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Weekend Estimates: Kingsman Circles $39 Million

September 24th, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

The fine line between mere popularity and capturing the zeitgeist (or going viral, to use a slightly more up-to-date term) is shown in this weekend’s box office results. Kingsman: The Golden Circle, a decently-reviewed sequel to a very popular franchise-starter, will pick up a very respectable $39 million this weekend. That’s a shade better than the original film made on its opening weekend, and a pretty satisfying result for all concerned. With good business expected overseas (we don’t have an official estimate yet), the film should cruise to profitability overall, and will most likely top $100 million domestically. It would also have counted as the fourth-best opening weekend in September, were it not for the behemoth zeitgeist-capturer, It.

The compounding effects of good buzz for films can now produce these kind of extreme results. At the beginning of the month, It was already tracking ahead of Golden Circle, but no-one should have been particularly surprised if both films had opened around $50 million. Instead, It broke out to $123 million on debut, and Kingsman will post less than a third of that. This kind of extreme uncertainty makes for a challenging environment for studio executives, to be sure, especially when most studios are cutting back on releases. If one in twenty films is going to break out like that, and you’re only releasing 10–12 films a year, then it’s easy to go two or three years without a monster surprise hit, and few people can survive at the top for that long without getting the boot—perhaps through no fault of their own.

A case in point is the performance of Warner Bros.’ second release of the month: The Lego Ninjago Movie. It will open with a disappointing $21.2 milion or so—far below the $69 million earned by The Lego Movie, and $53 million posted by The Lego Batman Movie on their opening weekends. Is this franchise fatigue (it is, after all, only seven months since Lego Batman), or just a tough marketing job (what is this “Ninjago” you speak of?)? Either way, WB will be nurturing this brand going forwards, rather than trying to cash in with as many spin-offs as they can muster.

This weekend’s other wide opener, Friend Request, will come in with an estimated $2.4 million, about on par with relatively low expectations, but not an out-and-out failure. It seems like a film that will have a future on video.

Several limited releases are looking at bright futures in theaters. Stronger will post a $1.75 million opening weekend from 574 locations. Its $3,049 theater average suggests it won’t expand hugely, but it could hold on well. Battle of the Sexes is having perhaps the best weekend among new limited releases, with Fox Searchlight anticipating a $525,000 weekend from 21 movie houses, at an average of $25,000 each. Victoria and Abdul has a better average ($37,750), but is playing in just four venues, which makes achieving a high average a little easier. Its total of $151,000 this weekend points towards a rosy future over the next few months as it does the art-house tour.

Finally, an honorable mention goes to Unrest, which is expected to earn $10,700 from a single theater. The documentary about the director’s personal experience with a mysterious illness, and the community she found of fellow-sufferers is playing in New York’s IFC Center this weekend, and will expand into Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chicago next weekend.

- Weekend estimates

- Kingsman: The Golden Circle Comparisons
- The Lego Ninjago Movie Comparisons
- Friend Request Comparisons
- It Comparisons
- American Assassin Comparisons
- Home Again Comparisons
- mother! Comparisons
- The Hitman’s Bodyguard comparison chart

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Lego Ninjago Movie, Stronger, Battle of the Sexes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Friend Request, It, Victoria and Abdul, Unrest