Directed by Jodie Foster, “Money Monster” targets a more adult demo with its story of a TV financial guru taken hostage. Julia Roberts plays the show’s producer.
The film isn’t a risky proposition for Sony, given its $27 million budget. The earnings are in the same range as Clooney’s “Hail, Caesar!” (which saw $545,000 on Thursday night and a $11.4 million opening weekend) and “Bridge of Spies” (which took in $500,000 on Thursday on its way to a $15.4 million weekend).
The launch is a counter-programming move against the second weekend of Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” which should reel in at least $70 million.
The U.S. previews of “Money Monster” began in the wake of the film’s world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival out of competition.
This weekend will provide a test for Clooney and Roberts to open a movie wide. Expectations are modest and in the range of about $10 million at 3,104 locations.
Reviews of “Money Monster” have been primarily positive, earning the film a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
BH Tilt’s horror-thriller “The Darkness,” starring Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell, is also launching this weekend and should gross about $4 million at 1,754 sites. It pulled in $206,000 from Thursday night previews.
“Captain America: Civil War” opened with $179.1 million last weekend, then added $36 million during the next three days to hit $215.2 million on Wednesday. Two similar Marvel titles — “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Iron Man 3” — dropped 59% in their second weekends, so a similar decline will leave “Civil War” in the $75 million range.
All indications point to “Captain America: Civil War” joining the roster of 10 titles that have exceeded $70 million in their second weekend. That list is headed by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at $149 million, “Jurassic World” with $106.6 million, “Marvel’s The Avengers” with $103.1 million and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” with $77.7 million.
Six other titles — “Avatar,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Iron Man 3,” “Shrek 2” and “Spider-Man” — have topped $70 million in the second weekend in the U.S.