Fate Wins by Default as Guardians Assemble
By John Hamann
April 30, 2017
Finishing a stronger than expected second is Panelion's How To Be A Latin Lover, which was looking for a result similar to the studio's Instructions Not Included, which exploded at the domestic box office, opening to $7.8 million from only 346 screens – leading to $44.5 million domestic and another $54.6 million away from the US and Canada, leaving it with a $99 million worldwide gross. The key was that Instructions Not Included had a $5 million budget, which means the small studio offshoot could fund another five films off the profit of one. Lionsgate and Pantelion would be looking for a similar open for Latin Lover this weekend, and it surpassed it easily, handily beating estimates and earning $12.02 million (which includes the $450,000 from Thursday previews). This time around the venue count was much larger at 1,118, and while budget data isn't available, this one carries a cast that includes Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell, so cost may have doubled.
For How To Be A Latin Lover, I think it's safe to say reviews can be thrown out. RottenTomatoes only has 14 reviews counted, 7 to the good and 7 to the not so good, which is similar to Instructions Not Included, which has a 55% rating from only 20 reviews. Latin Lover earned an A Cinemascore which will help its legs and put it on the same path as its leggy predecessor. Instructions earned an open to total multiplier of 5.7, although it did expand from its initial 348 screens to a wider pattern of 978 screens at one point in its run. Instructions Not Included actually added to its total in weekend two, a luxury Latin Lover will likely not have on the domestic side, as Guardians is gobble up 4,200 venues. The key for Latin Lover will be the gross away from North America, as it looks to beat the $55 million earned by Instructions Not Included.
The second big surprise of the weekend sees the Indian film, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, into third after having that stunning Friday. As indicated above, the Baahubali sequel picked up an astonishing $4.75 million on Friday night, however $2.5 million of that was from the Thursday preview. That takes the punch out of the overall weekend number, as it means that the sequel earned more from the preview than it did the Friday and would likely be frontloaded. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion earned $10.14 million over the weekend proper, and did it from only 445 venues – giving it a very strong venue average of $23,854. The original perished domestically after the opening frame, earning only $6.7 million after the $3.6 million open.
Tom Hanks and Emma Watson limp into fourth with The Circle, whose gross is really disappointing. After a fourth place Friday at $3.2 million, The Circle finished the weekend with only $9.32 million, low considering Watson's current role in Beauty and the Beast, and the Hanks renaissance in films like Sully, Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies. The Circle got hammered by critics, earning an ugly 17% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes, which was followed by the death blow – a D+ Cinemascore – so rare that you barely see that score handed out. The good thing is that the budget here is somehow only $18 million, so there shouldn't be too much pain at the end of the day - the only pain will be for those who see it.