Weekend Box Office Predictions: American Made & Flatliners Duke It Out
The ultimate battle: Tom Cruise vs. Ellen Page.
This September has been an interesting one, at the very least – we’ve seen a Stephen King adaptation perform as a blockbuster, a British spy sequel that doesn’t involve James Bond doing well, a Darren Aronofksy/Jennifer Lawrence movie bombing, a Lego flick disappointing, and so on and so forth. It sure as hell beats last month’s “what movie will bomb this week?” spin wheel. This weekend we’ll see three new nationwide releases: Doug Liman’s Tom Cruise-starrer American Made, Niels Arden Oplev’s Flatliners remake, and Kevan Otto’s A Question of Faith. Predictions are below.
A Question of Faith (Pure Flix)
It’s safe to assume we all know what kind of film this is (that isn’t a negative connotation, just to clarify). Pure Flix’s A Question of Faith appeals to Christian audiences whereas everybody else need not apply. It’s not a bad business model, really. Quite a few movies have hit the mother lode with this demographic (e.g., Alex Kendrick’s War Room made $67.79 million off a $3 million budget), although A Question of Faith isn’t shaping up to enter that club. It has a lesser theatre count (661) than last month’s All Saints (846), doesn’t have the backing of a prolific studio (Pure Flix’s highest-grossing film is last year’s God’s Not Dead 2 with $20.77m), doesn’t have a well-known name in its corner, and its premise comes off as fodder for these flicks.
There are no metrics with which to measure A Question of Faith’s reception as of this writing. I can’t imagine this doing much better than All Saints, but you never know with this genre.
Prediction: $1.1 million, #11 rank
American Made (Universal)
Tom Cruise stars in American Made, based on the true story of Barry Seal, whose actions are legion and quite interesting. This movie’s right in Cruise’s wheelhouse – actioner with a sense of humour and heft. Unfortunately for Cruise, he’s not the glowing movie star he once was (financially, anyway; I can’t speak for the man’s skin). Cruise’s last action movie released in the autumn was 2016’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which debuted with an okay $22.87m on its way to a $58.7m total.
Notices for American Made have been positive; the film sports an 85% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.3/10 on IMDb from >15,000 scores. The saturation of action movies this month is the factor that’ll really work against American Made. In the past two weeks alone we’ve gotten American Assassin and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Universal themselves are projecting an opening in the mid-to-high teens. I’m positive this movie could’ve played well in August, but alas. American Made should still be fine relative to its $50m production cost, but there might have been a missed opportunity here.
Prediction: $17 million, #2 rank
After Warner Bros./New Line’s IT pummeled box office records, two horror-centric movies have fallen off a cliff in the subsequent weeks (namely, Paramount’s Mother! and Entertainment Studios’ Friend Request). What’s stopping Sony’s Flatliners revamp from following the same fate? First off, just to get this out of the way, this isn’t expected to take #1. Buzz has more or less indicated such. The thing Flatliners has going for it is that it’s more accessible than the aforementioned flops – it’s an audience-friendly sci-fi horror. Plus, at least people can recognize Ellen Page and Kiefer Sutherland.
Flatliners’ biggest detractor, as is the case with many a horror flick, will be its reception. As of this writing there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and the film has a concerning 5.6/10 on IMDb (granted, this is just from 550+ scores, but starting low doesn’t bode well). Decent comps for Flatliners include 2011’s reboot of The Thing ($8.49m debut) and 2010’s September horror Devil ($12.29m debut). Flatliners will end up somewhere in the middle, most likely.
Prediction: $10 million, #5 rank
1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Fox) – $18.1 million (-50%), $67.69m cume
3. IT (Warner Bros./New Line) – $16.4 million (-45%), $290.11m cume
4. The Lego Ninjago Movie (Warner Bros.) – $12.3 million (-40%), $35.75m cume
6. Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) – $6 million (+1064%), $6.7m cume
7. American Assassin (Lionsgate/CBS) – $3.1 million (-50%), $31.64m cume
8. Home Again (Open Road) – $2.1 million (-35%), $25.4m cume
9. Mother! (Paramount) – $1.65 million (-50%), $16.51m cume
10. Stronger (Roadside Attractions) – $1.2 million (-26%), $3.42m cume
As always, thanks for reading. Be sure to check back on Monday for weekend numbers.