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Weekend Predictions: Will the New Releases Earn Gold?

September 21st, 2017

The Lego Ninjago Movie

There are three wide releases coming out this week, which is one more than anticipated. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is widely expected to earn first place during the weekend, but The Lego Ninjago Movie is widely expected to have longer legs and that could give it the win overall. Meanwhile, Friend Request is just hoping to earn a spot in the top five. It’s not a sure bet that it will. Meanwhile, It will relinquish first spot and fall to third place, but still earn a ton of money. This weekend last year, the one-two punch of The Magnificent Seven and Storks helped the overall box office pull in $104 million. The top three films this year should earn more than that, to give 2017 another win. It will still take a lot to recover, but this result at least makes that possible.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service. The earlier film earned 74% positive reviews and nearly $130 million domestically. Unfortunately, The Golden Circle is earning weaker reviews, so that will likely hurt its box office chances. The reviews are not bad, but merely mixed. It should start out faster, but have shorter legs. It should still improve at the box office, perhaps earning more than $150 million domestically. That’s a little too bullish for my tastes. I’m going with an opening weekend of just under $50 million and a solid first place.

The Lego Ninjago Movie is the third film in the Lego pseudo-franchise, but it is not earning the same reviews as the first two films earned. The LEGO Movie and The Lego Batman Movie both earned reviews that were over 90% positive. This film’s reviews started out in the 65% positive range, which is a large drop-off, but still great for this time of year. At the time of writing this, the reviews have fallen to just 48% positive. It should still do relatively well at the box office, as family films tend to be critic-proof. It will still be hurt a bit with an opening weekend of $35 million. I was hoping for $40 million, which is still possible, but unlikely.

It has to deal with stronger competition and that will push its weekend haul to $30 million. This would have been a solid opening weekend for a film that cost $35 million. It's mind-blowing for a third weekend. At this pace, it will hit $300 million before the end of the first weekend of October. Again, if it earned $300 million worldwide, it would have been considered a massive success. As it is, it is one of the most profitable mid-budget films of all time.

American Assassin has to deal with somewhat direct competition. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is more of an action comedy, while this film takes itself far too seriously. Look for $7 million over the weekend, putting it on pace to top its $33 million production budget early in October. If it can find a similar audience internationally, then it will break even sooner rather than later.

I wasn’t 100% sure Friend Request would open wide; in fact, I thought its chances were so low I skipped talking about it in the Monthly Preview. Turns out I was wrong. This is good news, as horror films almost never do well in limited release. Unfortunately, there’s more bad news than good news. The reviews are 33% positive and it has to deal with massive competition. It should still earn a spot in the top five, with about $5 million. Its chance of avoiding the Mendoza Line is 50/50 at this point.

Finally we have mother!, which should be right behind with $4 million over the weekend for a total of $14 million after two weeks of release. At this point, its only chance to break even is to become a big hit internationally, or a cult classic on the home market.

- Kingsman: The Golden Circle Comparisons
- The Lego Ninjago Movie Comparisons
- Friend Request Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Lego Ninjago Movie, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Friend Request, mother!, It, American Assassin, Lego