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Weekend Box Office: Happy Death Day Another Horror Hit, The Foreigner Opens Strong

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By Chris Kavan - 10/15/17 at 08:15 PM CT

It was good news for horror fans over the weekend as Happy Death Day became the latest Blumhouse production to open in the top spot while It continued its strong run as well. Jackie Chan's The Foreigner beat expectations while Blade Runner 2049 took a big hit, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women was a disaster and Marshall debuted as expected. Overall, while October is still struggling, this week's results looks a lot better though Blade Runner's continued disappointment still looks to drag the overall box office down with it.


It has a been a very good year for Blumhouse. Following both the success of Split ($138.1 million) and Get Out ($175.4 million), the studio has found another hit with Happy Death Day. The $4.8 million budgeted film opened in the top spot with $26.5 million, which was above the opening for The Visit ($25.4 million). If the film follows a similar path to that movie, Happy Death Day is looking at a solid $70 million. Of course, with Halloween just around the bend, if the film can post some solid legs, it could go even higher. The audience was happy enough as well, giving the film a "B" Cinemascore (decently high for a horror movie). That audience was 54% female and 63% were 25 or under. It just goes to show that the formula started by Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer (that is, putting young, pretty people in horrible danger) continues to play well with audiences and Blumhouse deserves yet another star for their third straight film to open over $25 million.


After its disappointing opening last weekend, things didn't get any better for Blade Runner 2049. Falling a hefty 54% in its second weekend, the sci-fi film brought in $15.1 million for a new total of $60.5 million. That would be a decent haul - if the budget for this wasn't an obscene $150 million. Even with overseas totals taken into account, Blade Runner has only managed $158.5 million worldwide. Granted, it does still have Japan and China, but even if it breaks out huge in those two territories, you have to right it off as a failure on the domestic front. The film will cross $75 million, but it's looking likely like $100 million is out of the picture at this point. We may have to wait another 25 years before anyone attempts to continue this franchise.


STX Entertainment hasn't had the best track record of late, but it looks like they finally have a genuine hit on their hands with Jackie Chan's return to action, The Foreigner. So what, you say, the film only opened in third place with $12.84 million. But the $35 million film has already made $88 million overseas, meaning its already sitting at over $100 million total worldwide. That's triple its budget, and if it plays even reasonably well domestic, STX will have no problem making that money back. The film looks to have no problem with audiences, having earned an "A-" among its mostly male (59%) and older (55% over 35). All the better considering this is a pretty grim, R-Rated action film - more John Wick than Taken. In any case, The Foreigner is looking to be a welcome return for Chan (in his first, big domestic release in seven years) and could make up its budget on the domestic front alone, with the rest being icing on the cake.

4) IT

Another great weekend for horror mega-hit It, which dropped just 39.3% in its sixth weekend, bringing in another $6 million for a new total of just under $315 million. The overseas total of It is nearly the same, $315.7 million for a wordwide total of $630 million, making It the 9th highest-grossing release of 2017 in that market. Next up is the $325 million domestic mark and, if it can go a bit higher to $327 million, it will top the likes of World War Z, War of the Worlds and I Am Legend (all adjusted for inflation) among big-budget offerings. Just remember, It is doing this on a remarkable modest $35 million budget, or essentially the exact opposite of what Blade Runner 2049 is going through. All told, It will probably wind up with right around $330 million total, and could give Spider-Man: Homecoming ($333 million) a run for its money.


Last week's second-place finisher didn't hold up so well as the survival drama dipped 46.5% in its second weekend with $5.65 million and a new $20.5 million total. The $35 million picture has earned only $30.2 million worldwide and things don't look too bright for the Idris Elba/Kate Winslet film going forward. At this point, it will be lucky to hit $35 million domestic at all, with $30 million looking more likely. If it does as modest overseas, it might break even, but that's about the best this film can look forward to. The box office is just too crowded right now (and it's not going to be getting any better), and this film is one of the victims of that over saturation.

Outside the top five: Marshal, playing in 821 theaters, opened just outside the top 10 in 11th place with $3.03 million. That was right along with expectations for the $12 million film and while audiences were happy to award it an "A" Cinemascore, the Chadwick Boseman biography probably won't be making too many waves.

While Wonder Woman was one of the biggest hits of the year, the origin of Wonder Woman, as presented in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, was a big bust. At just $737,00 in 1229 theater, the film brought in a palter $600 per location and ranks 18th lowest out of films opening in 1000 or more theaters. Despite a topical subject and a great cast and positive festival buzz, the Annapurna Pictures release never caught on with audiences and was even more lost among the crowd.

In milestone news the under-performing LEGO Ninjago Movie crossed the $50 million mark with a $4.31 million weekend (8th place) for a new total of $51.5 million. In other horror news, Annabelle: Creation crossed the $300 million mark (worldwide).

The crowded box office continues next week with the end-of-the world actioner Geostorm, serial killer thriller The Snowman, horror-comedy sequel Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, based-on-a-true story firefighting drama Only the Brave and the inspirational tale Same Kind of Different as Me. It's a lot to take in yet again, we'll see if our stalwart horror offerings can stand up to the increased pressure.


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