Box-Office Preview: 'Rings' Challenges 'Split' in Super Bowl Weekend Horror Showdown
'Rings' revives the franchise after a 12-year absence from the big screen. Elsewhere, STX Entertainment opens 'The Space Between Us.'
Horror will be the headline at the Super Bowl weekend box office, where Paramount's threequel Rings takes on M. Night Shayamalan's holdover hit, Split.
Projections show both films grossing as much as $13 million to $14 million. Paramount is being more conservative, suggesting $10 million to $12 million for Rings.
The Super Bowl remains the most-watched televised event of the year, with moviegoing often taking a pummeling on game day. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, appealing to teenage girls, scored a touchdown of its own in 2008 when debuting to $31.1 million, which remains the top opening of all time for Super Bowl weekend.
Rings is the third installment in the popular psychological horror franchise about a cursed videotape that kills its viewers seven days later. The first film, The Ring, earned $249.3 million at the global box office in 2002, followed by The Ring Two with $162 million in 2005.
Directed by F. Javier Gutierrez, Rings, which cost $25 million to make, follows a young woman who grows worried about her boyfriend when he decides to explore the dark subculture surrounding the mysterious videotape. She sacrifices herself in hopes of saving him but makes a horrifying discovery: There is a movie within a movie. Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D'Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden and Bonnie Morgan star.
Aside from Rings, the only other film opening nationwide this weekend is director Peter Chelsom's The Space Between Us, the latest space epic from Hollywood that hopes to lure female audiences not so interested in the NFL championship game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
Starring Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson and Gary Oldman, The Space Between Us is tracking to debut in the $8 million-$10 million range. STX Entertainment minimized its financial exposure on the $30 million film via financial partners and selling off foreign rights.
Both Rings and The Space Between Us were originally set to debut in 2016 before being pushed back.