Saturday Update: The early fall box office remains off to a hot start as this weekend’s trio of openers will open on the (combined) higher end of expectations.
The transition from television to the big screen is a runaway success for Downton Abbey as the film is shattering expectations with what looks to be a $30-35 million+ opening weekend in North America. The movie earned a stellar $13.84 million on opening day Friday, claiming first place by a nearly two-to-one margin over the next closest film. By comparison, that bests the $9.2 million opening day of Rocketman, while falling not far behind Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ($16.7 million) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ($14.3 million).
What’s not clear this morning, however, is whether or not Downton‘s Friday estimate from Focus Features includes September 12’s $2.2 million from advance sneaks or not. Initial reports suggest that it may be rolled in, and/or that the studio will disperse them among the final weekend figure. All of that is confirmed, meaning weekend projections are volatile this morning. Either way, this is a resounding win.
Debuting in a solid second place performance, Rambo: Last Blood bagged $7.17 million on opening day Friday as the latest Stallone revival captured its target audience. An opening weekend around $18-20 million looks likely at this stage, although matinee business on Saturday could help push that a little higher (football will cut sharply into Sunday, however). By comparison, Last Blood‘s first day registered just a few hairs behind Angel Has Fallen ($7.96 million).
Fox’s Ad Astra pulled a respectable $7.161 million in third place as it rounded the openers on Friday. From strictly profitable perspectives — given the film’s reported $100 million budget — that could be viewed as a lukewarm start. However, given the competition of the weekend, numerous release delays, Disney’s inheritance of the film in the Fox buyout, and the hope that strong reviews will propel staying power during the autumn box office, the studio is likely satisfied with this performance. Astra‘s first day came in notably ahead of First Man ($5.8 million) and Life ($4.4 million). Boxoffice projects an opening weekend north of $19 million.
Meanwhile, Hustlers continued to hold well with a 59 percent drop from opening day last week to $5.41 million yesterday. With $51 million in the domestic bank, the pic is on track for another $17 million this weekend.
Capping off the top five, It: Chapter Two dropped a sharp 62.5 percent from last Friday to $4.825 million as it lost premium screens to this weekend’s openers. With $166.75 million earned stateside after 15 days, the blockbuster horror sequel is on pace for a $16 million+ third frame.
Early weekend estimates are below. Updated studio estimates to follow on Sunday.
Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, SEP. 20 – SUN, SEP. 22
|1||Downton Abbey||$35,000,000||—||3,079||—||$11,367||$35,000,000||1||Focus Features|
|2||Ad Astra||$19,500,000||—||3,460||—||$5,636||$19,500,000||1||20th Century Fox|
|3||Rambo: Last Blood||$19,400,000||—||3,618||—||$5,362||$19,400,000||1||Lionsgate|
|5||It Chapter Two||$16,200,000||-59%||4,156||-414||$3,898||$178,120,563||3||Warner Bros|
|6||The Lion King||$2,700,000||-26%||1,978||-387||$1,365||$537,720,304||10||Walt Disney Pictures|
|7||Good Boys||$2,600,000||-38%||2,025||-711||$1,284||$77,395,605||6||Universal Pictures|
|8||Angel Has Fallen||$2,200,000||-51%||2,505||-571||$878||$64,489,679||5||Lionsgate|
|10||Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw||$1,500,000||-46%||1,391||-659||$1,078||$170,653,810||8||Universal Pictures|
|11||The Peanut Butter Falcon||$965,000||-48%||1,128||-362||$855||$16,708,496||7||Roadside Attractions|
|12||Brittany Runs A Marathon||$910,000||-38%||1,033||276||$881||$5,208,221||5||Amazon Studios|
|13||The Goldfinch||$800,000||-70%||2,542||0||$315||$4,580,103||2||Warner Bros.|
|1||Dora and the Lost City of Gold||$1,400,000||-24%||944||-404||$1,483||$58,544,429||7||Paramount Pictures|
|2||Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark||$830,000||-51%||932||-562||$891||$65,659,736||7||CBS Films / Lionsgate|
|3||The Angry Birds Movie 2||$830,000||-30%||730||-454||$1,137||$40,670,591||6||Sony Pictures|
|4||Once Upon a Time In Hollywood||$670,000||-55%||545||-412||$1,229||$138,183,430||9||Sony Pictures|
|5||Spider-Man: Far from Home||$380,000||-43%||407||-303||$934||$389,756,018||12||Sony / Columbia|
|6||Toy Story 4||$345,000||-16%||291||-119||$1,186||$432,807,979||14||Disney|
|7||Ready or Not||$200,000||-79%||301||-794||$664||$28,260,835||5||Fox Searchlight|
|8||47 Meters Down: Uncaged||$160,000||-62%||246||-291||$650||$21,790,170||6||Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures|
|10||The Art of Racing in the Rain||$130,000||-56%||231||-242||$563||$26,049,886||7||20th Century Fox|
|2||Tod@s Caen||$70,000||-63%||68||-143||$1,029||$2,581,012||4||Lionsgate / Pantelion|
|4||Tel Aviv on Fire||$4,000||—||6||—||$667||$4,000||8||Cohen Media Group|
|5||Britt-Marie Was Here||$3,000||—||3||—||$1,000||$3,000||1||Cohen Media Group|
Friday Update: Universal reports this morning that Focus Features’ Downton Abbey won the new release race on Thursday night with $2.1 million from nearly 2,800 locations. What’s particularly impressive about that is the fact that it excludes an estimated $2.2 million from fan event sneak previews on September 12. Leading into Friday’s first full day of business, the film has already earned $4.3 million domestically.
Comp-wise, one of Downton‘s stronger pound-for-pound relatives may be Rocketman. That pic — which also targeted a somewhat-senior adult audience — took in $2.33 million from Thursday night shows after having already banked $580K from previous fan event sneaks. Rocketman went on to a $25.7 million opening weekend.
Fox’s Ad Astra took off with a solid $1.5 million last night. The well-reviewed Brad Pitt vehicle bested the Thursday night debuts of Arrival ($1.45 million), First Man ($1.1 million), and Life ($800K).
Meanwhile, Rambo: Last Blood began with $1.3 million for Lionsgate last night. That’s just below the $1.5 million of Angel Has Fallen last month, and just over half of what The Predator earned ($2.5 million) one year ago.
More updates throughout the weekend.