Lionsgate and Millennium have another meat and potatoes box office feast on their hands in the wake of Angel Has Fallen overperforming this past weekend to a $21.3M opening with Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood set to open between $21M-$24M on Sept. 20.
Longline for Last Blood directed by Adrian Grunberg, and written by Stallone and Matthew Cirulnick is “Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.” The finale’s projected 3-day is expected to best the starts of 1985’s Rambo: First Blood Part II ($20.1M, huge back n the day), 2008’s Rambo, also from Lionsgate ($18.2M), 1988’s Rambo III ($13M) and, of course, First Blood, which opened to No. 1 with $6.6M at 901 theaters in March 1982. During his Cannes Film Festival tribute in May, Stallone regaled how no one wanted to make First Blood before he decided to tackle it.
Lionsgate got Angel Has Fallen to play in the heartland last weekend, and it wouldn’t be a shocker if this Rambo pulls in that same demo.
In the wake of It: Chapter Two‘s expected monster debut of $90M-$110M, Rambo is another solid opening in the fall. STX Entertainment’s Jennifer Lopez-Constance Wu-Lili Reinhart stripper caper Hustlers is still looking great on tracking reports with an anticipated 3-day of $26M when it opens on Sept. 12. Tracking projections haven’t shed for that Lorene Scafaria-directed pic. Pic makes its world premiere at TIFF next week.
Rambo is looking to pull in younger and older males, towering over Fox’s very expensive Brad Pitt sci-fi astronaut pic, Ad Astra which is depending on older males and females. That $87M-plus estimated production is expected to only gas up between $17.5M-19M. It’s gotta be stronger. The James Gray directed pic, which has been delayed many times due to post-production work, recently made its world premiere at Venice, however it’s not headed to the festival of mass moviegoers, TIFF, which only begs the question: Why? Last year after playing the fall film festival troika of Telluride-Venice-TIFF, Universal’s Ryan Gosling astronaut pic crashed to Earth with a $16M opening, $44.9M final domestic in what was a huge divide among critics (87% RT certified) and audiences (B+ CinemaScore).
Focus Features’ Downton Abbey which is on fire in pre-sales ahead of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is only estimated to open between $15M-$16M, which is solid for a period film, but it will be interesting to see if this goes higher. Older female moviegoers typically plan their strips to the movies, and there’s still 23 days left until this Michael Engler-directed feature adaptation of the award-winning British TV series opens.