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It's been nearly a decade since the dreadlocks-sporting aliens known as the Predators have been on the big screen, and this weekend they returned with a modest box office take. Early estimates suggest Shane Black's The Predator may not be a record for the franchise, but at the very least they are in the number one position on the Top 10. Check out the numbers in the chart below, and join me after for analysis.
|1.||The Predator*||$24,000,000||Total: $24,000,000||
|2.||The Nun||$18,200,000||Total: $85,076,325||
|3.||A Simple Favor*||$16,050,000||Total: $16,050,000||
|4.||White Boy Rick*||$8,800,000||Total: $8,800,000||
|5.||Crazy Rich Asians||$8,700,000||Total: $149,551,904||
|7.||The Meg||$3,805,000||Total: $137,087,190||
|9.||Unbroken: Path to Redemption*||$2,350,000||Total: $2,350,000||
|10.||Mission: Impossible - Fallout||$2,315,000||Total: $216,135,337||
It's still possible that The Predator could set an opening weekend high for the brand, as these numbers are unadjusted estimates, but right now it looks like the new movie is going to have to settle for second place behind Nimrod Antal's Predators from 2010, which pulled in $24.8 million in its first three days. It should be noted that this doesn't include the xenomorph crossovers, as Alien vs. Predator made $38.3 million back in 2004. All together it's not great when you consider that the estimates suggested that the new film would make between $25 and $50 million - which is a pretty big range to fall out of.
Given that Predator should be a standout brand for Fox, this performance probably won't elate the filmmakers or the studio. The movie was pushed around the release schedule (it was originally supposed to be released in February), and underwent heavy reshoots - neither of which helped in terms of buzz. It got a showy premiere with a midnight debut earlier this month at the Toronto Film Festival, but reviews haven't been overly kind, and, according to CinemaScore the audience response has been tepid (its received a "C+" grade). It will likely find its own cult audience in the years ahead, but ultimately it's reported $88 million budget before marketing is going to look high compared to what it makes domestically.
Taking some attention away from The Predator this weekend were three other new releases - though they were also kind of all over the map in terms of reception and box office takes. Paul Feig's A Simple Favor was definitely the film with the best reviews to hit theaters this weekend, and managed to hit eight figures and nab third place. Meanwhile, Yann Demange's White Boy Rick is on a path to make back its $29 million budget, after a fourth place start. As you can see, it wasn't an amazing Friday-to-Sunday for Hollywood, but at the very least they can all say that they did far better than Harold Cronk's Unbroken: Path to Redemption. The Christian-themed film made enough to get into the Top 10, but it also received the worst reviews of the fresh features; and while it was released in only about 1,600 screens, it also had a weak per-theater average.
All of that is a pretty big bummer to anyone who likes to see the film industry thrive, but things get even more depressing when you look at the numbers for Corin Hardy's The Nun. Everyone predicted that the Conjuring Universe title was going to experience a major second week drop-off, but it still hurts to see movie drop more than 66%. It's still going to make a massive amount of money, as its already made $228 million worldwide, but the big question mark at this point is how it's going to affect the next title in this growing franchise.
Coming up this week we have an eclectic slate of new releases, including Eli Roth's kid-friendly horror The House With A Clock In Its Walls; Jacques Audiard's western The Sisters Brothers; Reed Morano's thriller I Think We're Alone Now; and Dan Fogelman's Life Itself. They should do a nice job shaking up the Top 10, so be sure to return next Sunday to see how everything works out.