Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
September 15, 2018
Audiences were clearly not really to welcome another Predator.
Yes, your #1 movie of the weekend will be The Predator, the latest in a long line of horror/action/thriller movies that go back to the 1987 and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger in their earliest iterations. However, despite tracking as high as $40 million or more a few weeks ago, it's not even going to approach that amount in its debut weekend. The reasons why are probably plentiful.
First, I think we can point to the fact that reviews are just mediocre to poor. A 34 percent Fresh rating for a Shane Black-directed film is particularly bad. His previous low for a film where he was the helmer was 79 percent for Iron Man 3 (though he has had a clunker or three as just a screenwriter). The C+ Cinemascore isn't helping matters any, either. Even big Predator fans are coming out of the film saying it's a wait until video kind of thing.
Along with the quality, there's also the fact that the studio removed a scene with a convicted sex offender who was reported by one of the film's stars, Olivia Munn. After she did this, she was pretty much shunned by the co-stars of the film as well as Shane Black, who had cast the individual, a friend of his. People have grown weary of the effort put into the defense of these individuals, and it likely kept some women at home, though it was never going to draw in much of that demographic in the first place.
The Predator earned $10.5 million yesterday, $2.5 million of which came from Thursday night previews. That's... pretty cruddy, really, especially given the $80 million plus budget. That means $8 million for Friday proper, and most likely a $25 million weekend. I won't lie - I looked at that number and presumed it was its first day total initially and thought it had overperformed. It might be time to let the Predator series rest for a while.
Even though its success is on a small scale, A Simple Favor is doing magnificently. With an 82 percent Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the Paul Feig-directed film starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively turned in $5.92 million yesterday. That's fantastic, and should lead to a weekend total near $16 million, especially since word-of-mouth should carry it forward. Lionsgate hasn't had a lot of successes lately, so I'm sure this will be welcome.
Also new is Studio 8's White Boy Rick, which was initially well received at Telluride before being roundly rejected for the most part from that point on. It currently sits with a 64 percent Fresh rating, which isn't super great for a movie considered at one point to have been awards bait. Matthew McConaughey will have other chances this year (Serenity).
Finally, we have the unlikeliest of sequels in Unbroken: Path to Redemption from Pure Flix. An actual sequel to Angelina Jolie's film of a few years ago, this one takes a faith-based approach and brings in $820,000 for its trouble. It'll make the top ten simply on the basis of there being a weak slate at the moment, probably earning right around $2.5 million.
Last week's big winner, The Nun, declined an absolutely expected 73 percent to $5.9 million. Not only is it a pretty forgettable film, it definitely has the fan base that will rush out to see it on opening weekend. Let's call it $18 million for the weekend, good enough for second place.
Our other new release from last weekend, Peppermint, also had a pretty heady drop. The Jennifer Garner film declined 63 percent to $1.7 million, and should finish out the weekend with $5.9 million.