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Weekend Estimates: Perfect Guy and The Visit Give Fall Season a Good Start

September 13th, 2015

The Visit

The movie business will make its best ever start to the Fall Season in dollar terms this weekend, thanks to a couple of openers that are handily out-performing expectations. The second weekend in September is traditionally the weakest of the year for the industry, with the combined box office for all movies in release only reaching $100 million on two previous occasions (2008 and 2013). This year will be the third time it’s happened, and final numbers will take 2015 comfortably past 2013’s record of $103.2 million (see complete rankings here). In terms of ticket sales, we’ll still fall short of 1999’s high mark of 15.1 million, but we should see a weekend in the top 5 by that measure too.

The two movies delivering the goods are The Perfect Guy and The Visit. The former will win the weekend with an estimated $26.7 million from just 2,221 theaters. That’s an impressive debut for a film with only mediocre reviews, but audiences are enjoying it and word-of-mouth appears to have been strong through the weekend. A total box office over $50 million and a nice profit is in prospect for the film, which didn’t cost much to make or market.

In second place, The Visit is enjoying excellent reviews by the recent standards of M. Night Shyamalan (although 62% positive hardly puts it in the running for Oscars), and a $25.7 million opening is in line with the director’s previous outing—After Earth—which was much more heavily marketed, and cost far more to make. Maybe Shyamalan can make a successful transition back to smaller films with bigger ideas?

The weekend’s other new wide(-ish) release, 90 Minutes in Heaven is barely making a dent, with a projected $2.16 million from 878 theaters. The faith-based drama is being over-shadowed by War Room, which will pick up $7.4 million in its third weekend, down 22% from last weekend (after remarkably falling only 7% from Friday-to-Friday).

In limited release, in an encouraging sign, four films will top $10,000 theater averages for the weekend. Sleeping with Other People will top the list with $103,000 expected from five locations. Meet the Patels is heading towards $75,000 or so from five venues, for an average of $15,000. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution will average $13,000 from three theaters in its second weekend; and, finally, the Chinese film Coming Home will pick up about $30,500 from three.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Visit, Gui lai, Sleeping with Other People, War Room, The Perfect Guy, Meet the Patels, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, 90 Minutes in Heaven, M. Night Shyamalan