Box-Office Preview: 'The Predator' to Prey on 'The Nun' With $25M-$30M Bow
A slew of other movies are set to open, including Paul Feig's black comedy 'A Simple Favor' and 'White Boy Rick,' starring Matthew McConaughey.
The marquee will be jam-packed with a myriad of new offerings this weekend as the fall box office gets underway in earnest.
Shane Black's The Predator is expected to conquer the competition and win the frame ahead of holdover The Nun with a domestic debut in the $25 million-$32 million range from 4,027 theaters.
The Fox film marks Hollywood's latest attempt to revive a long-dormant franchise and opens more than 30 years after the first Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite military team fighting off menacing extra-terrestrials, hit the big screen. In the time since, there have been four other titles in the series, including two Predator-Alien pics.
This time out, Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown star as the Predator-battling gang.
It's not clear how badly Hurricane Florence will dent this weekend's box office. Nearly 20 theaters in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have already shuttered in advance of the storm.
It's likewise not clear whether The Predator will be hampered by the controversy that erupted last week when word broke that Fox cut a scene after Munn informed the studio that an actor and acquaintance of Black's with a small role in the movie, Steven Wilder Striegel, was a registered sex offender who had served six months in jail after pleading guilty to charges related to his pursuit of a 14-year-old girl. Fox said it was unaware of Striegel's criminal record. (The news hit just as The Predator made its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.)
New Line's The Nun, which debuted to a heavenly $53.8 million last weekend, could earn as much as $25 million in its second outing. That should easily be enough to top the three new movies opening alongside Predator, including Paul Feig's neo-noir-comedy, A Simple Favor.
Rolling out in more than 3,000 cinemas, Simple Favor, starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively and Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians fame, is tracking to bow in the $12 million-$15 million range for Lionsgate. The critically acclaimed film is a marked departure for Feig, the filmmaker behind such comedic romps as Bridesmaids.
A dark tale about toxic friendships and the underside of suburbia, Simple Favor follows a mommy vlogger (Kendrick) who tries to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend (Lively) with the help of her BFF's husband (Golding). What emerges is a tale of betrayal, secrets, revelations, love, loyalty, revenge and murder.
Matthew McConaughey also graces the big screen this weekend in filmmaker Yann Damange's White Boy Rick, one of the first titles from Jeff Robinov's Studio 8, which is positioning the film as an awards contender after premiering in Toronto.
Tracking suggests that the crime drama will gross $6 million-$10 million in its debut from upwards of 2,500 locations. Sony is releasing the film via its deal with Studio 8.
Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, White Boy Rick is based on the real-life story of the teenage son of a blue-collar father who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer before being abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison. Newcomer Richie Merritt stars opposite McConaughey.
The weekend's other new pic, Unbroken: A Path to Redemption, is targeting the faith-based crowd. The movie, released by Pure Flix and playing in roughly 1,600 locations, is considered a "spiritual" successor, or sequel, to Angelina Jolie and Universal's Unbroken, yet features none of the first film's cast and is directed by Harold Cronk (God's Not Dead).
The film draws from the second half of Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book, Unbroken, and recounts what happened when Louis Zamperini (Samuel Hunt) returns home after surviving 47 days on a life raft before being tortured for two years at a Japanese POW camp. The pic chronicles Zamperini's conversion to evangelical Christianity — which saves his marriage — after attending a famous Billy Graham revival. Will Graham portrays his late minister grandfather in the movie.
Sept. 14, 10:30 a.m. An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Universal's involvement with Unbroken: Path to Redemption. THR regrets the error.