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411 Box Office Report: It Regains #1 Over American Made, Kingsman: The Golden Circle

October 1, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
IT

You can’t keep an evil clown down for long, as the box office learned this weekend. It reclaimed the #1 spot, bringing in $17.3 million to move back up to the top after falling to #2 last week. The weekend number equates to a very good drop of just 41% from last weekend. The Stephen King adaptation was already a blockbuster success, of course. But its perserverence in the wake of high-profile new openings suggests it will have more staying power than most expected.

As of now, the movie has a stellar $291.2 million in domestic gross and $553.2 million overseas. It is virtually impossible for it not to cross the $300 million mark now, and a final domestic gross in the $335 million range seems likely. That will make It the fourth-highest domestic gross of 2017 at this time. Needless to say, on a $35 million budget this is the standout movie of the year. Warner Bros. and New Line have to be ecstatic about it.

Coming in at #2 was American Made. The film, which stars Tom Cruise as pilot-turned CIA operative Barry Seal, slightly exceeded expectations as most had it in the $13 million to $15 million range. That said, it’s still not quite something for Universal to crow about. Cruise’s films generally open higher than this on his name value alone. The last time a film opened with less than $17 million for Cruise was 2012, when Jack Reacher started with $15.2 million.

This isn’t quite a situation of “what went wrong,” as $17 million isn’t a bad start for a $50 million film. That said, there are a few factors that played into this. First off, Cruise’s reputation is still smarting a bit from The Mummy’s dismal performance over the summer, where many viewed him as miscast. Second, drug biopics are not generally a genre that pulls in great numbers. That American Made touches on some of the same ground (and characters) as Netflix’s Narcos was also a factor. Cruise normally goes all-out in promoting his films, but his filming commitments to Mission: Impossible 6 and the broken ankle he suffered on that set prevented him from doing so.

American Made should be able to perform well enough not to be a money loser. The high regard from critics (87% on Rotten Tomatoes) will help, and a B+ CinemaScore is on par with past Cruise films like Edge of Tomorrow. The film should be able to make it to at least $55 million here in the US. Overseas, American Made has been in release for several weeks and has scrounged up a middling $64.7 million for a $81.7 million total. This won’t be high among Cruise’s profitable films but it should avoid losing the studio much money.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle was down two spots to #3 in its second week with $17 million. It was close between this and American Made, with just $16,000 giving the latter the edge. That could change once the actuals come out. Golden Circle’s drop was 56% from its opening weekend, a fair bit higher than the first film’s 49% fall. Kingsman now sits at $66.7 million domestically and $192.9 million worldwide, pacing behind its predecessor in both metrics. At this point, it seems likely to finish out with a little over $100 million domestically. With a $104 million budget it will be a success, but not one as big as Fox was hoping for.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie followed up its disappointing box office start with an equally-disappointing second weekend. The animated film scored $12 million to fall 41%, higher than average for an animated family film. Compare that to the second weekends of The LEGO Movie (28%) and The LEGO Batman Movie (38%) and Warner Bros. had to have higher hopes for this. The movie is up to $35.6 million domestically and $58.3 million worldwide on a budget of $70 million. Unless business improbably picks up when it hits more overseas markets, this seems likely to lose money. A $60 million domestic total seems probable.

Sony had some bad news this weekend, as Flatliners fell…well, flat. The reboot of the 1990 film garnered just $6.7 million in its opening weekend, a clear bomb. In this film’s case, we have a lot of potential reasons to pick from regarding why it failed. Sony’s marketing effort was buried underneath the campaigns for It and other high-profile films, for one. For another, it’s not going over well with critics (0% on RT) or fans (B- CinemaScore). The CinemaScore would have been slightly better than usual for horror in past years, but in the post-Conjuring era that isn’t quite so much the case.

There isn’t a lot of silver lining to this cloud. Overseas the film brought in just $3.1 million for a $9.8 million worldwide total. Even on a $19 million budget, that’s weak. At this point the film will be unlikely to top $20 million domestically and will lose money for Sony and Cross Creek in the end.

Coming in at #6 was sports drama Battle of the Sexes. The film, which portrays the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), expanded wide but was a minor disappointment with $3.4 million. Fox Searchlight had been hoping for at least $4 million. The film should still be able to hold on well though, as it has strong critical buzz (85% on RT). Depending on how the studio handles its expansion, it could get to the $15 million to $18 million range in the US. With a $25 million budget, it will need some overseas strength to hit a profit margin.

American Assassin was down 47% in its third weekend to $3.3 million. The Dylan O’Brien-fronted action-thriller is currently sitting at $31.9 million domestically and $44.1 million worldwide on a $33 million budget. It should be able to top $40 million domestically by the time it leaves theaters. Whether it makes a profit or not is dependent on how it grows overseas.

Reese Witherspoon’s Home Again was off 46% in its third weekend to bring in $1.8 million. The romantic comedy is currently at $25.2 million on a $12 million budget. With a low marketing budget, its final domestic of $32 million or so will likely be good enough for a small profit once it opens overseas.

Domestic thriller Til Death Do Us Part opened with a whimper at just $1.6 million. That’s around where most analysts were predicting it would do. The Taye Diggs-starring film had very little promotion from studio Novus and didn’t even merit reviews from mainstream critics. It will probably finish out in the high single digits. No word on its budget.

Darren Aronofsky’s mother! closed out the top ten with $1.5 million, down 56% from last weekend. The Jennifer Lawrence-starring thriller has now brought in $16.3 million domestically and $34.8 million worldwide on a $30 million budget. It seems likely to finish off in the $20 million range domestically.

Next weekend will definitely see a new champion, as Blade Runner 2049 opens to what is expected to be the mid-$40 million range. Also new to theaters will be The Mountain Between Us, which should open in the low teens, and My Little Pony in the high single digits.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. It – $17.3 million ($291.2 million total)
2. American Made – $17 million ($17 million total)
1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle – $17 million ($66.7 million total)
4. The LEGO Ninjago Movie – $12 million ($35.6 million total)
5. Flatliners – $6.7 million ($6.7 million total)
6. Battle of the Sexes – $3.4 million ($4.1 million total)
7. American Assassin – $3.3 million ($31.9 million total)
8. Home Again – $1.8 million ($25.2 million total)
9. Til Death Do Us Part – $1.6 million ($1.6 million total)
10. mother! – $1.5 million ($16.3 million total)