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Weekend Predictions: Can Hitman Score a Hit? Or has Summer Split?

August 17th, 2017

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

There are a couple of new releases coming out in wide release: The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Logan Lucky. The two films have vastly different Tomatometer Scores, but similar box office potentials. Unfortunately, neither is expected to become a hit and there’s a chance whichever of them earns first place will do so with the lowest box office result of the year so far, currently held by Split’s third weekend of release. If the yearly low record isn’t broken this weekend, it will almost certainly be broken next weekend. This weekend last year, Suicide Squad earned first place with just over $20 million. This is more than any one film will make this weekend. Additionally, there were six films that earned $10 million or more last year, while there are only three that have a shot at that milestone this week. 2017 is going to lose to 2016 yet again.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is probably going to wind up in first place over the weekend, but it isn’t expected to do really well. Its reviews started out 50% positive, but have since fallen to just 36% positive. This is low enough that it will hurt ticket sales, especially during its opening weekend. On the positive side there’s almost no competition this weekend and it could win the box office race with barely more than $14 million. That said, $14 million isn’t a sure thing. Expectations range from $12 million to $18 million. Splitting the difference gives us $15 million, which will be enough for first place.

About half of the films that have opened in first place this summer have lost 60% or more during their second weekend of release. Annabelle: Creation is a horror film, which tend to be front-loaded, while its Tomatometer Score is 68% positive, which is not enough to overcome recent history. A 60% decline would leave it with $14 million over the weekend and I see no reason for this film to deviate from this number by any real margin.

Logan Lucky is earning stellar reviews and it is directed by Steven Soderbergh. The ensemble cast is impressive and there’s a chance this film could be a sleeper hit. On the negative side, the film is being self-distributed, sort of. He’s using Bleecker Street but he has a lot more control over theaters and marketing. If this works, then established auteurs could use this method more in the future, by-passing major studios. Unfortunately, the experimental nature of this release means there’s a lot of uncertainty here. I’ve seen predictions ranging from $8 million to $16 million. It could open in first place, but third place with $10 million is more likely.

Dunkirk should be next with just over $7 million during its fifth weekend of release. It is losing theaters at a healthy pace, so it won’t last in the top five for much longer.

The Nut Job: Nutty by Nature will round out the top five with just over $4 million. The film is earning terrible reviews and the summer hasn’t been kind to digitally animated sequels. The only positive factor is the lack of direct competition opening this weekend.

- The Hitman’s Bodyguard Comparisons
- Logan Lucky Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Dunkirk, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Annabelle: Creation, Logan Lucky, Steven Soderbergh