Thursday Update: We’ve updated our final forecast for Ready or Not in the table below.
Wednesday Report: August begins to wind down this weekend as a trio of new releases hit the pre-Labor Day market in hopes of building steam leading up to next week’s empty holiday frame and the end of summer movie season.
- Lionsgate’s Angel Has Fallen should prove to be the marquee opener of the weekend thanks to the franchise’s previous success with Olympus Has Fallen ($98.9 million domestic total) and London Has Fallen ($62.5 million domestic). The return of stars Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman will likely help retain appeal to the core adult male/action fan crowd.
- Overcomer aims to attract faith-based moviegoers with an interest in football drama, a play that previously worked well for Sony (who also distribute this title) when they opened When the Game Stands Tall to $8.4 million onward to a $30.1 million domestic finish in August 2014. Furthermore, producers Alex and Stephen Kendrick are notable names in the Christian community, having turned strong grassroots marketing campaigns into box office winners with War Room ($67.8 million domestic total), Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants.
- Ready or Not‘s strong reviews (89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) could help spur success success this weekend among the target thriller fan audience. The film gets a jump by opening on Wednesday in hopes of generating positive word of mouth.
- As we’ve seen numerous times, more low-to-mid tier franchise sequels are susceptible to diminishing returns than not. In the case of Angel, it follows a predecessor (London) whose opening dropped 29 percent from Olympus ($30.4 million) and whose overall domestic take finished 37 percent below. We expect those trends to continue, with additional comps including the Expendables franchise (whose third film opened to $15.9 million in August 2014). Reviews are also quite mixed, although that may not deter the core fan audience of this series.
- As faith-based films have proliferated in recent years, their ability to break out at the box office has regressed to some degree. With no considerable star power to help sell Overcomer in particular, we’re expecting pre-release trends will translate to one of the more modest debuts for the sub-genre.
- Ready or Not faces two unfortunate disadvantages this weekend as it opens in the wake of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, both of which have PG-13 ratings to more strongly attract teens and young adults versus this one’s R rating. Additionally, recent real world events — which largely prompted Universal’s delay of The Hunt next month — could diminish audience interest in this type of thriller right now despite positive reviews. Early trends also indicate the film has been front-loaded in pre-sales, though it remains to be seen if momentum can build through word of mouth.
Opening Weekend Ranges
- Angel Has Fallen ($13 – 18 million)
- Overcomer ($5 – 10 million)
- Ready or Not ($4 – 9 million FSS)
Top 10 vs. Last Year
Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will decline approximately 10 percent from the same weekend last year. That frame earned $84.6 million across the top ten as The Happytime Murders and A.X.L. opened behind healthy holdovers Crazy Rich Asians and The Meg.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, August 25||% Change from Last Wknd|
|Angel Has Fallen||Lionsgate||$15,000,000||$15,000,000||NEW|
|The Lion King (2019)||Disney||$8,500,000||$510,900,000||-31%|
|Hobbs & Shaw||Universal||$8,000,000||$147,500,000||-44%|
|The Angry Birds Movie 2||Sony / Columbia||$6,500,000||$27,200,000||-37%|
|Overcomer||Sony / AFFIRM Films||$6,300,000||$6,300,000||NEW|
|Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark||Lionsgate / CBS Films||$6,200,000||$50,800,000||-38%|
|Dora and the Lost City of Gold||Paramount||$5,800,000||$43,300,000||-32%|
|Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood||Sony / Columbia||$5,200,000||$123,700,000||-33%|
|Ready or Not||Fox Searchlight||$5,200,000||$7,600,000||NEW|
Alex Edghill contributed to this report
Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.