Weekend Box Office: Killer Clowns, Super Spies, and Tom Cruise Oh My!
As of this writing, the winner of the weekend box office is not completely settled. Just $300,000 separates first and third place between the dominant Stephen King adaptation It, Tom Cruise’s new based-on-a-true-story drug thriller American Made, and the big comic-book spy sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Here’s how the estimates look at the moment:
|3||Kingsman: The Golden Circle||$17,000,000 (-56%)||$4,210||$66,701,588|
|4||The LEGO Ninjago Movie||$12,000,000 (-41%)||$2,965||$35,556,065|
|6||Battle of the Sexes||$3,400,000 (+559%)||$2,803||$4,073,158|
|7||American Assassin||$3,325,000 (-46%)||$1,101||$31,873,581|
|8||Home Again||$1,756,372 (-45%)||$741||$25,181,947|
|9||Til Death Do Us Part||$1,567,966||$2,790||$1,567,966|
Whether it officially won the week or not, It’s continued dominance in theaters is nothing short of record-shattering. It’s already the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie ever and the biggest hit ever made out of a Stephen King novel. It’s also the fifth-highest grossing movie of the year in the U.S., ahead of big franchises like Despicable Me, Logan, and The Fate of the Furious. So get ready! We’re basically 18 months from a huge wave of clown movies.
There’s no good way to segue from clowns to Tom Cruise so let’s just dive into it: American Made’s $17 million is Cruise’s lowest opening weekend since 2012’s Jack Reacher the first. But the film, which isn’t based on any existing brand or franchise, had a relatively frugal $50 million budget, it got a decent B+ from CinemaScore, and has already grossed an additional $64 million worldwide. It has the makings of a solid mid-level hit, if not a blockbuster.
Speaking of blockbusters (or aspiring ones anyway), after two weekends Kingsman: The Golden Circle has grossed $66.7 million, an almost identical total to its predecessor, Kingsman: The Secret Service, after the same amount of time ($67.9 million). The film, based on a graphic novel by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons and heavily inspired by James Bond films, seems to have taken advantage of a relatively soft market for lavish action films. It’s already edging towards $200 million worldwide. If it carries on at this rate, a third Kingsman film is definitely a possibility.
The other big new release of the weekend was Flatliners, a remake (or shadow sequel) to the original 1990 film directed by Joel Schumacher about a group of ambitious doctors who experiment with killing themselves in the name of science. The new film starred Ellen Page and brought back first Flatliners star Kiefer Sutherland, but it failed to connect with viewers, grossing just $6.7 million in its opening weekend. Audiences polled at CinemaScore gave it a weak B- score, which doesn’t bode well for it becoming a word-of-mouth hit, or in any way surpassing people’s memories of the original film.
Around the rest of the box office, the Taye Diggs film Til Death Do Us Part debuted with $1.5 million, while the notorious and controversial mother! from Darren Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence continued its slide down the chart, landing at #10 with $1.5 million. Among smaller releases, the Emma Stone Billie Jean King biopic Battle of the Sexes expanded nicely to a little over 1,000 screens, boosting its bottom line 550 percent. The Deep Throat biopic Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, which stars Liam Neeson as the famous anonymous source whose secrets helped expose the Watergate conspiracy, made about $35,000 on five screens. No wonder Liam Neeson says he’s going to keep making action movies.