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Weekend Estimates: Girl on Train Pulls Out of Station with $24.6 Million

October 9th, 2016

The Girl on the Train

New releases are battling headwinds to make progress at the box office this weekend. The current political frenzy, and the lingering effects of Hurricane Matthew have both dragged down ticket sales, but one film has come out relatively unscathed. Going into the weekend, we had The Girl on the Train pegged at a $27 million opening. In the event, it will start with $24.7 million, according to Universal’s Sunday morning projection. Things are less rosy for the other two debutants.

The Birth of a Nation started out the year as the darling of Sundance, and commanded a record-breaking $17.5 million price tag. Assuming at least that much has been spent on marketing the film, Fox Searchlight is looking at a pretty big hole right now, with the film opening to a mediocre $7.1 million. Especially troubling is the $3,373 theater average, which makes it unlikely the film will get much of an expansion. Good word of mouth, a more mature target demographic, and some awards buzz could give it second and third chances, but it’s hard to find a film that opened like this and was still earning good money come January.

This weekend’s piece of counterprogramming, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, is also struggling, with $6.9 million expected over three days. It will be helped a bit by the Columbus Day holiday tomorrow, and by the relatively small number of choices for the younger set right now. Getting an A- CinemaScore doesn’t hurt either.

In limited release, Operation Mekong had a very interesting weekend. Distributor Well Go USA is expecting a $175,000 weekend from 16 locations—more than double the film’s earnings last weekend, even though it’s playing in nine fewer locations. The distributor reports that some theaters saw their grosses double, triple, or even quadruple from last weekend, which they attribute to word of mouth. The film has already earned $85.7 million in China, and it looks as though it will have a good run here, an impressive run for the distributor over the past couple of years.

On the international front, Finding Dory became the 27th film in history to pass $1 billion at the global box office, and the third Disney film released this year to do so.

- Weekend estimates

- The Girl on the Train comparison chart
- The Birth of a Nation comparison chart
- Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life comparison chart
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children comparison chart
- Deepwater Horizon comparison chart

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Birth of a Nation, The Girl on the Train, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, Operation Mekong