The fall movie window officially begins this weekend with the debut of three new releases.
Although nothing will measure up to the record-breaking performance of It on this same weekend one year ago, we’re expecting strong results at the top of the board from Warner Bros.’ latest horror offering — The Nun.
The film will mark both the continued success of the Conjuring franchise and the Blumhouse catalog of horror releases. On the former front, The Nun may have a fair shot at besting The Conjuring‘s original $41.9 million debut in July 2013 thanks to incredibly strong awareness levels that far exceed those of preceding Conjuring/Annabelle movies and recent hits like A Quiet Place and Split.
Two other notable advantages for The Nun: a strong push in IMAX, lifting the film’s average ticket prices, and a considerable drought in horror releases over the summer — leading to pent-up demand among the genre’s faithful (and young) audience.
One concern to keep in mind at this stage is the lack of any critics’ reviews being available, which is in stark contrast to the gushing reactions of Annabelle: Creation and both Conjuring films made available on Rotten Tomatoes well in advance of their opening days.
A debut north of $35-40 million looks increasingly likely, with some models indicating potential for an even higher result.
STX will debut Peppermint as a counter-programming option for adult moviegoers. Jennifer Garner fans are excited to see the return to her Alias roots in a Taken-like revenge thriller. Social media and tracking metrics are generally in line with fellow STX releases like Mile 22 and The Foreigner.
Meanwhile, Crazy Rich Asians is expected to continue its phenomenal run with what should be another strong hold this weekend, while Searching will boost its theater count to approximately 2,000+ (per studio sources) and make a run to stay in the top five despite competition from The Nun.
Last but not least, Freestyle Releasing offers up the latest faith-based drama in God Bless the Broken Road this weekend. The studio is expecting a debut weekend of $4 million or slightly more, although our models a bit more conservative at this time.
Top 10 v. Last Year
Boxoffice estimates this weekend’s top ten films will earn approximately $96 million, with some potential upside for a $100 million+ frame. If the former benchmark holds, it would represent a 37 percent decline from the same weekend last year when It crushed R-rated and horror genre records — along with all industry expectations — in its stunning $123.4 million debut, part of an overall $153.0 million top ten market.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, September 9||% Change from Last Wknd|
|The Nun||Warner Bros. / New Line||$45,000,000||$45,000,000||NEW|
|Crazy Rich Asians||Warner Bros.||$14,000,000||$137,500,000||-36%|
|The Meg||Warner Bros.||$5,400,000||$132,000,000||-49%|
|Mission: Impossible – Fallout||Paramount||$4,000,000||$212,300,000||-43%|
|Searching||Sony / Screen Gems||$4,000,000||$13,400,000||-34%|
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