It was a mixed bag of a weekend with a horror entry, a biopic with awards hopes and an attempted (North American) career resurrection, as at this point we’re all just kind of biding our time until November is here and the superhero movies are back. We do have one surprise breakout, which is some good news in the continuing disappointment that is 2017’s box office.
By Tim Briody
October 15, 2017
The number one film for the weekend, by a solid margin, is Happy Death Day, as Blumhouse Productions once again works its magic with a low-budget horror entry. Happy Death Day earned $26.5 million on the weekend, many times its reported $4.5 million budget. Starring nobody you’ve heard of, the horror take on the Groundhog Day premise is the third hit for Blumhouse this year, after Split ($138.1 million) and Get Out ($175.4 million). Not everything they release turns to gold (remember The Belko Experiment? No, you don’t.), but the company behind The Purge and Insidious franchises (both of which will return in 2018) seemingly turns up a winner more often than not. Happy Death Day might hold okay (for a horror film) next weekend as we get a little bit closer to Halloween, but even if it vanished from multiplexes tomorrow, it’s still in the black and a big win for everyone involved.
Second place goes to last weekend’s winner Blade Runner 2049, with $15.1 million. That’s down about 54% from opening weekend and gives it $60.5 million after two weekends. The expectations for the Blade Runner sequel were quite high, and despite the strong reviews, it was not able to overcome the disappointing opening and show stronger legs. It’s yet to make its reported $150 million budget back when you include international grosses (which put it at $111 million worldwide), but it’ll get there. The problem was this was supposed to be the October tentpole that carried us to the November superhero movies. But instead, that’s how you make a weekend winner out of Happy Death Day.
The Foreigner is our second opener for the weekend and settles for third place. A return of sorts for Jackie Chan, his first live action role to release in North America since 2010’s The Karate Kid remake, the action-drama came in with $12.8 million on the weekend. While it had aspirations to be Chan’s Taken, that thought disappeared quickly after a first day of $4.7 million. None of this matters, though, as The Foreigner was already a mammoth hit in Chan's native China, and the domestic weekend performance has carried it over the $100 million mark worldwide. Everything earned over here is gravy, even if it only manages about $30-35 million.
It continues to impress with another $6 million in its sixth weekend, giving it $314.9 million. Not much more needs to be said about It, other than wondering if there is enough steam left in the film to overtake Spider-Man: Homecoming for fifth place in 2017 ($333.1 million), and adding in that it’s earned just about as much internationally as it has domestically, giving it $630 million worldwide. The best story of the fall in a weird and wild box office year.
The Mountain Between Us is in fifth place with $5.6 million, falling 46% from last weekend. The romantic adventure (based on a novel) starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet didn’t hold as well as anticipated and has earned $20.5 million in two weekends. It’s got a $35 million budget, and it’ll make that back but not much more.
Tom Cruise’s American Made added another $5.4 million to give it a respectable $40.1 million in three weekends. It only fell 36% from last weekend, and it’s nearing its reported $50 million production budget. It’s a good performance from Cruise considering The Mummy fell flat earlier this year.
The Kingsman sequel lands in seventh in its fourth weekend as The Golden Circle earned $5.3 million to bring it to $89.6 million. It’s going to cross the $100 million mark after next weekend, which probably keeps the franchise going but it’s still a step back from the $128.2 million earned by The Secret Service in 2015.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie is another September disappointment (which is pretty much every September release that wasn’t It) and adds $4.3 million to its total, giving it $51.5 million after four weekends in theaters. Franchise fatigue set in rather quickly for this one, as it’s a big drop from The LEGO Batman Movie’s $175 million from earlier this year to this.
The Bronies continue to disappoint us as My Little Pony: The Movie declines 55% from last weekend to $4 million and $15.5 million after two weekends. Perhaps they’re waiting for it to be available to stream.
Victoria and Abdul adds 170 theaters and manages to hang on to a top ten spot with $3.1 million, down 25% from last weekend. A vehicle for Dame Judi Dench (and unofficial sequel to 1997 film Mrs. Brown, for which she earned a Best Actress nomination), the British film has earned $11.3 million after four weekends in theaters and two in wider release.
Outside the top ten, two other new releases miss. Marshall, about the early life of first black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (starring Chadwick “Biopic? Yes please!” Boseman), lands in 11th with $3 million in 821 theaters, while Professor Marston and the Wonder Women crashes with $737,000 in 1,229 theaters. That probably ends any major awards hopes Marshall had, while the other film had hopes to cash in on the success of Wonder Woman with a based on a true story film about its creation, but goes down as a massive disaster.
The top 12 films earned $92.8 million, well off from last year’s $118 million when The Accountant opened to $33.8 million. Next weekend brings a holiday sequel as Tyler Perry returns with Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, a sequel to last year’s movie which opened with $28.5 million.