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411 Box Office Report: Kingsman: The Golden Circle Tops It For #1

September 24, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle ended It’s two-week run atop the box office. The sequel to 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service closed out its opening weekend with $39 million, enough to claim #1 but a touch lower than the anticipated low $40 million range that it was expected to bring in. However, it’s still an improvement on the $36.2 million that the first film opened at and finished with a number that Fox is likely pleased with.

All eyes were on The Golden Circle to win the box office this weekend, and for good reason. The Secret Service was a major box office hit in February of 2015, overperforming to the tune of $128.3 million domestically on the back of positive reviews and strong word of mouth. In a box office field that has been mostly down in August and September — demon clowns aside, of course — it was expected that the buzz from the original Kingsman would result in good results for the sequel.

And certainly, that’s what happened…it’s just that the results were slightly lower than Fox had been hoping for. That can easily be attributed to lower last-minute buzz, as Golden Circle wasn’t loved by critics. It received a 51% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 74% for the first film. It also proved, despite the same B+ CinemaScore as its predecessor, to be more front-loaded with a 4% fall on Saturday and estimated 39% on Sunday. (That’s compared to a 48% rise for the first film on Saturday and then 33% down on Sunday.) That’s to be expected from a film that had a higher level of anticipation though.

Of course, in an action-heavy franchise like this the bigger question is how well the film will deliver overseas. Thus far, it’s off to a good start with $61.2 million for a $100.2 million worldwide start. Secret Service made the bulk of its $414.4 million worldwide gross outside of the US, and this one will follow suit. The budget was high at an estimated $104 million, but with a likely $125 million domestic total it should be in fine shape once it’s all said and done.

It dropped out of #1 in its third weekend, but its drop-off was still better than expected. The New Line adaptation of Stephen King’s novel racked up an additional $30 million, off 50% from last weekend. The movie is continuing to excel for the studio. It now sits at $266.3 million domestically and $478 million worldwide. It is already the #5 movie of 2017 domestically, and while it’s unlikely to top Spider-Man: Homecoming for #4, it is a mega-hit on its mere $35 million budget. $310 million to $320 million is a respectable goal for it at this point.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie disappointed in its box office opening, trying to bring in kids and families but not getting as many as it would have liked. The animated comedy nailed down $24.2 million domestically and $31.7 million worldwide, both of which are disappointing numbers. Warner Bros. was expecting this to finish somewhere in the low thirties, but families weren’t convinced to show up. By comparison, The LEGO Movie opened with $69.1 million in February of 2014 and LEGO Batman did $53 million in February of this year.

Part of that can be blamed on the marketing, which failed to really do much to entice adults to bring their kids. The other part can be blamed on the film itself, which has so-so reviews (53%) and a lower CinemaScore at B+ than both The LEGO Movie (A) and The LEGO Batman Movie (A-). A B+ CinemaScore is by no means bad, of course, but family films tend to score much higher as a rule thanks to a more forgiving audience. LEGO Ninjago should still be able to match LEGO Batman’s multiple thanks to a relative lack of competition in coming weeks, but that would only get it to the $80 million range in the US. With a $70 million budget, this may be Warner Bros.’ first LEGO bust unless overseas grosses pick up the slack.

American Assassin dropped an expected 58% in its second weekend, down to $6.3 million. The second-weekend slip for the action-thriller is steeper than that of John Wick (45%) and Run All Night (54%), sitting just a bit better than 3 Days to Kill’s 60%. Assassin may have to stretch just a bit to hit profit; it is currently sitting at $26.2 million domestically and $32.3 million on a $33 million budget. It’s not in terrible shape and should end its run north of $35 million domestically, but a franchise starter it probably is not.

Reese Witherspoon’s Home Again continues its resilience, off just 36% in its second weekend to bring in $3.3 million. That’s another good hold for the film, which currently sits at $22.3 million on a $12 million budget. With a low marketing budget, its final domestic of $32 million or so should be enough for profit when overseas numbers come in.

Darren Aronofsky’s mother! followed up its F CinemaScore with an expected heavy drop, down 57% to $3.3 million. That is actually a better hold than many expected. The Jennifer Lawrence-starring thriller has now brought in $13.4 million domestically and $25.9 million worldwide on a $30 million budget. $25 million in the US may be a stretch here, meaning that overseas grosses will continue to need filling in so it can see a profit.

The first official horror film of October was DOA, with Friend Request opening to just $2.4 million. The Alicia Debnam-Carey-starring film had the worst opening weekend ever for a film opening over 2,500 theaters. Now, Friend Request isn’t good, a statement supported by the movie’s ugly 20% RT average (the C+ CinemaScore is average for horror). But this film’s problem was more to do with marketing than anything else. Most people had no idea that it was releasing, thanks to a barely-there promotional campaign. With It eating up the horror crowd, this one never had a chance. The film has already had runs overseas — it opened in Germany late last year — and the $7.2 million overseas total won’t save it. It should make it to maybe $7 million in the US and with a $9.9 million budget, even the non-existant marketing budget won’t save this one.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard finally dropped in the face of direct competition in Kingsman, down 49% to $1.9 million in its sixth weekend. The action-comedy has a total of $73.6 million domestically and $145 million worldwide. It should finish off with around $78 million domestically and is a huge hit on a $30 million budget.

The limited release of Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany’s Stronger jumped to #9 in its first weekend. The drama, based on one man’s personal struggles after the Boston Marathon bombing, brought in $1.7 million off of 574 theaters. That’s not bad, but considering the film’s heavy buzz for potential awards consideration and fantastic reviews (95% on RT) it should probably be a bit better. Roadside Attractions will continue to push this but getting it to a profit margin on its $30 million budget may be tricky without an awards run.

Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River closed out the top ten with $1.3 million, down 50% in its eighth weekend. The Jeremy Renner/Elizabeth Olsen drama has a total of $31.7 million domestically. At this point the film should be able to finish out with $35 million and will be a profit on an $11 million budget.

Next weekend should see Kingsman and It battle it out again, with the distinct possibility that Pennywise retakes the crown. The new releases come in the form of Tom Cruise’s American Made and the Flatliners remake. Both of those films are tracking in the mid-teens range.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle – $39 million ($39 million total)
2. It – $30 million ($266.3 million total)
3. The LEGO Ninjago Movie – $24.2 million ($24.2 million total)
4. American Assassin – $6.3 million ($26.2 million total)
5. Home Again – $3.3 million ($22.3 million total)
6. mother! – $3.3 million ($13.4 million total)
7. Friend Request – $2.4 million ($2.4 million total)
8. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – $1.9 million ($73.6 million total)
9. Stronger – $1.7 million ($1.7 million total)
10. Wind River – $1.3 million ($31.7 million total)