Box Office: Tom Hanks’ ‘Inferno’ Opens Cool, Heads for Disappointing $17 Million Opening in U.S.

Inferno Movie Tom Hanks
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Tom Hanks’ “Inferno” is heading for a soft domestic opening in the $17 million range, well below recent forecasts, early estimates showed Friday.

“Inferno” opened with only $800,000 at 2,874 locations in Thursday night preview showings to trail the $1.3 million Thursday number from “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” a week earlier. First estimates Friday showed an opening day in the range of $5.2 million to $6.2 million.

“Inferno” looks likely to be the lowest performer as a U.S. box office leader since the second weekend of “Don’t Breathe” led the Sept. 2-4 frame with $15.8 million during the Labor Day weekend.

The second weekends of “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween” and Tom Cruise’s “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” were both generating about $3 million to $4 million on Friday for weekends in the $11 million to $13 million range.

Sony had been looking at a debut weekend of $20 million to $25 million for “Inferno” at 3,576 locations and rival studios avoided launching on the pre-Halloween frame.

“Inferno” is the third adaptation of Dan Brown’s series of books about symbologist Robert Langdon. Hanks and director Ron Howard previously partnered on “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons,” which showed plenty of drawing power with a combined $1.2 billion globally.

“Inferno” is now pegged to open with less than a quarter of the 2006 launch of “The Da Vinci Code” with $77.1 million and less than  half of the $46.2 million debut of “Angels & Demons’” in 2009. Both those films opened in the midst of summer blockbuster season.

Hanks delivered better-than-expected grosses earlier this fall with “Sully,” which opened at $35 million for Warner Bros. and remains the top domestic performer of the season with more than $121 million.

“Inferno” cost $75 million to produce, half of what the studio spent making “Angels & Demons” seven years ago. Reviewers have been unimpressed with “Inferno,” which carries a 21% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Moviegoing may be held down by the World Series, with three games scheduled this weekend for the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, and by Halloween celebrations plus coverage of the Presidential election.

 “Inferno” has already passed the $100 million milestone in 64 international markets for Sony in its first ten days. Howard and Brian Grazer are producing. David Koepp wrote the script, as he did for “Angels & Demons.” It opens in China, Japan and South Korea this weekend.

The two previous installments — both set in Europe — grossed more than 70% of their worldwide take from international markets, where “The Da Vinci Code” took in $540 million and “Angels & Demons” totaled $352 million.

The movie opens with a mysterious death, followed by Hanks’ Robert Langdon character being awakened in an Italian hospital with amnesia, thanks to a bullet to the head. It turns out that a madman is trying to wipe half the world’s population, and kill Langdon.

Langdon teams up with a doctor — played by Felicity Jones — in hopes that she will help him recover his memories and stop the madman’s plot. Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Irrfan Khan also star.

“Boo! A Madea Halloween” and “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” captured first and second place on the box office charts last weekend, but both should drop more than 50% in their sophomore round in theaters. Lionsgate’s “Madea” easily won last weekend with $28.5 million, followed by Paramount’s “Jack Reacher” sequel with $22.9 million.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said that the box office — which has been lagging so far this season —  faces a challenge: “The World Series and the ubiquitous presidential election coverage will offer formidable distractions to the multiplex this weekend, but smart audiences will hopefully find time to indulge in this bounty of entertainment options.”

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  1. Ari Manuel says:

    Hanks has become a cloying, irritating bore..Spouting his progressive garbage at every boring promo of his, Hanks is out of control..How about, just shut up and read the script ?

  2. The movie opens with a mysterious death which scared me when was watching it for the first time

    • Ari Manuel says:

      Ooooh. so scared were you ? You must be one of those ‘snowflakes’..Go find a safe space and take your meds with you.

  3. browny says:

    On SaturdayMorning at 8 am when the movie hasn’t even been out 24 hours, Variety will post estimates as facts in their headline, as they do every weekend.

  4. Rudy Mario says:

    Adios Ron.
    Adios Tom.
    Bring in the wheelchair for Brian.

  5. BillUSA says:

    Some of the reasons why it opened disappointingly is due to overkill. For me, I would love to see a Tom Hanks movie, but he went and acted like a progressive monkey when he wasn’t required to act on behalf of any political bend and thus got himself blacklisted in this household. That counts as four tickets none of his movies will ever sell.

    • me says:

      Well that will really show him who’s boss. What you’re really teaching your “household” is that any opinion that is different from your own is unacceptable. You know, like what a 4-year-old does.

      BTW it’s “political bent”, not “bend”.

      • BillUSA says:

        Assume much, do you?

        Point #1 – I don’t want to show him anything. I know he won’t miss my money. But perhaps it might make someone in Hollywood decide on an actor who doesn’t make an progressive ass out of himself. You should know the principle – enough drops of water in a bucket and and you have a bucket full of water.

        Point #2 – My household doesn’t exist in a progressive universe where a certain set of values and opinions are indoctrinated. Everyone here is free to think and say what they wish just so long as it isn’t abusive or insulting to my intelligence.

        Point #3 – I find it curious that you would say such things about someone like me, then turn around and correct my spelling. What is it – some control issue you developed from an early age due to your controlling Father insisting you stack all your socks, t-shirts and underwear the same exact way? It’s always nice to know there are people who can get BENT out of shape whenever one uses an incorrect letter. I’ll make certain I do more of it in the future.

        Observation – I think you should stop yourself from jumping to conclusions based on a few words you’ve read on the internet. That way, you won’t come off as an insufferable conclusionist. Have a nice fit you control freak.

        :)

  6. SPIKE says:

    TO DAN BROWN: SORRY DAN, YOU CAN ONLY MILK THIS SO LONG AND THEN THE PUBLIC CEASES TO BE INTERESTED.

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