KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE emerged victorious this weekend, somewhat surprisingly considering the solid performances of the previous two Lego movies. However, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE seriously underperformed with only $21.2 million, a surprisingly weak start to what had been a solid franchise up to the point. It also failed to garner the strong critical response the previous two films enjoyed. That total was only good enough for third place, behind the same studio’s IT, which held firm with a strong third weekend of $30 million. It is now the highest grossing horror film ever, not counting for inflation.
Although it did not quite hit expectations, 20th Century Fox’s KINGSMAN sequel still held its own with a very good $39 million, a slight improvement over its forerunner’s opening frame. Critics also did not care so much for this one, though that does not seem to have had any notable impact thus far.
AMERICAN ASSASSIN, from Lionsgate and CBS films, fell 58%, but still managed to get fourth place, with THE Reese Witherspoon vehicle HOME AGAIN taking fifth with a mediocre $3.3 million.
Although horror has been a strong draw this year, it is clear that not every genre offering is resonating with audiences. Entertainment Studios had a surprise hit with their first release, 47 METERS DOWN, but lightning did not strike twice with the teen chiller FRIEND REQUEST. Long-delayed (it opened in Europe 18 months ago), the picture did not find very many takers this weekend, grossing a limp $2.4 million for seventh place, an average of less than $1000 per screen.
Roadside Attractions’ Boston Marathon bombing drama STRONGER had a solid debut in limited release with $1.7 million gross and a 9th place showing. Fox Searchlight’s BATTLE OF THE SEXES only debuted on 21 screens, but enjoyed a per screen average of $25,000. It will gradually expand wider over the coming weeks.