Weekend Box Office (October 28 - 30, 2016)
THIS WEEKEND Tom Hanks is set for his second number one debut of this fall season with the mystery sequel Inferno which arrives in the marketplace as the third film in the Da Vinci Code franchise which has spanned ten years. The PG-13 film will not match the numbers of its predecessors, however. Code bowed to $77.1M and 2009's Angels & Demons debuted to $46.2M - both in prime mid-May slots in the early part of the summer movie season.
Inferno instead has the much slower late October corridor but still hopes to attract older adults looking for some thrills and chills during this spooky time of year. But the marketplace presents some serious challenges. A long string of star-driven adult dramas have been bombarding theaters across September and October - led off, in fact, by the Hanks hit Sully. This audience doesn't need another option right now. Halloween falls on a Monday, but some holiday activities like parties will distract some. Plus the highly-watched World Series will have live games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and ratings so far have been the best of this decade.
Add in lackluster reviews and the fact that interest in the brand has subsided in the seven years since the last installment and it looks like a moderate launch is the best Inferno can ask for. But the past two films did 71-73% of their global business overseas and this chapter may just see that share increase. Luckily, the Sony film carries a much smaller budget this time - $75M - and breaking $300M global is certainly possible especially since it collected $100M already in its first ten days of overseas play. Heading into 3,576 theaters, Inferno may open to about $22M this weekend.
Tyler Perry got his directing career back on track last week with Boo! A Madea Halloween taking a commanding number one debut. His films usually drop hard on the second weekend as fans rush out during the opening frame. But the holiday will make this one timely so a 55% fall may occur. That would give Lionsgate about $13M for the weekend and $47M overall.
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Watch the teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
LAST YEAR Halloween fell on a Saturday, studios avoided it like the plague, and multiplexes were filled with empty seats. The Martian remained on top by default with $11.7M in its sixth weekend leading an all-holdover crew in the top five. Goosebumps took in $9.9M while Bridge of Spies followed with $8.4M. Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Last Witch Hunter rounded out the list with $5.9M and $5.2M, respectively.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: October 27, 2016 at 5:30PM ET
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