When an elite crime squad’s lead detective investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit, the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.
October 12th, 2017 (Wide)
R for grisly images, violence, some language, sexuality and brief nudity. (Rating bulletin 2495 (Cert #50560), 9/27/2017)
It was a terrible weekend at the box office with only two films cracking $10 million, Jigsaw and Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween. Geostorm earned third place with just $5.90 million. Overall, the box office fell 21% from last weekend to just $75 million. More importantly, this is 15% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2017 continues to struggle with a running tally of $8.57 billion. This is $470 million or $5.2% below last year’s pace, meaning we fell behind last year’s pace by a further 0.2 percentage points. The box office really needed to be eating into the deficit during the month of October, but that hasn’t been the case.
Jigsaw earned $1.6 million during its midnight previews last night. Happy Death Day earned an even $1 million during its previews on its way to a $26 million opening. However, there are many factors that will result in shorter legs. For instance, Happy Death Day earned betterreviews, while Jigsaw is the latest installment in a long-running franchise. Finally, Happy Death Day’s target audience skewed female, while Jigsaw skews male and men are more likely to rush out to see a movie than women are. That said, this is a great start and the film should easily top our prediction with at least $20 million during its opening weekend.
The weekend box office was weaker than expected with only one of the new releases topping predictions. Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween wasn’t that one film, but it still led the way with $21.23 million. The only other film to top $10 million was Geostorm with $13.71 million, but it lived up to its disaster genre due to its $100 million production budget. Overall, the box office fell 6.5% from last week to $95 million. That decline is positively glowing compared to the year-over-year comparison. Compared to this weekend last year, 2017 was down 25%. Year-to-date, 2017 is now behind last year’s pace by 5.0% or $440 million at $8.46 billion to $8.90 billion. Unless November and December are stellar, there’s no way 2017 is going to catch up to 2017.
Boo! 2 is arguably slightly under-performing this weekend, with Lionsgate projecting a weekend total of $21.6 million as of Sunday morning, a figure that is down about $7 million from the debut of Boo! A Madea Halloween. But, in the bigger picture, it represents the continuation of a remarkable run for the Madea franchise that stretches now to eight films, all but one of which have opened with more than $20 million, and which have all topped $50 million, so far. Boo! 2 will be helped by Halloween, which should be just enough to take it over $50 million, and put the franchise close to $500 million at the box office. The only other comedy franchises with close to this longevity at the box office are The Pink Panther, and The Muppets, although neither of those have relied on a single actor (take a bow, Tyler Perry) for the entirety of their run.
As expected, Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween led the way on Friday with $7.37 million. Granted, its reviews are terrible, as its Tomatometer Score has fallen into the single-digit range. On the other hand, it earned a A minus from CinemaScore, which is the same score its predecessor earned. If this film has the same legs as the original did, then it will earn $22.4 million during the opening weekend. However, it is a sequel, so it will likely miss that mark with about $22 million. That’s approximately 10% below our prediction, so I’m happy with that result. It is also likely more than the film cost to make, so Lionsgate should also be happy.
There are five films opening wide or semi-wide this week, but only one of them, Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, has a real shot at top spot. The best-reviewed new release of the week is Only the Brave, while the Geostorm is the widest release. Then there are the two semi-wide releases, The Snowman and Same Kind of Different as Me. Because there are so many new releases coming out this week, one or two of them are practically guaranteed to slip between the cracks. This weekend last year, the box office was led by the original Boo! with $28.50 million, while the new releases made just over $70 million combined. That seems out of reach for this year’s crop, so 2017 will likely lose in the year-over-year comparison.
September destroyed the previous September monthly record for total box office take, with $800 million or so (we won’t know the exact figure until after the weekend), which tops 2016’s record of $616 million. Granted, this is almost entirely due to It’s record breaking run, and the rest of the month was merely average. Kingsman: The Golden Circle was the only other film to come close to $100 million. October doesn’t look any better, as far as depth is concerned. Blade Runner 2049 is widely expected to be the biggest hit of the month, but it is the only film expected to reach $100 million domestically. Boo 2 should be the second biggest hit of the month, while there are only a couple of other films that have a shot at $50 million. Part of the problem is the level of competition, as there are 16 films opening during the four October weekends. (Needless to say, some of the predictions below will be a little short, as there’s not much to say about a film that will barely open in the top ten and disappear two weeks later.) That’s way too many and most will be buried by the competition. Last October was a flop, as no film earned more than $100 million at the box office. There were a few films that came close, including the original Boo! movie. As long as Blade Runner 2049 matches expectations, 2017 should win the year-over-year comparison by a small margin. If we get one surprise hit, then 2017 has a real shot at closing the gap with 2016 by a significant margin. I choose to be cautiously optimistic.
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