Sorry, but it’s going to be another blasé weekend at the box office with college and high school students still in scholar mode.
Two new titles — Universal/Blumhouse’s The Visit and Sony/Screen Gems’ thriller Perfect Guy — are each looking at $15M-$17M per industry projections. Perfect has an edge given the momentum of African American fare at the box office, however, there’s a contingent out there that is projecting that if word of mouth spreads for The Visit, it could have a shot at $20M. Straight Outta Compton has played out as well as Sony/Affirm’s War Room which is hoping for $6M-$8M in about 1,700 locations during its third weekend.
Perfect Guy stars Sanaa Lathan as a woman whose new boyfriend is just too good to be true. Also working in Screen Gems’ favor is their No. 1 history in opening these chick-flicks: Last year at this time, No Good Deed starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson opened to $24.3M (final cume $52.5M) and in September 2008 there was Lakeview Terrace with Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson which took the top spot with $15M (final B.O. $39.3M). Perfect Guy cost an estimated $12M and the studio should be happy making just that much in its first weekend. Current theater count is estimated at 2,200. There aren’t any Thursday previews planned.
Uni has been screening The Visit to great acclaim throughout the summer. At Comic-Con, the studio showed it three times to captive crowds, which is rare as most studios preview their lackluster fan fare (read Project Almanac, Dredd and You’re Next) in San Diego and then get the hell out of town. The Visit marks fimmaker M. Night Shyamalan’s return to form in his horror-thriller oeuvre after his fling with risky, uber-costly studio titles such as After Earth and The Last Airbender. Shyamalan wrote, directed, produced and financed The Visit for $5M, before partnering with Jason Blum to distribute it through his deal at Uni. The Visit was shot around Shyamalan’s native Pennsylvania. The PG-13 film is tracking the strongest with women under 25, who at 15% have made it their first choice. Like with most horror films geared toward teens, the bulk of the audience will likely show up on Friday before receding throughout the weekend. Screenings start at 8 PM on Thursday. Theater count is 3,068 on Friday.
Another faith-based entry is looking to step on War Room‘s toes: 90 Minutes In Heaven from Samuel Goldwyn in 838 locations. The film, directed and written by Michael Polish, was adapted from Don Piper’s novel and tells the story of a man, who after a deathly car crash, claims he spent an hour and half at the pearly gates. Kate Bosworth and Hayden Christensen star. There’s been a strong grassroots marketing campaign behind this with Piper, a Christian minister, hitting the road to promote the film. Given War Room‘s surprise opening, B.O. pundits think that 90 Minutes In Heaven could make as much as $2M on the high end for FSS.
Among those titles in their second frames, Broad Green’s A Walk In The Woods is expected to decline approximately -45% from its three-day of $8.2M. EuropaCorp’s Transporter Refueled will drop its odometer significantly by as much as 60% or more from its $7.36M FSS, on par with the second session of its previous installment.