6:40am PT by Pamela McClintock
Box-Office Preview: 'Rampage' Aims to Cause Havoc for 'Quiet Place,' 'Truth or Dare'
Fresh off the box-office success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Dwayne Johnson is back in theaters this weekend in Rampage, playing a primatologist whose beloved pal — a silverback gorilla — is transformed into a giant menace as the result of a genetic experiment.
Rampage, from New Line and Warner Bros., should top the U.S. chart between $35 million and $40 million, enough to fend off holdover A Quiet Place and new horror film Truth or Dare.
Paramount's A Quiet Place is something of a wild card after opening to a rousing $50 million last weekend and could earn as much as $25 million to $30 million in its second weekend. The film has done brisk midweek business, grossing nearly $60 million through Tuesday.
A Quiet Place cost a modest $17 million to produce, while Rampage cost at least $115 million to $120 million. New Line is counting on Rampage, an adaptation of the video game of the same name, to be a formidable player overseas, where it bows in almost every major market timed to its U.S. launch, including China.
Rampage reunites Johnson with his San Andreas director, Brad Peyton. The story follows Johnson's character as he teams with a discredited genetic engineer (Naomie Harris) to stop the gorilla, along with a mutated wolf and crocodile, from destroying the U.S. The movie currently sports a 45 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A Quiet Place, a high-concept horror pic directed by John Krasinski, poses direct competition for Truth or Dare, the latest microbudgeted collaboration from Universal and Blumhouse. Tracking suggests the film will open in the mid-teen millions.
The supernatural thriller — hitting theaters on Friday the 13th — revolves around a group of spring breakers who play an innocent game of Truth or Dare that turns deadly. Directed by Jeff Wadlow, the film stars Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey.
Universal and Blumhouse screened Truth or Dare on some 50 college campuses across the country and used its television spots to target younger females. The film's Rotten Tomatoes score currently resides at 30 percent.
Bleecker Street's Middle East political thriller Beirut, starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike, also opens nationwide this weekend, albeit in a modest 754 theaters. Previously titled High Wire Act, the film centers on a top U.S. diplomat (Hamm) who leaves Lebanon in the 1970s after his wife is killed. Ten years later, he is called back to the war-torn city by CIA operatives (Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris) to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind. Bard Anderson directed from a script by Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Legacy).
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero also opens nationwide, but expectations for the indie animated film are nominal and it may not clear more than a few million dollars.
New offerings at the specialty box office include Neon's tennis biographical drama Borg vs. McEnroe, starring Shia LaBeouf as bad-boy tennis champ John McEnroe, and Sony Classic Pictures' The Rider. Elsewhere, Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs expands nationwide in its third weekend (the Fox Searchlight title has grossed roughly $13 million to date).