Long Range Forecast: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ & ‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’

Arguably Fall’s first big weekend offering something for everyone will land on Friday, September 22 with the release of two franchise properties aiming to court very different audiences. Our first look at how the films are tracking so far:

Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Fox

PROS:

  • The first film was a bona fide hit that successfully counter-programmed the Fifty Shades of Grey juggernaut over Valentine’s weekend in 2015. Earning $36 million that weekend and $128 million domestically overall, the charming sleeper hit built a solid fan base out of an already existing one from its graphic novel origins.
  • The return of key cast members Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Marc Strong combined with the inclusion of Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, and Elton John should increase appeal of the Brit-heavy cast to American audiences. Matthew Vaughn’s return behind the camera is also an encouraging sign, marking his first sequel as director following hits like the original KingsmanX-Men: First Class, and the original Kick-Ass.
  • Reactions to the film’s first trailers have been very positive. Social media was a major component of the first film’s pre-release buzz and that looks to be the case again here.
  • After what appears to be a weak end of summer slate, audiences should be hungry for a high profile film of this nature come the first day of autumn.

CONS:

  • As past franchises like Kick-Ass and Sin City have shown, it’s very difficult for graphic novel adaptations (or most genres, really) to capture lightning in a bottle twice. Even if reviews are strong, American crowds eager for something “fresh” may not have the same feelings toward this sequel as they did for the original.
  • Although plenty of films have proven the year-round calendar is viable for varying ranges of box office success, nevertheless, mid-to-late September is still a challenging window for films to exceed expectations.
  • Competition in the weeks after release could be challenging with American Made and Blade Runner 2049 set to open in the film’s second and third weekend, respectively.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Warner Bros.

PROS:

  • The fantastic success of both The LEGO Movie and this year’s LEGO Batman Movie have proven the LEGO brand is more than viable as a franchise film player.
  • The sub-brand component here — that being Ninjago — is fairly popular among young boys, which could make this a solid choice for father/son matinees (in addition to the usual family appeal).
  • Another all-star cast of comedy talents should help appeal to parents, especially after a drought of big animated films in late summer.

CONS:

  • Social media activity on this entry hasn’t been as ecstatic as that of the previous LEGO movies, particularly on Facebook where momentum is currently lukewarm at best. That could change closer to release, though.
  • Franchise fatigue exists within animated franchises as well as any others. Will teens and parents view this as a fresh comedy for all ages or “just another LEGO movie”?

This Week’s Changes & Other Notes

  • Unfortunately, pre-release buzz for The Dark Tower has yet to heat up online. Considering the built-in fan base, that’s a concerning sign ahead of release next week.
  • Detroit is generating strong reactions from critics and remains poised to serve as a counter-programming option with timely subject matter. We’re increasingly encouraged by its long-term potential, but remain cautious due to its marketing reach and release from a non-major studio.
  • We’re continuing to hold off on forecasts for mother! until a trailer is released.
  • Scheduled to open September 22 alongside, Friend Request is another wide release title we’re withholding public forecasts for given the limited history of its distributor, Entertainment Studios.

The Forecast:

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
8/4/2017 The Dark Tower $28,000,000 -15% $71,000,000 -15% 3,200 Sony / Columbia
8/4/2017 Detroit $13,000,000 $41,000,000 32% 2,300 Annapurna Pictures
8/4/2017 Kidnap $4,000,000 $9,000,000 2,200 Aviron
8/11/2017 Annabelle: Creation $27,000,000 $61,000,000 3,200 Warner Bros. / New Line
8/11/2017 The Glass Castle $3,500,000 $10,500,000 2,000 Lionsgate
8/11/2017 The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature $12,000,000 $40,000,000 3,250 Open Road
8/18/2017 The Adventurers n/a NEW n/a NEW Well Go USA
8/18/2017 The Hitman’s Bodyguard $19,000,000 $57,000,000 Lionsgate / Summit
8/18/2017 Logan Lucky $12,000,000 $39,000,000 Bleecker Street
8/25/2017 All Saints $4,000,000 $12,000,000 Sony / Columbia
8/25/2017 Birth of the Dragon $2,500,000 $5,500,000 BH Tilt
8/25/2017 Crown Heights n/a n/a Amazon Studio / IFC Films
8/25/2017 A Gentleman n/a n/a FIP
8/25/2017 Leap! $4,500,000 $15,800,000 The Weinstein Company
8/25/2017 Tulip Fever n/a n/a Weinstein Company
9/1/2017 Unlocked n/a n/a Lionsgate Premiere
9/8/2017 Home Again $12,000,000 $45,000,000 Open Road Films
9/8/2017 It $40,000,000 $100,000,000 Warner Bros. / New Line
9/15/2017 All I See Is You $6,500,000 $15,600,000 Open Road
9/15/2017 American Assassin $10,000,000 $25,000,000 Lionsgate
9/15/2017 mother! n/a n/a Paramount
9/22/2017 Friend Request n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
9/22/2017 Kingsman: The Golden Circle $39,000,000 NEW $100,000,000 NEW Fox
9/22/2017 The LEGO Ninjago Movie $40,000,000 NEW $138,000,000 NEW Warner Bros.

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

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