Predator as a franchise has been pretty successful at the box office, but the brand new installment might leave them all in the dust. The current box office estimates are that The Predator will see an opening weekend total of somewhere between $25 and $50 million. Even at the low-end estimate, a $25 million opening weekend will be the best in franchise history, sneaking ahead of 2010's Predators which currently holds the record.
Technically, Alien vs. Predator has the best opening weekend of all movies that have Predators in them, as it scored an opening weekend just short of $40 million, but not everybody would count those as part of the main Predator franchise. Regardless, if The Predator is able to bring in a box office on the high side of the estimates Variety is reporting, then the new film could set the record for the wider franchise as well.
These estimates also indicate that The Predator will likely take the top spot at the box office this weekend, though if it does come in at the low end of expectations, it could have a serious battle with the second weekend of The Nun, which saw the best opening for a Conjuring franchise movie last weekend and is expected to do another $20 to $26 million this weekend.
A franchise-record opening weekend is certainly a good start for The Predator. The other thing going for the film is that there really isn't another studio tentpole release coming for the next couple of weeks, meaning that The Predator will be in a good position to rake in some box office dollars, assuming that the audience wants to throw money at it. We're hitting a point in the release calendar where the big budget movies take a bit of a break, at least until we get closer to the holiday season. Venom will hit theaters in early October but that's the next wide release movie that is likely to put up big box office numbers.
The response to the film's premiere was mixed, and most of the official reviews have been negative, so it's hard to guess how the audience will respond. The audience and the critics are at odds frequently, so the generally negative response isn't a definite indication of anything. We could very easily see The Predator do $50 million, or even exceed those expectations if the audience has been waiting for a movie like this.
The Predator opens for preview screenings this evening before hitting wide release tomorrow. By Sunday we'll have an idea just how the movie did. If it does well, expect talk about the next Predator movie to follow shortly after.