Box Office Week: In a very tight race Kingsman: The Golden Circle holds on to #1 with $16.9M, while American Made comes in at disappointing #3 with $16.7M. Also Flatliners bombs at #5 with $6.7M and IT passes The Exorcist in worldwide gross ($555.5M), making it highest grossing R-rated horror film.
|Rank||Title||Domestic Gross (Weekend)||Worldwide Gross (Cume)||Week #|
|1||Kingsman: The Golden Circle||$16,935,565||$192,968,016||2|
|4||The LEGO Ninjago Movie||$11,644,237||$58,100,302||2|
Notable Box Office Stories:
Sorry for the delay, the top three were insanely close and sure enough the rankings totally changed when actuals came in. Also I thought IT or American Made would be #1 when actuals finally came in so I didn't write up my usual piece on the #1 film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. I will include a quick write-up in sticky comment.
Nothing seems to be able to stand in the way of IT which managed to come in at #2 with $16.9M this weekend which helped it pass $555.5M worldwide this week which means it's passed the lifetime worldwide gross of The Exorcist ($441.3M). Now first off I'm sure there will be plenty of comments crying "but inflation" to which I say read my write up last week, however it still is unbelievably impressive The Exorcist held on to this title for over 40 years. Also once again I have to bring up my nitpick that every news site claimed IT undoubtedly is the highest grossing horror film period when many consider The Sixth Sense to be the highest. Now IT is only $2M away from the domestic gross of The Sixth Sense but is more notably more than $100M away from the worldwide gross, so depending on your definition of horror it still has one more film to lap. Either way you define it, it's clear IT has conquered the genre and will definitely become the first horror film ever to pass $300M domestic, an insane feat that I don't think any one was expecting until opening weekend 4 weeks ago. As for worldwide interestingly most of the usual major markets aren't leading the pack as a lot of the money has come from Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Russia, and the UK where it's made over $35M. The film still has to come out in Japan but with no Chinese release and IT underperforming in South Korea it's likely not going to change much. This has been a fascinating run and one that is going to define studio horror for the next decade.
It's fascinating to see when an A-list star begins to see that he or she aren't the draw they once were and what they do with that knowledge. For Tom Cruise it seems he's embraced that he is a waining figure in the US as American Made has had a fascinating run in terms of his late career. After almost a full month of release overseas the film finally opened in the US to #3 with $16.7M. That's not exactly the best numbers for a well reviewed film with a major star opening against weak competition. However as mentioned the film has been in release in over 30 territories for the last few weeks, grossing $64M overseas and $81.7M overall. For a $50M budgeted film American Made isn't performing as well as it should overseas or in the US but the difference between the two is telling for a very interesting year for Cruise. First around the same time last year saw Cruise's odd franchise Jack Reacher return with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back which grossed $55M in the US but over $100M overseas. Then the big one was The Mummy which grossed a disasterous $80M in the US but over $300M overseas. These three films feel like Cruise trying to define who he is to the world right now. He's made his own franchise, started a new cinematic universe, and now made a film like the kind he made in the 80s. I'd say of those experiments American Made is the worst choice financially because the era where Rain Man being the top grossing movie of it's year (seriously it made more than Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Coming to America, Big, and Die Hard) is long gone and Cruise going into franchise fair is a much more safe move. American Made will be a blip in the overall year but for Cruise it's likely going to define the rest of his career.
Well at least one good thing about Flatliners (2017) is that we have found what peak reboot culture looks like. I think it's safe to say from the moment this film was announced the general mood was "what?" and "why?" and it seems audiences agree as the film flopped opening at #5 with $6.5M. That puts in the top 100 worst openings for over 2,500 theaters and the film was met with the rare perfect 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, which of course came late into the weekend because shockingly this film wasn't screened for critics, who found it's mixed of boring scares and Catholic values (no seriously) very annoying. It's odd especially as while the original Flatliners was a solid hit at the time (mostly for it's up-and-coming and very attractive cast) it's not exactly a major part of the pop culture landscape which makes it even stranger that it's a soft reboot with a cameo by Kiefer Sutherland. There's definitely a market for nostalgia (see IT paragraph above) but this is such an odd choice, one that clearly was not well thought or given real attention to by the studio. Surprisingly the film got a B- on Cinemascore which isn't that bad for a horror film, especially one with a 0% on RT. However with such a bad opening it won't really mean much and quickly this film will be out of theaters. With a budget of only $19M it'll probably squeeze enough blood out of this stone to get out of the red but what does it matter? It's mostly going to be remembered as one of the most bizarre reboots around. Still I can't wait for the nostalgic reboot/cinematic universe starter The Witches of Eastwick (2019).
It seems it's not a great year for traditional biopics as Battle of the Sexes follows Stronger as another middling wide release of a well reviewed biopic. The film expanded pretty meekly this week adding 1,200 theaters to come in at #6 with $3.4M, a per theater average of $2,817. Part of the problem likely is that we are just too damn far away from Oscar season and these two films just aren't major contenders. Most of the Best Actor attention is going to Gary Oldman while everyone is waiting for the "final" Daniel Day Lewis performance in The Phantom Thread as well as Tom Hanks in The Post. Then there's Emma Stone who is getting raves for her performance in Battle of the Sexes but won last year and this film just does not have the pull it needs to get her two consecutive wins. With Marshall coming out soon to likely the same response it's clear that buzz really matters for these kinds of films. People just don't go out and see biopics if there isn't some kind of cultural cache attached to them.
Sadly I feel it is my duty to report that this might be the end of my favorite incredibly specific subgenre: erotic thrillers starring an all black cast that come out in September. Yes sadly the latest and likely last of these Til Death Do Us Part came out in 562 theaters at #9 with $1.5M. For those who don't know, in 2014 Screen Gems released the film No Good Deed which surprised opening at #1 with $24.2M. Then in an extremely fascinating move, SG recreated No Good Deed from the genre down to the casting down to the very same release date the next year with The Perfect Guy and then again in 2016 with When the Bough Breaks. It seems the diminishing returns on those films made SG give up the ghost and so comes in new company Novus Content who tries to sneak into this market but just doesn't have the marketing power or connections to get a decent opening. Hell Novus even got the weekend wrong. It's unfortunate because I just adored how unbelievably specific this genre was and I'll be sad to see it go.
Films Reddit Wants to Follow
This is a segment where we keep a weekly tally of currently showing films that aren't in the Top 5 that fellow redditors want updates on. If you'd like me to add a film to this chart, make a comment in this thread.
|Title||Domestic Gross (Cume)||Worldwide Gross (Cume)||Budget||Week #|
|Wolf Warrior 2||$2,720,700||$870,325,039||$30M||9|
Notable Film Closings
|Title||Domestic Gross||Worldwide Gross||Budget|
|The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature||$28,370,522||$42,349,915||$40M|
As always /r/boxoffice is a great place to share links and other conversations about box office news.
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