Trying to forecast box office results in 2017 has not been an easy task. If there are any blue chips genres left, it would be superhero films and horror movies, proving that younger audiences are still the deciding factor these days. In the wake of IT’s gargantuan success, horror came through again this weekend with Universal/Blumhouse’s HAPPY DEATH DAY taking the number one spot away from BLADE RUNNER 2049. The PG-13 effort grossed a solid $26.5 million, which is more than five times its $4.8 million production costs.
Any hope that BLADE RUNNER 2049 might benefit from solid word-of-mouth and bounce back from its disappointing opening weekend disappeared as the sequel dropped more than 50%, adding only $15.1 million to a two-week domestic total of just over $60 million. It is doing better overseas with $98 million to date, but the profit margin looks to be increasingly further away.
Adding screens also help Fox’s THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US, which still declined by 46.5% and had to settle for a fifth place finish.
Jackie Chan returned to American movie screens with this first wide release in years and the results were better than expected. STX’s THE FOREIGNER brought in $12.8 million for a third-place finish, which is about $3 million above projections. Not surprisingly, given the storyline, the audience skewed older.
Results in the specialty market were rather disappointing. Open Road’s MARSHALL bowed on 821 screens for a so-so $3 million opening, while the very well-reviewed PROFESSOR MARSTEN AND THE WONDER WOMEN was another disappointment for Annapurna Pictures, bringing in a poor $727,000 on over 1200 screens.
The second half of October has a couple of promising titles (Tyler Perry’s BOO! sequel and SUBURBICON) as well a few also-rans (Warner’s long-delayed GEOSTORM and Universal’s THE SNOWMAN, currently bombing overseas) and a couple of maybes (JIGSAW, Lionsgate’s revival of their SAW horror series, and Sony’s firefighting thriller ONLY THE BRAVE).