The opening of Tyler Perry’s horror-comedy sequel “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” should dominate the North American box office this weekend in the $20 million to $22 million range at about 2,300 locations.
Lionsgate is looking at a result that’s down 30% from the year-ago returns of the original “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” which launched with a $28.5 million weekend on Oct. 21 to Oct. 23, and finished with $73 million domestically. The sequel is directed by Perry from his own script and stars Perry in his ninth iteration as the tough-talking Madea.
As with the original, “Boo 2” is a relatively low-risk project for the studio, with a combined production cost and marketing spend in the $20 million range. It’s the 20th movie Perry’s produced since 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Both “Boo” movies were inspired by a Chris Rock joke in 2014’s “Top Five.”
“Geostorm,” “The Snowman,” and “Only the Brave,” meanwhile, are expected to generate only moderate results, at best. The highest-profile film of the trio is the disaster drama “Geostorm,” launching at 3,246 venues, with forecasts in the $10 million to $12 million area. That’s a troubling result given the reported $100 million budget co-financed by Warner Bros. and Skydance Media — partly due to extensive re-shoots.
The film, directed by Dean Devlin, is set in a near future where climate-controlling satellites go haywire and cause a storm of epic proportions with brothers — played by Gerard Butler and Jim Sturgess — fighting to save Earth from complete destruction. “Geostorm” is also releasing an additional 50 overseas markets, including Germany, Russia, Korea, Brazil, Australia, Spain, UK and Mexico.
Universal’s launch of the crime thriller “The Snowman,” opening at 1,813 North American theaters, could challenge “Geostorm,” with estimates in the $8 million to $12 million range. It’s a Working Title production in association with Another Park Film and is based on Jo Nesbø’s best-seller about the hunt to capture an ingenious serial killer. Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, and J.K. Simmons star in the movie, directed by Tomas Alfredson.
“The Snowman” began its international run last week, grossing $9.8 million in 27 markets. The film, set in Norway, carries an estimated $35 million budget. Reviews have been unkind, earning the drama a 24% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Prospects are even chillier for Sony’s “Only the Brave,” based on the true story of the 19 Arizona firefighters who died in the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire. The pic, debuting at 2,575 locations, has generated little interest among moviegoers and is heading for a $6 million weekend — a decidedly downbeat result, given its $38 million budget.
Production companies are Di Bonaventura Pictures, Condé Nast Entertainment, Black Label Media, and Relevant Entertainment. Joseph Kosinski directs a cast that includes Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly.
Initial reviews for “Only the Brave” have been excellent with a 95% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In April, Black Label reached a deal with Sony to take over distribution of the film amid reports of disagreements over marketing and release dates.
Pure Flix’s faith-based drama “Same Kind of Different as Me” is also due for a quiet debut with about $3 million at 1,250 sites. The film stars Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Holt, Jon Voight, and Stephanie Leigh Schlund.
The second weekend of Universal’s low-budget “Happy Death Day” will contend for second place following a stellar $26.5 million opening. Warner Bros.’ third frame of “Blade Runner 2049” will probably come in the $8 million to $10 million range. The science-fiction sequel has grossed $64.3 million domestically in its first 12 days. STX’s second weekend of Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner” should reel in around $7 million.
After a sizzling September, overall domestic business has lagged 14% to $311.4 million as of Oct. 16, according to comScore. Year-to-date business trails 2017 by 4.8% with $8.5 billion — leaving the industry hoping for a jolt with the Nov. 3 opening of Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” followed by “Justice League” on Nov. 17, and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Dec. 15.
“The industry is waiting with great anticipation for a November-December period that will hopefully ignite a late year renaissance at the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.