Box Office: 'Good Boys' Heads for $21M First-Place Finish

Good Boys Still 5 - Universal Studios Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Universal Studios

The pic is the first R-rated comedy to come in No. 1 in more than three years.

Universal's Good Boys is headed for a better-than-expected $21 million debut at the North American box office after grossing a boisterous $8.3 million on Friday.

It marks the first time that an R-rated comedy has come in No. 1 since The Boss in April 2016. To boot, the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-produced pic is on course to score the best opening of the year for any original comedy in a much-needed win for the genre.

Friday's haul of $8 million includes $2.1 million in Thursday previews.

The film follows a trio of 12-year-old boys who will do anything to gain admittance to a kissing party. Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon star, with Gene Stupnitsky helming in his feature directorial debut.

Universal will also take second place with holdover Hobbs & Shaw, which is expected to earn $14 million in its third weekend as it revs past the $400 million mark gobally. And on Friday, Universal crossed the $1 billion mark in 2019 domestic ticket sales, becoming the only major Hollywood studio to do so behind Disney. 

Heading into the weekend, Good Boys was pacing to launch with $12 million-$15 million.

The outlook for the weekend's four other new wide releases isn't good.

Sony and Rovio Entertainment's animated family film The Angry Birds Movie 2 is now projected to earn $8 million-$9 million for the weekend, well behind expectations. The pic took flight on Tuesday in order to get a jump on the action, earning $5.7 million through Thursday for an anticipated six-day debut of $15 million.

Indie shark pic 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is on course for a debut in the $7 million-$8 million range (tracking had anticipated a $9 million-$12 million start). The sequel, from Entertainment Studios and once again directed by Johannes Roberts, opens two years after the first film bit off $11.2 million in its debut, on its way to earning a strong $44 million domestically. Uncaged grossed $3.2 million on Friday.

New Line's Blinded by the Light and Annapurna's Where'd You Go, Bernadette are in even worse shape, and may only open to $4 million each, becoming the latest adult-skewing, wide-release summer titles to misfire. (Exceptions include Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Yesterday.)

Directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Blinded by the Light is a coming-of-age tale about a British teen born to Pakistani immigrants whose life changes when he falls in love with Bruce Springsteen's music. Newcomer Viveik Kalra stars. In an unusual move, New Line acquired the film out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival at a price tag of $15 million or more (the studio label isn't generally in the business of making festival acquisitions). It earned $1.4 million on Friday.

Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchett, is filmmaker Richard Linklater's adaptation of the 2012 comic novel about an agoraphobic Seattle housewife and once-brilliant architect who goes missing. The indie film, grossing $1.2 million on Friday, marks the latest disappointment for Megan Ellison's Annapurna.

In terms of CinemaScore grades, Good Boys and Angry Birds 2 earned a B+; Where'd You Go, Bernadette, a B; Uncaged, a C+ and Blinded by the Light, an A-.

1:45 p.m., Aug 16: Updated with revised weekend estimates.
8 a.m., Aug 17: Updated with revised weekend estimates.