43 years ago, Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of the Agatha Christie murder mystery novel Murder on the Orient Express received six Oscar nods and winning box office results. This time around, it’s Kenneth Branagh both directing and starring in the new version, playing super sleuth Hercule Poirot (portrayed in 1974 by Albert Finney). Just like in the original, an all-star cast surrounds including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, and Leslie Odom Jr.
Orient will look to cash in with adult moviegoers and hope that competition doesn’t get in the way. Thor: Ragnarok (by the way, the first Thor was directed by Branagh) will be in its second weekend. Daddy’s Home 2 opens directly against it.
Even though this is a remake based on a well-known property, Murder could stand out among the sequels it’s pitted against. If reviews and word-of-mouth are encouraging, it could additionally play well throughout subsequent weekends.
I’ll predict Express chugs along to a mid 20s opening and it could well compete for the #2 slot with Daddy’s Home 2 as Thor should retain top position in its sophomore frame.
Murder on the Orient Express opening weekend prediction: $24.6 million
For my Daddy’s Home 2 prediction, click here: