All work and no play makes this an incredibly dull Labour Day weekend, offering two wide releases – neither of which likely to make more than $10 million over their 3-day debuts – and an admittedly promising nationwide expansion. Let’s dig in.
Crediting your movie to the producers from Stranger Things and Arrival ($100.55m) seems like a sound decision, until you remember this month’s The Darkest Minds was also credited to said producers and made a pitiful $12.5m over 27 days. So this sets the stage for Kin.
Kin’s marketing is perhaps the primary concern, with the above trailer pitching a strange, tonally disconnected cross between a family drama and dark, dreary sci-fi. Given it’s releasing in 2,141 venues, it’s unlikely Lionsgate (releasing under the Summit banner) have super high expectations for this. Reception is decidedly not good, quite a shame given original sci-fi is always welcome.
The Darkest Minds made $5.84m in its debut, a figure Kin shouldn’t fall too far over/under. The interest, buzz, and notices just aren’t there for this one.
Prediction: $5 million (#9 rank, 3-day), $6 million (4-day)
Operation Finale (MGM)
Awards season contenders will start trickling in soon and MGM wanted to get the jump with Operation Finale, a drama featuring a stacked cast oriented around a real-life story about an escaped Nazi lieutenant. An awards play, as aforementioned.
These movies make or break dependent on reviews and Finale’s are just okay – not anything to suggest a lengthy run through autumn. The movie opened on Wednesday and earned $1m for its trouble, on par with 2011’s political thriller The Debt, which earned $970.5k on its first Wednesday for a $14.75m 6-day cume. Finale’s theatre count is akin to The Debt’s as well: 1,818 vs. 1,826.
Given the somewhat lukewarm reviews, it’s reasonable to expect Operation Finale to come in a tad below The Debt’s 6-day. This cost a reported $24m to make on the high end, however, so that’s not terrible.
Prediction: $8 million (#3 rank, 3-day), $10 million (4-day)
After a successful platform release garnering nearly half a million from 9 theatres, Sony’s expanding the acclaimedSearching to 1,207 venues.
Cyberthrillers, as I like to call them (a term that will never catch on, sue me), are an interesting if not untapped genre. The only sample we really have is the Unfriended series – the first movie back in 2015 made an okay $32.48m, whereas last month’s Unfriended: Dark Web wasn’t much of anything with $8.78m. While Searching is very well-received, it still plays to a niche, with the caveat that among all the new wide releases this has the best chance of “breaking out,” relatively speaking.
A similar per-theatre average to the first Unfriended gives Searching a 3-day around $7m. An optimistic result, but when in Rome…
Prediction: $7 million (#5 rank, 3-day), $8.5 million (4-day)
1. Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.) – $22.3 million (-10%, 3-day), $28 million (4-day), $116.8m cume 2. The Meg (Warner Bros.) – $9.6 million (-25%, 3-day), $12 million (4-day), $122.1m cume 4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount) – $7.3 million (-10%, 3-day), $9 million (4-day), $206.2m cume 6. Christopher Robin (Disney) – $5.6 million (-10%, 3-day), $7.5 million (4-day), $87.7m cume 7. The Happytime Murders (STX) – $5.2 million (-45%, 3-day), $7 million (4-day), $19.5m cume 8. Alpha (Sony) – $5.1 million (-15%, 3-day), $6.5 million (4-day), $29.4m cume 10. Mile 22 (STX) – $4.5 million (-30%, 3-day), $5.5 million (4-day), $33.7m cume