With October quickly approaching, a slew of highly-anticipated releases such as Venom, A Star is Born, Halloween will undoubtedly bring in a huge crowd of excited moviegoers. However, the last weekend of September has arrived, and it's not a slot typical of moneymakers. But based on late previews last night, comedy Night School starring Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart could make a lot more during its opening weekend than originally expected. After scoring $1.35 million in 2,500 theaters on Thursday night, Night School is anticipated to open at #1 with $32 million in earnings.
While Universal originally projected an opening at around $25 million for Night School, Box Office Mojo projects the numbers will be much higher based on these earnings. Night School cost $29 million to produce, so if it breaks $30 million this weekend as projected, it will break even in its first weekend, putting it in a good position to continue to earn as bigger releases debut in the succeeding weeks. The film is currently pacing ahead of past movies starring the comedians such as Central Intelligence, Girls Trip and Think Like a Man Too, which each opened at around $30 million as well.
Night School stars two of the hottest comedic actors at the moment who have seen explosive box office success in the past year. Kevin Hart has been an appealing on-screen name throughout the decade. He recently saw his highest-grossing entry with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle alongside Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, which made $404 million domestically. On the other hand, Tiffany Haddish only recently became a household name with her breakout role in last summer's Girls Trip which earned $115 million domestically with a small budget of $19 million. Night School reunites Haddish with Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee in her first leading role since then.
The comedy follows Kevin Hart as a failed salesperson hoping to change his career path by getting his GED and becoming a stockbroker. Enter, Tiffany Haddish, an unorthodox night school teacher who Hart must learn from if he and his class of high school dropouts want to pass the test. Early reviews for Night School have not been kind, as CinemaBlend's Mike Reyes calling it a "comedy that is higher than lazy or paint-by-numbers," along with a current Rotten Tomato meter of 27%. However, for huge fans of Hart and Haddish, seeing the two together in a film looks like it could be enough to draw in a decent opening for the comedy.
Night School opens today alongside other wide releases like the family-friendly Yeti film, Smallfoot and the teen horror film Hell Fest, It is expected to win the weekend with a $32 million release based on projections, but surprises are certainly always possible. For more upcoming releases for the end of 2018, check out our 2018 release calendar.