The combination of Dan Brown’s novel, Tom Hanks’s star power, and Ron Howard’s direction melds together for the third time as Inferno hits theaters next weekend. The thriller arrives a decade after The Da Vinci Code and five years after Angels & Demons. Costars for this include Felicity Jones (beginning a busy fall 2016 with A Monster Calls and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story coming up), Ben Foster, Omar Sy, and Irrfan Khan.
When Da Vinci hit theaters in the summer of 2006, it provided Hanks’s largest live-action opening of all time with $77 million and an eventual $217M domestic gross. In summer 2011, follow-up Angels couldn’t achieve those numbers, but did provide Hanks with his #2 biggest opener at $46 million and a final tally of $133M.
I don’t expect Inferno to match the numbers of either of its two predecessors. Critics haven’t been impressed. It currently stands at 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, these Brown adaptations have been rather review proof (Code had 25%, Angels 37%). Many sequels in 2016 have posted middling numbers and this franchise certainly displayed a downward trend from 2006 to 2011.
Still, Hanks fans and the author’s fans should turn out to some degree. While I mentioned that this won’t approach the debuts of its aforementioned series entries, it could be in the running for its star’s third highest live-action premiere. In order to do so, it’d need to top the $35 million that Sully (out less than two months ago) achieved.
That seems right around where I expect Inferno to land opening weekend. I’ll predict it does fall a bit under that, preventing a Robert Langdon hat trick for Mr. Hanks.
Inferno opening weekend prediction: $30.6 million