5th Update, Sunday AM writethru final w/chart: Once all the summer Disney franchise pics are out of the way, it gives low-and-mid-budget films some space to breathe. And that’s what we’re seeing in recent weeks, with the debuts of such pics as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Good Boys, and now Millennium/Lionsgate’s Angel Has Fallen opening to $21.25M this morning. Along with CBS’ Scary Stories and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Angel is the third pic to over-index in its opening for Lionsgate this summer.
For a Gerard Butler action threequel to be 3% off the opening of its previous chapter, that’s a better dip than the 21% decline between the openings of Liam Neeson’s Taken 2 and Taken 3, which went from $49.5M to $39.2M. Similar to how Lionsgate found a date on the calendar for the Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard in late August 2017 ($21.3M opening, $75.4M domestic), their distribution team led by David Spitz continues to capitalize on making moolah in the off-season.
It’s clear audiences love Butler’s Mike Banning character. However, what enabled this film to over-index this weekend was that American Sniper crowd. The pic’s grosses got stronger as it played from East to West, with best regions being the South and the Mid-West. Lionsgate sold this directly to the Americana crowd with a campaign created by Worldwide Marketing Boss Damon Wolf (you can read more details on that further down).
Angel‘s Friday of $7.9M (including $1.5M previews) is higher than London Has Fallen‘s opening $7.5M Friday, and a few nickels under The Hitman‘s Bodyguard $8M opening day. Angel‘s Saturday stayed quite firm at $7.7M, -3% (so technically business was up yesterday after you back out previews out of Friday). We hear that the production cost on Angel was lighter than London, $40M net to $60M. There was supposed to be a big plane crash in Angel, and that wasn’t written in at the end of the day. Foreign sales covered an estimated $30M on the budget, as these meat and potato action pics make money abroad, London seeing 70% of its final global $205.7M from abroad. We hear Lionsgate shelled out minimum guarantees for the US and U.K., and put up the P&A.
Angel‘s CinemaScore is right in line with its previous two chapters: A-; both pics turned a 3x multiple off its domestic opening in the end of their run. ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak exits have risen to 4 1/2 stars, with a 64% definite recommend, which is great. Those who bought tickets were 51% male, 48% over 35, with 50% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 15% African American and 12% Asian/Other.
Angel has close to a 100M-sized social media universe across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, with the social media monitor RelishMix reporting, “Fans of the series are excited to see another adventure with Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman. This contingent was satisfied and delighted with the first two adventures, and are trading theories on what this chapter might include.” Freeman counts closet to 19M social media followers, and has been sharing materials with Butler counting just under 8M.
Lionsgate’s marketing on Angel offered a deeper look into the Mike Banning character, with glimpses into his backstory and personal struggle. Per the studio, there were multiple content partnerships which reached 90M people, with highlights including a “watch to enter” contest on Draft Kings, a custom military drone interstitial on The Chive, and on-screen in-action sponsorship of various MLB games. The studio also arranged an influencer “Escape & Evasion” experience, where Lifestyle, Gaming and Fitness influencers were taught tactics that Mike Banning might use.
Lionsgate also hosted a successful word-of-mouth screening program that targeted active duty military and veterans, highlighted by a screening at the Smithsonian hosted by former Secret Service Director Mickey Nelson, which was followed by a Q&A with director Ric Roman Waugh.
August is whatever a studio aims to make of it. Really, the month gets a bad rep, and there’s money to be made whenever the majors or mini-majors take a chance with great movies, i.e. Warners Bros.’ one-two punch of The Meg and Crazy Rich Asians last year, which ultimately minted together close to $320M stateside, $768.7M worldwide. Yes, the early part of the month can own an event pic like Suicide Squad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, xXx, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc. Had Sony decided to launch Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in this space, it would have still flourished (the pic, as we mentioned, is becoming the 2x Oscar-winning filmmaker’s second-highest-grossing pic behind Django Unchained, with $123.1M domestic). However, Sony decided to fearlessly fly between the releases of Lion King and Hobbs & Shaw, and smartly avoided what became the late August clutter. ComScore reports that all pics this weekend made $108.7M, +4.5% over the same frame a year ago.
Sony Affirm’s Kendrick Brothers-directed movies are made on the cheap, and Overcomer was made for $5M to War Room‘s $3M. War Room, the directors’ previous late August release, did amazing, with an $11.3M opening and $13.3M 4-day Labor Day take. We’ll see if that type of hold takes place here with Overcomer, which is lower in its debut with $8.2M, not as dazzling. Saturday rang up $2.8M, -7% from Friday’s $3M. All the good word-of-mouth among the faith-based crowd is there, with an A+ CinemaScore (standard for these pics, as the older-skewing female audience isn’t as severe in their criticism, with 45% of the crowd over 45, 64% female). PostTrak is tracking kids, given the teen high school elements of the film, but only 12% parents and kids under 12 combined are coming out, with 10% under 18 (they obviously don’t want to see the movie). The mix was 60% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 13% African American, and 6% Asian/Other. Overcomer played right where you would expect it to play: the Bible Belt and the Heartland (South and Mid-West) which notched 9 of the 10 top runs.
Arthouse horror is always iffy. Even Guillermo del Toro had a hard time with the Jessica Chastain-Tom Hiddleston-Mia Wasikowska-Charlie Hunnam Crimson Peak, which didn’t fly with a $13.1M opening, $31M domestic. Searchlight, which infrequently has traveled in this sphere, has the gritty, R-rated bloody comedy Ready or Not, which is seeing a $7.6M three-day and a $10.6M five-day, which is on the bottom side of tracking. Saturday clocked $3.1M, the pic’s highest daily gross since its Wednesday opening, +29% over Friday. In all, over 5 days, Ready or Not‘s tickets sales are $300K shy of what A24’s funky genre pic Midsommar grossed in its Wed-Sun run, $10.9M (that Ari Aster movie was made for $10M net). Ready or Not was made for $6.5M net before P&A, and the pic’s 5-day rental alone (~$5.5M) comes close to covering that. The Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet-directed movie came in better this morning than what some were expecting on Friday and earlier this week. Industry sources believe the studio is in the hole for another $24M in P&A. Pic has a B+ CinemaScore (PostTrak is much lower at 3 1/2 stars) and the best reviews of the wide entries at 87% certified fresh. Some rival distributors aren’t wowed with the exits, and think it’s another case of disparity between critics and crowds. Fifty-three percent female, 78% under 35, with 46% Caucasian, 24% Hispanic, 14% African American, & 16% Asian/Other. Biggest houses for the pic included AMC Burbank, the Empire in NYC, and the Brooklyn Alamo.
All of this said, some had a gut feeling that Ready or Not could truly over-index in the $12M-$15M range over 5 days. What stopped the pic from going higher? Largely a fresh faced cast, for sure, despite it’s great campy one-sheets. However, there was no glow heading into the weekend that this cool little pic could be an event or a must-see. Sony rang the bell loud, like LOUD, that Hollywood was the hippest movie of the summer by flooding social media with ads, TV and everywhere. Really low social media universe here for Ready or Not, per RelishMix, of 22M (!!) Geez, Disney, your second Searchlight film — it would help to give the pic some electricity (we’re talking from a $ perspective; we understand Searchlight still oversees their own marketing). There weren’t any sneak screenings at San Diego Comic-Con this year, and this pic would have excited that demo. Missed opportunity, I’d say, for this Kill Bill-in-a-mansion pic, which is a fun ride. One keeps thinking Samara Weaving is Margot Robbie with a gun, which only adds to the experience. Even RelishMix noticed that on social media, with many “making comparisons to Emma Stone and Margot Robbie, not to mention suspicions that the movie might be based on a tru-ish tale about a bride who hid herself in a trunk in the attic, only never to be found.”
Searchlight trailered Ready or Not on a number of genre pics this summer (Child’s Play, Annabelle Comes Home, Midsommar, Crawl, 47 Meters Down 2, Scary Stories), arthouse pics (The Art of Self Defense, Them That Follow) and August hits (Hobbs & Shaw, Good Boys) to get the word out to the right demos. Searchlight had some Spanish-language prints, and marketed to the demo, thus pulling in 24% Hispanic.
This isn’t a platform release, so Searchlight can’t un-spend its marketing dollars for what is their widest release here ever at 2,855. That said, we hear the pic is going to expand wider into Labor Day weekend, i.e. drive-ins. The drive-ins are expected to stay open through It: Chapter 2 after Labor Day, and the hope is for Ready or Not to be double-featured on that pic.
Roadside Attractions’ Peanut Butter Falcon jumped from 49 theaters to 991 runs in 167 markets in weekend 3 for $3M. Those who agree with critics’ 94% RT rating are showing up and giving the pic 4 1/2 stars and a 62% definite recommend on PostTrak. Males attended at 55%, 82% over 25 years old, with 50% between 25-44 for this Shia LaBeuof-Dakota Johnson drama. Pic follows Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Downs syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). He ultimately becomes paired with a small-time outlaw (LaBeouf) who becomes Zak’s buddy, and a nursing home employee (Johnson) who is charged with Zak’s return. Diversity demos were 71% Caucasian, 12% Hispanic, 10% Asian/Other, and 7% African American. Peanut Butter Falcon played best in the West, Mid-West, & South, and while the numbers weren’t great, they were alright enough in the core areas. Best money was in San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Sacramento, Phoenix to name a few markets.
Amazon Studios opened another one of their pricey Sundance pick-ups, Brittany Runs a Marathon, which they acquired for a reported $14M. Pic opened to $175.9K in 5 theaters in NY and LA for $35.1K. The gross was propped by Q&A’s in Los Angeles with Tobey Maguire, Utkarsh Umbudkar, Michaela Watkins, Micah Stock, Lil Rel Howery & Matthew Plouffe and in NY w/Jillian Bell & Paul Downs Colaizzo. AMC Lincoln Square was the No. 1 pic for the complex, selling out, in addition to the Landmark, which was No. 1 for complex. Other plays included Arclight Hollywood, Cinema 1 in NY and Angelika. Overall, the numbers were all pretty decent we hear, but definitely nothing to get overly excited about as they dropped on Saturday (except for the Cinema). Pic will further expand into the next month. The question is whether this is the last of Amazon’s traditional windowing movies after they decided to recently make the upcoming $80M Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones feature The Aeronauts a truncated theatrical/streaming release. Hopefully, it’s not.
Sunday AM’s chart per studio reported estimates:
WEEKEND B.O. FOR AUG. 23-25
Saturday’s chart below……
BOX OFFICE FOR AUG. 23-25
3rd Update, Friday AM: On a sleepy penultimate weekend of summer, Gerard Butler’s Angel Has Fallenis looking to lord over all films with an estimated $20M take after what is looking like a $7.9M Friday – which is by the way, a tad higher than the first Friday of the series’ previous chapter London Has Fallen (+ previews). Angel‘s Friday includes last night’s $1.5M money. Some see Angel possibly coming very close to the opening of London‘s $21.6M, which is remarkable for a meat and potatoes action franchise. Overseas is what counts here for these Fallen movies which cost between $60M-$70M before P&A.
By the way, this weekend isn’t the lowest weekend for a No. 1 ranking pic. That belongs to the third weekend of Universal’s Glass at $9.5M back on Feb. 1-3. Prior to that, the second lowest No. 1 take year to date was the second weekend of Glass with $18.8M.
Universal’s R-rated comedy Good Boys is eyeing an estimated $3M in its second Friday for a second weekend of $10.3M, -53% for a 10-day of $40.6M by Sunday.
Sony Affirm’s Overcomer looks to slot 3rd for the weekend with $3.1M (including $775K previews) and a $7.8M opening.
Uni looking at 4th for the weekend with Hobbs & Shaw at $2M today, an estimated $7.4M in weekend 4, -48% for a running total of $147M.
Disney’s Lion King ranks 5th with around $6.6M in weekend 6, -46%, a total by Sunday of $509M.
Searchlight’s Ready or Notis seeing $2.2M today, +100% from yesterday for a $6.55M weekend and 5-day take of $9.55M.
Sony’s Angry Birds 2 looks like $1.3M in second Friday, and a second weekend of $4.8M, -53% for a running cume by Sunday of $25.5M.
By Saturday, Sony’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will become Quentin Tarantino’s second highest grossing film at the domestic B.O. behind Django Unchained ($162.8M) and surpassing Inglourious Basterds’ $120.5M. Pic’s 5th weekend is $4.6M, -39% for a running total by Sunday of $122.7M.
2nd Update, Friday AM: Lionsgate/Millennium’s Angel Has Fallen raised $1.5M from 7PM previews yesterday at roughly 2,600 locations.
That’s higher than not only Focus Features’ release of previous Butler pics in the series, 2016’s London Has Fallen ($850K, $7.5M Friday, $21.6M opening) and Film District’s 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen ($550K, $10M Friday, $30.3M), but it’s also on higher cloud than the actor’s January 2018 action pic Den of Thieves which drew $950K in its Thursday previews before ringing up a $5.6M Friday, $15.2M opening.
In updated tracking, the Gerard Butler threequel looks to win the weekend with $12M-$16M at 3,286 theaters over Universal’s second weekend of Good Boys with $12M; it’s not looking like a coin toss. The Rotten Tomatoes Score for Angel Has Fallen is at 47% Rotten, closer to Olympus‘ 49% Rotten, and higher than the previous chapter London‘s 26%. Solid audience exits on ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak with 4 stars and a 59% definite recommend. Pic hooked 40% guys over 25, 37% females over 25, 12% men under 25 and 10% females under. Angel was directed by Ric Roman Waugh.
The second day of Fox Searchlight’s horror comedy Ready or Not earned $1.1M in third place yesterday, -41% from Wednesday’s $1.876M. Many were expecting this movie to overperform with a 5-day of $12M-$15M, however, it’s lucky to hit $10M. We’ll see, it’s been a while since Searchlight has had a hard genre pic (not counting Guillermo del Toro’s romantic monster Oscar best picture winner The Shape of Water), arguably 2013’s Stoker (which only made $1.7M). Other horror pics in Searchlight’s 25 years were 2003’s 28 Days Later ($45M) and 2006’s The Hills Have Eyes ($41.8M final domestic). Ready or Not‘s exits through yesterday drew a 50/50 female to male audience, with both females and males over 25 turning up at 26% and females and males under 25 each at 24%. As expected, 18-34 were the majority at 74%. Guys like it better than women, 72% to 69%.
Sony Affirm has the Kendrick Brothers’ movie Overcomerwhich kicked off previews at 4PM yesterday with $775K at 1,563 venues, which bests the $600K previews of the duo’s previous late summer 2015 pic War Room. The pic is expected to bring in between $5M-$7M at 1,723 sites. Four stars on PostTrak, with a 60% definite recommend. General audiences showed up at 89%, parents and kids under 12 at 11%. The over 45 crowd numbered 44% with females over 25 leading at 55%, men over 25 at 28%.
As we mentioned previously, whatever wins this weekend will likely take No. 1 over the sleep Labor Day period which the major studios, like in 2017 prior to New Line’s It opening, skipped. Similar to that year, no one wants to play into the sequel’s expected massive weekend, which is now down in the $92M-$102M range, poised to be the second best for September behind It‘s $123.4M.
1st Update, Thursday 8AM: Fox Searchlight went after whatever remaining 18-34 demo was out there this summer with the launch of its black comedy horror thriller Ready or Not yesterday. It grossed an estimated $1.9 million at 2,244 locations (including $730,0000 in Tuesday previews) for Wednesday’s No. 2 spot. ComScore shows that by Friday the number of colleges remaining on summer break will be at 62%, down from 93% last Friday. K-12 schools on break erodes from 56% to 28%.
The first horror thriller for Searchlight since arguably 2013’s Stoker follows Samara Weaving as a bride who marries into a rich family with a vicious hazing ritual for its newfound family members. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Ready or Not was praised by critics with a 91% certified fresh score, and so far has a good CinemaScore of B+. PostTrak exits were lower at 3 stars and a 50% recommend.
Currently, industry estimates are around $6.5M for Ready or Not‘s three-day frame and $9.5M over five days, and the hope is that good word of mouth and reviews improve those numbers for this estimated $6M net production. By tomorrow, the film will be Searchlight’s widest release in the label’s 25 years at 2,820; its previous widest entry was 2002’s Goldie Hawn-Susan Sarandon comedy The Banger Sisters at 2,738 locations.
Despite Ready or Not‘s early start, it’s a tossup between Millennium/Lionsgate’s Gerard Butler threequel Angel Has Fallen and Universal’s second weekend of the R-rated comedy Good Boys taking No. 1 with $14M-$15M. Good Boys through six days counts $28.6M, pacing 13% head of the studio’s R-rated teen comedy Blockers (which was an April 2018 release) at the same point in time. That pic ended its domestic run at $60M. Good Boys led all titles yesterday with an estimated $1.94M, nickels ahead of Ready or Not.
Angel Has Fallenbegins showtimes tonight at 7 PM. The previous Butler pics in the series, Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen, opened to $30.3M and $21.6M, respectively. The movies typically do a 3x multiple stateside, with London reaping 70% of its global $205.7M abroad. Lionsgate has U.S. and UK rights to the movie, and it plays in roughly 3,200 sites by tomorrow. In the sequel, Butler’s Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat. Butler also produces the pic.
Sony Affirm Films has the Alex and Stephen Kendrick movieOvercomerin roughly 1,700 locations with an eye on $5M-$7M. The brothers’ previous late-August faith-based pic, War Room, surprised the industry by taking No. 1 over the 2015 Labor Day holiday (the pic’s second weekend) with $13.3M. Overcomer follows a high school basketball coach and his team as their state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant shuts down and hundreds of families leave their town, the coach questions how he and his family will face an uncertain future. He reluctantly agrees to coach cross-country, and meets an aspiring athlete who’s pushing her limits on a journey toward discovery.
Whatever reigns at No. 1 this weekend, is expected to continue to do so into summer’s end for the four-day Labor Day frame next weekend. There’s only one wide entry over the holiday, OTL/Blumhouse’s Don’t Let Go, which Briarcliff Entertainment is releasing.