Despite negative critical responses, Universal’s latest comedy, Night School opened this weekend at the top spot on the box office with around $28m. It’s only a million away from making its budget back domestically, which is pretty solid for a film that opened in 1000 theatres less than its main competition, Smallfoot. Kevin Hart can add this one to his growing list of box office hits, as can Tiffany Haddish. She’s got a Tyler Perry movie coming out in November as well as a Thanksgiving comedy called The Oath, so expect her to keep doing well in 2018.
The numbers were less strong for Smallfoot, the animated family film and meme generator. It opened in over 4100 theatres, compared to Night School’s 3010, but only made $23m. Its budget is also over two and a half times that of Night School. Reviews weren’t great, although audiences seemed to like it more, and in a year with animated titans like Incredibles 2, the competition can’t help but feel ahem, small in comparison.
The House With A Clock In Its Walls fell from 1 to 3 with a drop of 53% but it has now officially made its budget back. The hope is that it can ride out the Halloween month and etch out a few extra dollars when parents need to find a family friendly spooky movie. Too chicken to just let them watch Hereditary, eh? I remember when my parents let me watch Se7en. I never fully recovered.
A Simple Favor continues to do really well, certainly far better than predicted. 3 weeks in and it’s grossed $43m. Word of mouth, you can’t beat it. If only marketing did its job properly.
Opening at number 6 is Hell Fest with just over $5m. That’s less than The Nun made in its 4th week of release. That film’s domestic box office now stands at $109m while international numbers push it past $330m, making it the highest grossing film in the Conjuring universe internationally and globally.
Meanwhile, The Predator is limping further down the top 10. 3 weeks in, it has slumped to number 8 (4 slots down from the previous week) and has only just made back half its budget. 3 weeks in and this film dropped over 1100 theatres from its run. Even I feel sorry for it now. Okay, that’s a lie, but still.
In its second week, Life Itself couldn’t even make $1m. It just scraped by with around $770k, which averages out at about $327 per theatre. Amazon Studios will not be happy. They haven’t had a great run lately, which is a shame because they do have really interesting projects on their slate. In my opinion, they just don’t know what to do with a lot of them. I really do think they screwed over You Were Never Really Here by waiting 9 months after its stellar premiere at Cannes to open domestically, only to dump it in April. This wasn’t just an excuse to talk about my favourite film of the year, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime and deserves your attention! It’s only 85 minutes!
The indie hit of the weekend is Free Solo, a documentary courtesy of National Geographic. It delivered just over $300k from 4 locations for a chart-topping $75,201 per theatre average! It’s been a great year for documentaries but Free Solo also benefitted from being the kind of experience you just have to see on the biggest screen possible.
Robert Redford can’t decide if he is retiring or not but The Gold Man and the Gun did strong business with around $150k from 5 theatres. By comparison, Assassination Nation made $202k from 1035 theatres. Per screen average: $196. Fucking hell. Honestly, I have no idea why distributors Neon ever thought this film would be a mainstream hit. It had ‘cult hit to be screened in university dorms’ written all over it, not box office megastar.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What films did you watch this weekend? Let us know in the comments.