenberg and directed by George Tillman Jr. It earned a solid $7.6m from 2,300 cinemas, opening up from 250 last week. The YA crime drama has received rave reviews from critics, and became only the 6th film of the year to get the highest score possible (A+) on Cinemascore.

Made on a $23m budget, ‘The Hate U Give’ is an adaptation of a 2017 best-selling book and offers a socially-relevant critique into race relations in the U.S. Although this may harm it’s international appeal (at the time of this article’s publication, the film has only been released domestically), producers at Fox will hope that a strong word of mouth will aid its stateside growth.

Rounding off the top ten is the surprise package ‘The Old Man & The Gun’, Robert Redford’s last film as an actor before retirement. In a career that’s spanned close to 60 years, the Oscar-winning director (and nominated actor)’s last hurrah grossed $2.1m from only 800 cinemas, for a 4th weekend total of $4.2m.

So close, yet so far for ‘Halloween’. With its opening, who will end on the most domestically between that and ‘Venom’? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Halloween’ To Frighten The Box Office With A $70m+ Weekend

You wait 5 years for an October Box Office opening record, and then they start coming like buses. A mere fortnight after ‘Venom’ made $80m in its first 3 days, ‘Halloween’, the direct sequel to the 1978 classic, looks to reach similar levels in its opening weekend, ensuring this October remains on track to be the biggest the B.O. has ever seen.

The 12th film in the franchise (but only the second to be rated ‘Fresh’ on RT with 81%) completely disregards all other sequels and iterations, meaning this latest foray returns 40 years after the first film ended. It sees Jamie Lee Curtis return as the iconic Laurie Strode, who prepares to face mass-murderer Michael Myers, who has recently escaped prison.

Directed and written by the versatile David Gordon Green (‘Stronger’, ‘Pineapple Express’) alongside frequent collaborator Danny McBride, this Blumhouse production was made on just a cut-price budget of $10m.

Such a low cost almost guarantees a quick profit, especially when you consider the size of the franchise, and the timing of release; the Halloween period is ripe for the picking. While ‘The Nun’ made over $50m a month back off of a stronger franchise, ‘Halloween’ has the nostalgic remake factor that allowed ‘It’ to flourish last September.

While there’s fear that the constant ‘Halloween’ sequels over the years have dampened any excitement, the latest Fandango reports that state the film is pre-selling at a higher level than ‘The Nun’ have us predicting an opening around $70m, enough for ‘Halloween’ to have the third biggest horror opening of all time, an amazing feat considering its R rating.

Last weekend’s winner ‘Venom’ will fight a closer battle for second place with ‘A Star is Born’, with both films aiming to earn $20m. ‘Venom’ remains the biggest film of the month, grossing $150.9m stateside, while ‘A Star is Born’ remains behind with a respectable gross of $104.4m.

Nothing has changed in its sophomore weekend, as ‘First Man’, Damien Chazelle’s latest release still looks resigned to flop at the Box Office. Any hopes of a leggy run will be dashed as it aims to gross just over $8m will get the film to a total of $30m domestically, a poor return from a near-$60m budget.

Next is Fox’s ‘The Hate U Give’, starring Amandla Stenberg alongside Regina Hall, Issa Rae, and Common. Entering over 2,300 cinemas after being in limited release for the past 2 weekends, it boasts an impressive 96% on the Tomatometer and 82 on Metacritic. The drama follows Starr Carter (Stenberg), who witnesses her best friend Khalil’s (Algee Smith) death at the hands of the police.

Director George Tillman Jr. of ‘Notorious’ fame will be hoping its positive word of mouth and social relevance will push it over the $6m gross we’re predicting, although heavy competition may drown this one out.

The final new release of the weekend is again, rated Fresh (90%), and again coming off of a limited release. Robert Redford’s ‘The Old Man and The Gun’ marks his last film before retirement, and is based off of the true story of Forrest Trucker, who escaped from prison at the age of 70. The crime-comedy should earn around $1m this weekend, not enough for a place in the top ten.

It’s on track to be a record October, but will it be a record opening for ‘Halloween’? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Results: ‘First Man’ Fails To Launch With Just $16m

Written by Dapo Olowu

While ‘Venom’ and ‘A Star is Born’ both improved their strongholds atop the Box Office charts, earning $35m and $28.4m respectively, the real story lies in the disappointing opening gross of Ryan Gosling’s ‘First Man’.

The Neil Armstrong biopic earned just $16m domestically, and $24.6m worldwide, in its first 3 days. This was, of course, way under even the most pessimistic of expectations, causing concern for studio heads over at Universal, who greenlit the $59m project.

Helmed by ‘La La Land’ and ‘Whiplash’ director Damien Chazelle, the film also stars Claire Foy, and was written by ‘Spotlight’ and ‘The Post’ writer Josh Singer. It follows Neil Armstrong (Gosling) in the lead-up to the moon landing of 1969, and has been lauded by the critics, boasting a strong 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Audiences, however, aren’t as keen, leading to doubts that the film will be able to gain any momentum in coming weeks. An audience score of just 61% on RT, as well as an okay B+ on Cinemascore may seriously harm its legs. With award season approaching, the worst possible outcome would be for the Oscar hopeful ‘First Man’ to not emulate ‘Argo’s run ($19.5m opening, $136m domestic total) and not be front-of-mind come December.

We’re reminded of last October’s ‘Blade Runner 2049’, another Gosling-fronted critical darling whose low opening condemned it in the Box Office. Its $32.8m opening stands as Gosling’s biggest ever (‘First Man’ is infact his 4th), perhaps an indication of him not being a Box Office draw (although, outside of The Rock, it’s hard to see who really is). Or maybe the audiences, who were 56% male, just aren’t too keen on biographical dramas marketed as action-thrillers. Regardless, ‘First Man’s opening was still enough to nab 3rd place, just ahead of Sony’s ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween’s $15.8m.

As expected, the sequel to 2015s ‘Goosebumps’ couldn’t live up to its predecessor’s $23.6m start in the face of heavy PG competition, like ‘Smallfoot’ and the worryingly-similar ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’. The latter even starred the same actor in Jack Black, and has the superior critical reception on the Tomatometer (67% vs. ‘G2’s 39%). A domestic finish around $50m is expected for ‘Goosebumps 2’, who won’t face any major competition until Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker’ opens in early November.

To the top of the table now, where ‘Venom’ continued, in its sophomore weekend, to surprise commercially, baffle critically, but please cinemagoers everywhere. Now sitting on $377m worldwide (including $142.1m in the States) after 2 weekends, it already marks Tom Hardy’s 6th biggest ever film both in the U.S. and in the world.

Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star is Born’, again in second place, is starting to really stretch its Box Office legs, now boasting a 2.2x opening weekend multiplier after 10 days of release – leaving it just $6m short of reaching $100m domestically. The Warner Bros. release has also grossed $42m internationally, including $12.3m from the U.K.

The top ten’s final new wide release went to ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’, the unfortunate flop of the weekend. Grossing just $7.1m (a full $10m under our forecast, oops) off of a $32m budget, we can’t see much of a future for this 20th Century Fox thriller. A B- on Cinemascore and 71% on the RT won’t nearly be enough to save it from being another Fox 2018 disappointment, after ‘The Darkest Minds’ and ‘The Predator’.

In a poor weekend for the new releases, it was good news for ‘Venom’ and ‘A Star is Born’. How far can they go, and is there any hope left for ‘First Man’? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: One Step Too Small For ‘First Man’ As ‘Venom’ Keeps First Place With $30m+

Written by Dapo Olowu

Three new wide releases enter the Box Office sphere this weekend, with Ryan Gosling’s Neil Armstrong biopic, ‘First Man’, blasting off ahead of ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ and ‘Goosebumps 2’ to top the chart. Standing in its way are the sophomore weekends of ‘Venom’ and ‘A Star Is Born’, both contributing to a record October start 7 days ago. Top spot might be one leap too giant for ‘First Man’ however, as both ‘VenomandA Star is Born’ find themselves in one of the closest Box Office weekend battles in recent memory.

Venom’, having already grossed $102.8m domestically and $230m worldwide, should break the $300m global barrier this weekend – heavily funded by a $31m 3-day gross in the U.S. It’s a second weekend drop around 61%, similar to that of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, ‘Spider-Man 3’, and even last summer’s much-loved ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’.

Steep weekend drops are expected when it comes to hotly anticipated superhero blockbusters, with the film’s audience having bought tickets by the Friday release date. It’s a completely different story for Warner Bros.’ ‘A Star is Born’ however, a film depending more on word-of-mouth reviews. The critically-acclaimed romantic musical is nearing a $30m gross in its second weekend to put the pressure on Sony’s superhero flick after just a week in its release. Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut is to reach $100m worldwide by Sunday, a fantastic return from a $36m production cost.

The first of our new releases, ‘First Man’, marks director Damien Chazelle’s third major Hollywood film (and second with Gosling), and like the rest (‘Whiplash’, ‘La La Land’), brings with it a superb critical reception. Boasting 89% on the Tomatometer and a Metascore of 85, ‘First Man’ will also be Chazelle’s first to open wide straight out the gate, and not have a limited release.

Will this harm its chances of financial success? Hard to say, as while limited-to-wide openings lead to mixed Box Office results, a dramatic biopic like this is usually the type to be released that way. Regardless, we’re being as ambitious as the 1969 moon landing with this one, forecasting a strong $27m start to put it just behind the Tom Hanks biopic ‘Sully’ ($35m), but far away from ‘Gravity’s $55.8m, which keeps the prestigious crown of October’s biggest astronaut-themed movie. Unlike ‘Gravity’, it boasts a medium-sized budget at around $70m. The film stars Gosling as Neil Armstrong, as well as Claire Foy as his wide Janet Shearon, and Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin.

First Man’ isn’t the only film set in 1969. Drew Goddard’s ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’, released by Fox, is an end-of-the-60s thriller boasting an all-star cast. Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, and Nick Offerman (amongst others) feature as strangers in a hotel on the Nevada-California border. It’s opening is a little strange to predict – could it be the next ‘Hotel Artemis’ ($3.2m opening) or ‘Atomic Blonde’ ($18.3m)? Its promo has definitely alluded to both, but our optimism knows no bounds, meaning we’re looking at the latter here, for a $17.5m opening.

Such a gross would put it right above the final new release ‘Goosebumps 2’, which has the unfortunate pleasure of not only looking identical to recent comedy-horror ‘The House With a Clock In Its Walls’, but also starring ‘The House’s Jack Black as one of the main characters. Coupled with the recent child-friendly competition in the form of ‘Smallfoot’, we can’t see this film matching the heights of its predecessor, which grossed $23.6m 3 years ago. Therefore, a $16m 3-day weekend is in store for the film that cost just $35m to produce.

In one of the closest Box Office races we can remember, who do you see prevailing? Will ‘Venom’ keep top spot like we’re expecting? Will ‘A Star is Born’ hold strong against the rest? Or will new release ‘First Man’

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Venom’ Smashes The October Opening Record With $80m

Written by Dapo Olowu

In a year where ‘Black Panther’ became the 3rd biggest film of all time in the States, ‘Infinity War’ broke both the domestic and worldwide opening record, and ‘Incredibles 2’ became the only animation to break $600m in the U.S.A., it’s really no surprise that Spider-Man spinoff ‘Venom’, even with poor reviews, became another superhero record-breaker. Its $80.3m opening completely smashes the October record of $55.8m held by 2013s ‘Gravity’, and almost certainly has Sony greenlighting a sequel as we speak.

It’s almost double that of nearest competitor ‘A Star is Born’, whose $42.9m is the 4th biggest musical opening of all time (behind ‘Beauty & The Beast’, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’, and ‘High School Musical 3’). In-line with our expectations, it also grossed around $14.2m from 31 countries, including $5.3m from the U.K. This, of course, again couldn’t compare to the might of ‘Venom’; its $125.2m from around 60 countries gave it the October record for a global opening, too. What’s even more impressive is that it managed well over $100m without China, who isn’t getting a release until November 2nd.

The question now for the two films is, where can they go from here? Both films have very different target audiences in mind, with ‘Venom’s young male audience (59% male, 64% under 25) differing massively from ‘ASIB’s older female crowd (66% female, 86% over 25). The two thus won’t have to concern themselves with eating into eachother’s markets, and while ‘Venom’ has barely any superhero competition until ‘Aquaman’, ‘ASIB’s critical reception (including an A on Cinemascore) should provide it with a lengthy Box Office run.

To be precise, a performance similar to ‘Gone Girl’ would see Bradley Cooper’s directing debut close in on $200m domestically, and a run like ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s would see ‘Venom’ end on a solid $180m – a success story for both movies. Of course, ‘TASM 2’ being a summer blockbuster and ‘Gone Girl’ being based on a best-selling book means we should take these comparisons with a pinch of salt, but their opening weekend performances show real potential for breakout hits.

Last weekend’s winner ‘Night School’ saw a 54% fall to gross $12.5m, in behind ‘Smallfoot’s $14.4m. The Universal Studios comedy is now just $3m away from $50m domestically, while ‘Smallfoot’s just $7.7m away from the same number. Rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians$2.2m leaves it on $169.2m in the U.S., just $7m away from becoming the 5th biggest romantic comedy in American history.

We only saw ‘Venom’ doing $65m this weekend, so how surprised were you by its gross? And with Bradley Cooper’s directing debut earning rave reviews and $42.9m, is a star truly born here? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘A Star Is Born’ Will Shine Bright But ‘Venom’s $65m Opening Will give It Top Spot

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s here. It’s finally here.

After 21 years (yes, 21) after it was first considered a viable project, Sony’s ‘Venom’ hits U.S. shores on Friday, looking to dim the light of Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born’. The Spider-Man spinoff ‘Venom’, starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed, aims to kick things off with a $65m gross, making it the biggest opening for an October release ever, comfortably beating ‘Gravity’s $55.8m from 2013.

This isn’t to say that ‘A Star is Born’ won’t open big. The R-rated musical, the 3rd remake of the 1937 classic, should earn $40m in its first 3 days – just under ‘High School Musical 3: Senior Year’s $42m to become the 3rd biggest opening for a musical ever. There’s a strong belief that the $36m-budgeted Warner Bros. flick could even break $50m, a figure that transforms the romantic drama from light counter-programming to a viable competitor for ‘Venom’.

Differing audiences aside, it’s easy to see why: both films are fronted by Hollywood A-listers, (Cooper, Gaga, Sam Elliott, & Dave Chappelle vs. Hardy, Ahmed, Michelle Williams, & Jenny Slate), and both stem from pretty popular source material. Lady Gaga fans have even taken to creating fake Twitter accounts to trash ‘Venom’ and bolster the musical’s opening figures, as if the Sony/Marvel film’s 30% Tomatometer score isn’t hurting it enough.

The apparent hurt may even have dulled the excitement for ‘Venom’, which had been flying high for months (the April trailer even broke into the top 20 most-watched worldwide ever within 24 hours). While a few at first predicted an opening closer to $100m, tracking has fallen to under $70m, for an opening close to ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’.

This may still be good enough to kick off the franchise Sony hoped for, especially as its international release from 59 markets this weekend (not including Japan and China) may bring in an additional $100m. The film, directed by ‘Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer, features journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy), who investigates the operations of the Life Foundation and its CEO, Carlton Drake (Ahmed), but gets attached to an alien symbiote.

A Star is Born’, on the other hand, is a critical hit that’s even been touted for awards come the end of the year. After working its way through various festivals (Venice, Toronto, San Sebastián, and Zurich), it’s now boasting 93% on Rotten Tomatoes to further bolster audience anticipation. It stars Cooper (who also directed, produced, and wrote) as musician Jackson Maine, who falls for young, unknown singer Ally (Lady Gaga).

Looking past the opening weekend, we can’t see ‘Venom’ having as strong a run as ‘A Star is Born’. B.O. runs like Sony’s previous ‘Spider-Man’ films with similar critical receptions (‘TASM 2 and ‘Spider-Man 3’) have ‘Venom’ barely reaching $150m, while ‘A Star is Born’ could have a chance of reaching $200m domestically. It’s the final gross that studios ultimately look upon, meaning while ‘Venom’ will be happy winning the opening weekend battle, it’ll be the longer legs (sorry, lungs) of ‘A Star is Born’ that’ll win it the domestic war.

Elsewhere, last weekend’s top 2 ‘Night School’ and ‘Smallfoot’ continue their own battle, looking to gross close to $13m respectively. Slasher film ‘Hell Fest’ will remain in the top ten by the skin of its teeth, earning around $2m to bring its domestic figure to $10m.

It’s unlikely, but could ‘A Star is Born’ muster a surprise to win this weekend? Where do you see both films ending? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Night School’ Gets An A With The Biggest Comedy Opening Of The Year

Written by Dapo Olowu

It may not have hit the $30m heights we expected, but the $27.3m earned by ‘Night School’ in its freshman weekend still put it comfortably atop of the Box Office class, and confirmed its place as the U.S.’s biggest comedy opening of 2018.

Who said comedies were dead?

In a year where we’ve had to rely on rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to provide the genre’s biggest opening at $26.5m, Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish proved that creating an original comedy isn’t just possible, but profitable. The Malcolm D. Lee flick, Universal’s Studios’ second consecutive number one, received a respectable A- on Cinemascore, right in-line with other Hart films such as ‘Think Like a Man Too’, which opened to $29.2m and finished on a solid $65.2m in 2014.

It also marks co-lead Haddish’s second biggest opening of all time, and her second $20m+ opening after appearing in just 6 films.

A lack of direct competition in coming weeks gives ‘Night School’ some breathing space as we enter the tail-end of the year, and coupled with the opening weekend’s audience nearly hitting all four major quadrants (even gender splits and 59% being over-25), the legs on this film could definitely stretch. ‘Johnny English 3’s the next real test, and that comes into play at the end of October. Daylight, it seems, is on the horizon for ‘Night School’.

From marvellous to just ‘meh’, Warner Bros’ ‘Smallfoot’ stomped in at number 2 with $23m – again just under our forecast. It’s not a bad opening, but isn’t really a great one either for a film with an $80m budget. Just like ‘Storks’ from 2016 and recent PG films, it’s child-friendly nature and decent critical reception should be enough for the film to leg it out, although it faces heavy competition from ‘Goosebumps 2’ next Friday.

Its international footprint was similarly unremarkable. It made $14m from 49 countries, bettering ‘Night School’s $5.5m from 14, for a worldwide total thus far of $38.5m. Still, it’s domestic weekend gross was enough to almost double that of ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’, whose $12.6m leaves last weekend’s winner just $6m away from hitting the $50m domestic mark.

Gregory Plotkin’s slasher ‘Hell Fest’ may not have frightened the Box Office, but Lionsgate won’t be complaining, as a $5.1m start off of a similar budget is decent business. The C on Cinemascore, 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the fact that 40% of its gross so far was made on the opening Friday alone means that, on the other hand, it’ll be incredibly front-loaded, but with horror films like this potentially better-suited for Blu-ray and digital releases, ‘Hell Fest’, unlike its viewers, won’t be losing any sleep.

The weekend’s final wide release, drama ‘Little Women’, opened to almost half of our expectations, bringing in a paltry $705k from just 643 cinemas across the United States. The seventh adaptation of the ‘Little Women’ book at least ends this report on a high note – it marks studio Pinnacle Peak’s biggest ever opening for a film. Sure, it’s also the only film they’ve ever released, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

So ‘Night School’ becomes the biggest comedy opening of the year, but where does it go from here? Could it realistically hit $75m? Also, do any other comedies coming out between now and December realistically challenge its crown?

Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Night School’ To Teach Other Comedies A Lesson With Its $30m+ Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

We here at JUMPCUT love a good Box Office race.

Two new films, Universal Studio’s ‘Night School’ and Warner Bros’ ‘Smallfoot’, aim to please fans and those (well, me) looking for a close fight for first place in the B.O. standings this weekend. Both look likely to earn close to $30m, although the comedy ‘Night School’ should finish top of the class by Sunday night. The film, starring the likes of Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart, revolves around a group of adults who attend night school in the hopes of passing their high school exams.

It’ll definitely pass the commercial test – Kevin Hart is rapidly becoming Box Office gold for comedy movies, while Tiffany Haddish still has enough heat off of last summer’s hit ‘Girls Trip’ to draw in the cinemagoers.

Helmed by ‘Girls Trip’ director Malcolm D. Lee and produced by Will Packer (who also produced ‘Girls Trip’), its 30% on the Tomatometer won’t stop this from being the biggest comedy opening of 2018 – a year full of disappointment for the genre. While films like ‘Life of the Party’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’ may have suffered from an over-reliance on a singular waning lead, ‘Night School’ bucks the trend by having two of the biggest comedians in the world (Kevin Hart alone has around 100m social media followers) take top billing.

Girls Trip’ opened to $31.2m last summer, while some of Kevin Hart’s recent films, like ‘Jumanji’ ($36.2m), ‘Central Intelligence’ ($35.5m), ‘Ride Along 2’ ($35.2m), and ‘Get Hard’ ($33.8m) have also consistently opened over the $30m mark. There’s a strong chance for ‘Night School’ to do the same, and we’re expecting a finish around $33m.

Following closely is ‘Smallfoot’, the $80m-budget adventure animation starring a host of famous faces (or voices). Channing Tatum, Zendaya, LeBron James, Danny DeVito, and Gina Rodriguez, among many others, feature in this adaptation of the book ‘Yeti Tracks’ by Sergio Pablos, and looks to earn up to three times as much as the last WB animation (‘Teen Titans Go!’) opened to back in July.

After ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ release last weekend, ‘Smallfoot’ will be hoping to not be in its second weekend shadow, as the family audience both films aim for are now more spoilt for choice. ‘Smallfoot’ wins the battle in the critical department (75% on Rotten Tomatoes), but as it isn’t a Disney/Pixar release, or even from Illumination (‘Minions’, ‘Secret Life of Pets’), we’re capping its opening at $26m – similar to ‘The House’, and also fellow child-friendly release ‘Christopher Robin’ from last month.

Talking about ‘The House’, last weekend’s victor should gross just under $15m to keep it alongside 2016s fantasy ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’, which earned $15.1m in its second Friday to Sunday run. Both are below ‘The House’ star Jack Black’s other Halloween flick, 2015s ‘Goosebumps’ second weekend, which brought in $15.5m on its way to an $80.1m domestic gross.

The Halloween films don’t stop coming either – slasher-horror ‘Hell Fest’ looks to claim multiple Box Office victims from just 2,300 cinemas. It’s perhaps been a little under the radar in the States when compared to ‘Night School’ and ‘Smallfoot’, especially with its modest $5.5m budget, but this could definitely spring a nasty surprise. Its young, female cast, lead by Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, and Bex Taylor-Klaus, hopes to better last weekend’s similarly-targeted ‘Assassination Nation’, and should with a gross near $7m.

The final new wide release this weekend is drama ‘Little Women’, showing in only 643 cinemas across the U.S for a likely gross of $1.2m. Fun fact: ‘Little Women’, directed by Clare Niederpruem, is an adaptation of a 150-year-old novel (called – get this – ‘Little Women’) and marks the 7th time a film has been made from the book, after versions released in 1917, 1918, 1933, 1949, 1978, and 1994. Next year sees Greta Gerwig direct the latest adaptation, aiming for a Christmas release.

‘Night School’ should be crowned the victor this weekend, marking yet another strong opening for Kevin Hart. Is he a bonafide Box Office star? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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