Box Office Wrap Up: Weak Predator Tops Strong Weekend.
A lackluster start for The Predator couldn’t slay the box office as September continues to surge.
It was another strong weekend in September led by an R-rated movie. That was the good news. The bad news for Fox is that their latest addition to the Predator franchise underwhelmed both critically and financially. It was a difficult weekend to explain: the top movie did abysmally and few of the new releases really delivered big numbers, but it was a strong earnings weekend compared to historical totals.
This Week in Box Office History.
As we stated, the box office itself was healthy. It was down 10% from last week and 4% from last year, but both of those numbers were quite high because IT and The Nun had huge premiers in the beginning of September. The overall take of 107 million dollars is phenomenal for September, and 2018 lags just behind 2017’s pace for highest earnings in September in sales to date. We should be looking at a second bumper year for fall ticket sales.
The mind boggling part of this rosy picture is that so many of the big movies and new releases did quite poorly. Every new release besides A Simple Favor was under early estimates and several were vying for spots on the top 100 worst opening weekends in their respective categories. The big earners from last week also saw pretty big declines. A big first week in September may have softened the blow on what could have been a pretty grim weekend. There was just more room to fall and absorb the losses.
Top Film Last Year: IT.
Top Film Last Decade: Burn After Reading.
The Predator was an unhappy champion. Shane Black’s return to the franchise was beaten up by critics and had one of the worst debuts for a live action film that showed in more than 4000 theaters. At just 24 million dollars, The Predator opened at about the same mark as Predators (2010) and Alien Versus Predator (2004). That more than anything should make studios cautious about further big budget sequels in a franchise that seems tapped out.
Second place was another bad omen that apparently didn’t effect the box office: The Nun fell 66% in revenue in its second week. The take of 18 million preserved second place but was quite a bit steeper than fellow Conjuring spin-offs Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation. The film has taken an impressive 88 million against a 22 million dollar budget.
Third place rested with A Simple Favor. This lightly advertised thriller seems to have resonated as it took in 16 million in its debut weekend. This is a strong start for a film in the genre. The initial take is one of Blake Lively‘s best openings…though it still doesn’t top her biggest opening weekends : Green Lantern!
White Boy Rick premiered in fourth place. The take of just under 9 million was a touch lower than early estimates, but not quite disastrous given the 28 million dollar budget.
The fourth wide release, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, just hung on to the top ten in the final spot. The faith based follow up to the first Unbroken failed to live up to its predecessor. It took in just 2.2 million dollars, compared to the 30 million dollars that 2014’s Unbroken delivered.