Blumhouse Productions is out with its latest low-budget flick that hopes to generate high dollar figures when Upgrade debuts next weekend. The sci-fi horror revenge pic comes from director Leigh Whannell, best known for his involvement in the Insidious franchise (including directing its third chapter). Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel (best known as the creepy housekeeper in Get Out), and Harrison Gilbertson are among the cast. Early reviews have been decent as it currently stands at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Upgrade is slated to open on a rather low 1400 screens and that will limit its potential. I would not anticipate this coming anywhere near the massive successes that Jason Blum and his studio have achieved with titles like the aforementioned Get Out, Split, or Happy Death Day. Instead it appears destined to premiere similar to BH Tilt’s lesser offerings like The Belko Experiment, The Green Inferno, or Incarnate – none of which managed to clear $5 million for their starts.
Two new adult themed titles compete against the second weekend of the record setting animated pic Hotel Transylvania 2. They are the Ridley Scott sci fi pic The Martian with Matt Damon and border crime thriller Sicario, which has earned great reviews and expands nationwide after a stellar limited release. You can peruse my detailed individual prediction posts on each here:
The Martian shouldn’t have much trouble opening #1, though my prediction is a bit below what some other prognosticators have it pegged at. I don’t believe it’ll reach the September record that the Transylvania sequel just set, but you never know (more on that below).
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Transylvania 2 should drop to second with all other holdovers dipping in the low to mid 40s range. That could mean a close competition for the five spot between Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Everest while the Anne Hathaway/Robert De Niro comedy The Intern should have fourth to itself.
That means I’m predicting Sicario will open third in its expanded roll out.
And with that, a top six predictions for this weekend:
Predicted Gross: $40.3 million
2. Hotel Transylvania 2
Predicted Gross: $26.2 million (representing a drop of 45%)
Predicted Gross: $13 million
4. The Intern
Predicted Gross: $10.5 million (representing a drop of 40%)
5. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Predicted Gross: $8.2 million (representing a drop of 44%)
Predicted Gross: $7.7 million (representing a drop of 42%)
Box Office Results (September 25-27)
As mentioned, the Adam Sandler animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 beat its own predecessor’s record for the biggest September debut in box office history. I incorrectly had it grossing less out of the gate than the original three years ago, but it took in a terrific $47.5 million, blasting past my $34.1M estimate.
The Intern had a stellar debut with $17.7 million, a bit under my $19 million prediction and represents a nice mid size hit for Ms. Hathaway and Mr. De Niro.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials dipped to third in its second weekend with $14.2 million, a little under my $16.1M prediction and the YA sequel stands at $51 million.
The mountain climbing action thriller Everest expanded nationally and posted results that were less than expected. It earned $13.2 million, below my $17.6M estimate.
Johnny Depp’s Black Mass rounded out the top five in weekend #2 with $11 million, under my $13.5M forecast. Its two week total is at $42 million.
Finally, Eli Roth’s long delayed horror flick The Green Inferno opened in ninth place with just $3.5 million – though it did exceed my $2.5M prediction.
It could be a highly unpredictable weekend at the box office as three new releases come out and another expands wide. We have Adam Sandler’s animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2, the Anne Hathaway/Robert De Niro comedy The Intern, and long delayed Eli Roth horror pic The Green Inferno. Additionally, Everest expands wide after its impressive roll out on a few hundred IMAX screens this past week. You can find my detailed prediction posts on the three newbies here:
As I see it, Transylvania should really have no trouble winning the weekend, though I have it pegged to gross less than its predecessor did three years ago. I also look for The Intern to have a healthy debut just under the $20M range.
The big question mark is Everest. I think the range of grosses for its wide release premiere could be as low as $12 million to as high as the mid-20s range. Ultimately I think it reaches a gross somewhere in the high teens for a third place showing.
The Green Inferno looks like a flop and my $2.5 million estimate for it leaves it well outside the top five.
As for holdovers, current champ Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials should lose close to half its opening audience while Johnny Depp’s Black Mass may not fall quite that far.
And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:
Hotel Transylvania 2
Predicted Gross: $34.1 million
2. The Intern
Predicted Gross: $19 million
Predicted Gross: $17.6 million
4. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Predicted Gross: $16.1 million (representing a drop of 47%)
5. Black Mass
Predicted Gross: $13.5 million (representing a drop of 41%)
Box Office Results (September 18-20)
YA sequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials got off to a commendable start while not reaching the level its predecessor managed a year. Trials earned $30.3 million, a bit below my $33.8M estimate.
Johnny Depp’s acclaimed Whitney Bulger biopic Black Mass (which is earning Oscar buzz for its star) made $22.6 million out of the gate, below my $27.9M prediction. This is still a nice start and I look for it to continue doing well in subsequent weekends.
M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit was third in weekend two with $11.5 million, higher than my $9.7M prognostication. The low budget horror title has taken in $42 million so far.
Last weekend’s champ The Perfect Guy dropped to the four spot with $9.6 million, in line with my $10.2M estimate and its two week total stands at $41 million.
The aforementioned Everest was fifth on an IMAX only limited release with $7.2 million, a tad under my $8.6M forecast. Still, its future is looking pretty bright.
Finally, the faith based thriller Captive with David Oyelowo and Kate Mara stalled even worse than I predicted with just $1.3 million for 11th place. I estimated $2.3 million.
And that’ll do it for now, my friends! Until next time…
Known mostly for his one two punch of Hostel pics a few years ago, director Eli Roth is back with The Green Inferno, out Friday. The horror title plants a group of student activists in the Amazon where they’re kidnapped and terror ensues. There are no big names among the cast and it comes with a meager $6 million budget.
The small budget should be a silver lining as I don’t expect big results for this. Inferno was originally scheduled to be released a year ago but financial difficulties with its studio held it back. The marketing campaign hasn’t been too strong and lots of horror fans may have gotten their current fill with The Visit.
Debuting on a relatively small 1500 approximate screens, I believe The Green Inferno will flame out and be ready for VOD quite soon.
The Green Inferno opening weekend prediction: $2.5 million
For my Hotel Transylvania 2 prediction, click here: