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Weekend Predictions: Will the New Releases Assassinate It? No.

September 15th, 2017

American Assassin

There are two wide releases debuting this week: American Assassin and mother! Neither is expected to match It at the box office. In fact, both combined won’t match It’s sophomore stint. Neither will earn as much in total as It does over just this weekend. This weekend last year, Sully led the way with $21.65 million, while the three new releases earned about $26 million combined. It should earn more than those four films earned combined, giving 2017 its second massive win in a row.

As of Thursday, It will have close to $160 million in the bank, putting it just outside the top 30 R-rated movies of all time. It will also be sixth biggest horror movie of all time, third biggest September release, and the biggest Stephen King release. Needless to say, it will quickly climb any chart it isn’t already at the top of. Granted, it will lose a large chunk of its opening weekend haul this weekend, because you can’t earn $123.4 million opening weekend and not lose a lot the second weekend. A drop-off of more than 60% is possible, but that would still leave the film with about $45 million. Anything above $50 million will be a major success. It does have a good shot at that mark, because its reviews are 85% positive, while it has a B plus from CinemaScore. Furthermore, the competition is not particularly strong. I think the film will get close to $50 million this weekend, but end up falling just short with $49 million.

American Assassin is a bog-standard action film that is earning mixed reviews. That said, there is no direct competition and it reportedly only cost $33 million to make, so it likely won’t bomb. Anything below $10 million will be seen as a failure. Anything above $15 will be seen as a success. I think the lower end is more likely than the higher end, so I’m going with $12 million over the weekend.

Paramount is releasing mother! in 2,368 theaters, which is a lot more than a film this strange would normally debut in. It is earning good reviews, but also polarizing reviews. There are some critics who love it, while others think it is pretentious. The latter suggests the average moviegoer won’t like it as much as the average critic and that could hurt its legs. Or the strange nature of the movie could get people talking. I’m hoping its the latter, but I fear it’s the former. Look for an opening weekend if just under $10 million, which isn’t a terrible start for a film that reportedly cost $30 million to make, but it will need long legs and a better run internationally to break even. That is possible, especially if the word-of-mouth is loud and at least a little positive. “This movie is bonkers. You have to check it out.” will be almost as good as actually positive word-of-mouth.

Home Again is looking to grab about $5 million this weekend. It’s going to start losing theaters, likely as early as next Friday, but it will match its production budget over the weekend and could finish with just over $25 million domestically. It will still need help internationally and / or on the home market to break even, but that’s not impossible at this point.

On the other hand, The Hitman’s Bodyguard has likely already broken even thanks to a $125 million worldwide run, so it doesn’t matter how much it makes over the weekend. That’s the good news, because it will only make about $2.5 million this weekend. The competition is so bad that this will still be enough to reach the top five.

- American Assassin Comparisons
- mother! Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, mother!, It, American Assassin, Home Again, Stephen King