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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates: American IT

Weekend Estimates 2017-10-01 at 9.57.57 AM copy

Tom Cruise opened his movie, but It and Kingsman 2 apparently held too well for him to win the weekend in a tight three-way race, all three films estimating within $200k of one another. Only one film managed over $6000 per screen in the Top 25 for the weekend (Victoria & Abdul). Not pretty. All eyes now move to Blade Runner 2049, with solid tracking, but not at blockbuster level. Can that change with rave reviews?

And the ship keeps tossing in the bay.

Last year’s last-weekend-of-September openings, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Deepwater Horizon, wildly outpaced the American Made and Flatliners launches, $49 million to $24 million. The three big holdovers outpaced the ones last year, but not by a margin even close to the disparity in new opens.

Next weekend will slide the other way, with Blade Runner 2019 outdoing all three openers from last year and holdovers improving their position some.

But this constant measuring of one year vs the next is irrelevant. Yes, studios would love for everything to be up, Up, UP! But the endless hum of negativity is a load of crap. (If it bleeds, it leads.) But making the case for death and danger in the third weekend of a film that is already the biggest September grosser ever, but which will soon double the previous record, seems petulant.

There is nothing surprising about the mediocre openings for either American Made or Flatliners. Both were oddballs. Both a marketing hook that anyone, now or 5 years ago, might have found compelling. Miscasting in one. Working against type (Cruise in a wacky comedy that his character seems not to drive) in the other.

It’s pretty remarkable how much Kingsman 2 is moving like Kingsman, about a million off after two weekends. It should be about halfway to the original’s international result at the end of this weekend.

Lego Ninjago is as quiet a flop as it was an entry into the box office. But make no mistake, it is one of the most significant flops of the year… not because of how much it will lose, but because it continues and accelerates the franchise spiral.

Flipside… American Assassin may only gross $40m domestic, but that is a Top 5 film for CBS Films and the movie should be a moneymaker, all revenue streams considered.

Victoria & Abdul is the strongest player in limited right now and the only film on the entire chart to get over $10k per screen on more than a single screen. They are building a romance with a demo that means awards.

Battle of the Sexes is fading, with a nice weekend, but not a growth weekend.

Brad’s Status deserves better than it’s gotten. Not for everyone, but for more people than it’s found. Ben Stiller is having a career year as an actor, but now it’s up to the team behind The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) to make sure someone sees either performance.

Dunkirk may be gone from the chart next week… $187 million domestic is a sensational number for that film.

21 Responses to “Weekend Estimates: American IT”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    Please pardon the little rant. I just don’t get the love for Mike Flanagan. I listened to a recent interview he did with Mick Garris, and he seems like an incredibly nice, humble, and interesting guy. But I have downright hated every single movie of his I’ve seen. Oculus had me laughing from start to finish. Hush is just painfully slow and dumb after the killer takes his mask off 10 minutes in. Ouija 2 is generic and unintentionally funny by the end. And now Gerald’s Game. The leads are very good, but the movie did nothing for me. It’s dull and Jessie is too one-dimensional. It’s hard to care about her fate. There’s no tension and a few cheap scares. But all these movies seem generally well-received by horror fans and movie critics alike. I saw one Gerald’s Game review that calls the film a masterpiece and Flanagan a horror master. I just don’t get it and feel like I’m on crazy pills. OK rant over.

  2. Triple Option says:

    Saw Battle of the Sexes…meh. I mean it was OK just a little lighter than I expected. I wasn’t thinking it was going to expose the seedy underbelly of the world of the Virginia Slims tourney days. Just, idk, meh.

    Also saw Kingsman 2. I enjoyed the first more than I expected. This one wasn’t bad. One odd thing that surprised me was that Emily Watson didn’t even have a shared title card in the credits. I keep thinking she won the Academy Award for Breaking the Waves but only got a nomination. And then got a 2nd nom for Hilary & Jackie, (which I thought Rachel Griffiths was trophy worthy), so I was surprised a 2x nominee not get a shared card. It’s not a huge part. Maybe her agent wanted a single card or nothing??

    I thought American Assassin was sooo generic. Anyone think that kid, the lead, has any potential big star upside? I can’t remember his name and haven’t seen it popping up anywhere but I’d check out a movie or two just to see what he could do.

  3. cadavra says:

    Watson’s role is little more than a cameo, so she possibly decided to forego billing, which is not uncommon (cf. Nicholson in BROADCAST NEWS and Bill Murray in TOOTSIE).

  4. YancySkancy says:

    Triple Option: Dylan O’Brien broke out in MTV’s Teen Wolf series and starred in the Maze Runner movies. He was seriously injured while filming the third Maze Runner, which sidelined him for several months, but he managed to recuperate well enough to shoot American Assassin and finish Maze Runner. What little I’ve seen of him suggested star potential for sure, but I don’t know what’s up next for him.

  5. Charles Mayaki says:

    Re Triple Option:

    Dylan O’Brien is without a doubt the real deal.
    The guy definitely has got it.
    He’s going to find the role eventually that blows him beyond the teen audience.

  6. Chris says:

    High-voiced, boy-bandish Dylan O’Brien is “without a doubt the real deal.” Gotta disagree.

  7. Triple Option says:


    I thought I had seen him in something but couldn’t place what. I did see the first two Maze Runner films. I can’t really remember too much from them. I think I’m even confusing some characters from Chronicle, (which I know is nothing alike), in with them.

    I’d definitely believe O’Brien as the tormented, drugged out rock star or the ne’er do well bldg custodian who has to wing it as a Mktg VP or the govt’s best secret weapon abandoned in the field too long. Which he’s done, so scratch that off the list. I just wonder what do you do with him if you’re his reps? Do you try to get him in a Marvel type film at this point? Cuz I can think of two Supermans who you’d think would be household names at this point but aren’t. How big does his name need to be before he’s toplining a July 4th sized tent pole? That dude from John Carter wasn’t known before JC but the problem is he’s not known after.

    Ehh, I guess if he’s good, he’ll rise regardless.

  8. Nick Rogers says:

    “That dude from John Carter wasn’t known before JC …”

    He was the beloved bad-boy heartthrob on “Friday Night Lights” for five seasons — and appeared in an “X-Men” movie — before “John Carter” came out. Plenty of people knew who Taylor Kitsch was.

  9. Pete B says:

    ^Just not enough people to make him a bankable star.

  10. Filipe says:

    Triple Option, O’Brien also played the young guy who team up with Whalberg to try to contain the disaster in Deepwater Horizon, maybe you remembered him from that.

  11. Nick Rogers says:

    Pete B: True that, but that’s a distinction left unsaid in “not known.”

  12. Pete B says:

    Nick, sorry it that came off as snarky. I was referring to the fact that Friday Night Lights struggled in ratings, getting bumped off NBC even though it had a fervent fan base. Kitsch had his shot at stardom with two big budget movies (John Carter and Battleship) in addition to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    Sad thing is, I didn’t think John Carter was that overly terrible. I kept expecting a Director’s Cut to come out as it seemed the theater version had been severely edited. {Now Battleship, Origins, and True Detective Season 2… ugh.}

  13. Spacesheik says:

    Kitsch was actually quite brilliant in S2.of TRUE DETECTIVE but he cant get a break.

    I saw AMERICAN MADE at the Empire cinema in London end of August (it opened a month earlier in Europe) and found it to be Tom Cruise’s most winning performance since JERRY MACGUIRE – however the flick is NARCOS light, not gritty enough but he was great though.

  14. Nick Rogers says:

    Pete: No worries. I know Kitsch’s stuff burned no barns, but I did hope he wouldn’t be relegated to bench stuff like “American Assassin” seems to be (haven’t yet seen it). Big fan of “John Carter” myself, and I’m actually going to bat for “Battleship” as well, in that it’s reminiscent to me of “Con Air” as a knowingly ludicrous action movie joke that everyone involved is in on.

  15. Mike says:

    Kitsch is supposed to be really good in the upcoming Branch Davidians miniseries. The ads are spooky.

  16. Stella's Boy says:

    That series looks really good. And what a cast.

  17. Mike says:

    Just don’t check out any user comments on it, as all the right-wing nutjobs come out and say that the series is propaganda for the federal government and the Davidians were actually heroes.

  18. Doug R says:

    Eagerly awaiting a thread on the NYT reporting on Harvey Weinstein.

  19. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah. It’s finally caught up to Harvey. Good going, Academy. How you feeling about that fucking The Artist Oscar? THAT’S RIGHT! I AM STILL ANNOYED! I AM JUST A MAN!

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    With “allies” like Harvey Weinstein, Tim League, and Joss Whedon, who needs enemies?

  21. Ray Pride says:

    Variety chose not to moderate comments on their reporting on the reporting yesterday… what an actionable cesspool that quickly became.

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