Weekend Box Office: 'The Predator' No. 1 With Ho-Hum $24M Opening
Matthew McConaughey-starrer 'White Boy Rick' also debuts to subdued numbers, while Paul Feig's black comedy 'A Simple Favor' beats the odds.
Shane Black's reboot The Predator led a ho-hum weekend at the North American box office with $24 million, enough to top the chart but coming in behind expectations.
Overseas, the $88 million Fox movie opened to an even more disappointing $30.7 million from 72 markets for a lackluster global start of $54.7 million.
Playing in 4,037 theaters domestically — the fifth widest release in history for an R-rated title — the male-fueled, sci-fi action pic was dinged by lousy reviews and a C+ CinemaScore. Heading into the weekend, tracking showed the film earning $30 million or more, well ahead of Predators in 2010 ($24.8 million), not adjusted for inflation.
The Predator, which premiered earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, was also the subject of controversy in the final days before its launch when star Olivia Munn revealed Fox had cut a scene after she 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.
Box-office observers don't believe the headlines had any impact on the film, which skewed heavily male (62 percent) and older. "I think it changed the mind of anyone who was predestined to go," says Chris Aronson, domestic distribution president for Fox.
Black's film opened more than 30 years after the first Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite military team fighting off a menacing extraterrestrial, hit the big screen. This time out, Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown star as the Predator-battling gang.
New Line's The Nun came in No. 2 after falling a steep 66 percent to $18.2 million from 3,876 locations in its second outing. That's the biggest drop of any title in the Conjuring universe of films.
Regardless, The Nun is a big win for New Line and parent studio Warner Bros., considering its modest budget of $22 million. Overseas, it beat The Predator with $33.1 million from 62 markets in its sophomore weekend for a foreign total of $143.6 million and $228.7 million globally (its domestic cume through Sunday is $85.1 million).
Coming in third in North America was Paul Feig's new neo-noir comedy A Simple Favor, a bright spot on the weekend in beating expectations with $16.1 million from 3,201 locations. Starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively and Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians fame, the Lionsgate release is a marked departure for Feig, the filmmaker behind such comedic romps as Bridesmaids.
Overseas, Simple Favor opened in its first 28 markets, earning $3.5 million for a global start of $19.6 million.
A dark tale about toxic friendships and the underside of suburbia, the film follows a mommy vlogger (Kendrick) who tries to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend with the help of her BFF's husband. What emerges is a tale of betrayal, secrets, revelations, love, loyalty, revenge and murder. Critics have embraced the black comedy; audiences were less enthusiastic, giving it a B+ CinemaScore.
Jon M. Chu and Warner Bros.' groundbreaking Crazy Rich Asians found itself in a close battle for fourth place with Yann Demange's new crime drama, White Boy Rick. The exact order won't be determined until Monday when final weekend numbers are tallied. Sony is estimating $8.8 million for White Boy Rick from 2,504 locations, while Crazy Rich Asians took in an estimated $8.7 million from 3,385 cinemas.
Crazy Rich Asians finished the frame with a domestic tally of $149.5 million — the best showing for a Hollywood studio romantic comedy in nine years — and $187.4 million globally.
White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey and newcomer Richie Merritt, is based on the real-life tale of a father and son caught up in the crack cocaine epidemic of 1980s Detroit when the son is forced to turn government informant and deal drugs. He's later abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.
The movie premiered in Toronto in hopes of becoming an awards contender, and is one of the titles from Jeff Robinov's Studio 8. Critics haven't warmed to the crime drama, while its CinemaScore is a lackluster B. Sony is releasing the film via its deal with Robinov's shop.
The weekend's other new nationwide offering, Unbroken: A Path to Redemption, limped to a ninth-place finish with $2.4 million from 1,602 theaters. The movie is a "spiritual" successor to Angelina Jolie and Universal's Unbroken. Faith-based distributor Pure Flix is in charge of the film's release.
Path to Redemption draws from the second half of Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book Unbroken and recounts what happened when Louis Zamperini (Samuel Hunt) returned home after surviving 47 days on a life raft only to be captured and 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 Billy Graham revival. Will Graham portrays his late minister grandfather in the movie.
Elsewhere, Paramount's Mission: impossible — Fallout became the top-grossing title in the franchise domestically after finishing up Sunday with $216.1 million, not adjusted for inflation. Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) was the previous record holder ($215 million). Fallout has already achieved the same feat globally, where it has now earned $760.9 million.
Among new entries at the U.S. specialty box office, Lizzie, starring Chloe Sevigny as the infamous Lizzie Borden and Kristen Stewart as Borden's maid, posted a location average of $12,474 upon opening in four cinemas, while the horror pic Mandy, toplined by Nicolas Cage, failed to scare up much business, grossing roughly $250,000 from 92 locations. Both films debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival.