Box Office: Will ‘Happy Death Day’ Unseat ‘Blade Runner 2049’ From No. 1?

Happy Death Day
Courtesy of Universal

It’s said that good things come in threes, and after the success of “Split” and “Get Out” earlier this year, it appears Universal and Blumhouse have another winner with “Happy Death Day.”

The new horror installment is taking a stab at the weekend’s top spot as it tracks for an opening weekend around $15 million to $20 million from 3,130 locations. The low-budget release is timed to Friday the 13th, and two weekends before Halloween. It will also open in 12 territories abroad, including Australia, Brazil, and Netherlands, with additional markets rolling out through November.

A horror spin on “Groundhog Day,” “Happy Death Day” centers on Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) as a woman who wakes up to the same day — her birthday — every day, and is murdered every time. Christopher B. Landon directed the film based on a script by Scott Lobdell.

Earlier this year in January, Blumhouse’s “Split” opened to a monster $40 million in January, and went on to earn $278.3 million worldwide. Then, the next month, “Get Out” was a smash hit as well with a $33.4 million opening and $253.1 million in global grosses by the end of its run. The production house is also responsible for the hugely profitable “Purge” and “Paranormal Activity” franchises.

Still, “Happy Death Day” has to contend with the second frame of “Blade Runner 2049,” which opened last weekend to a disappointing $32.8 million off an enormous budget. This weekend, with a 50% fall, the movie could drop to No. 2. Sony, which is handling overseas distribution, announced on Wednesday the film’s release date in China would be moved up to Oct. 27.

Meanwhile, “The Foreigner” is targeting a $10 million opening in North America this weekend, where it’s debuting at 2,515 locations. The film launched overseas starting Sept. 30, and by Wednesday had earned $78 million. “The Foreigner” is a U.S.-China co-production between STXfilms, Sparkle Roll Media, and Wanda. It carries a $35 million budget.

Jackie Chan stars in the movie as Quan, a humble London businessman whose daughter dies in an act of terrorism, and sends him searching for the perpetrators. “Casino Royale” director Martin Campbell made the pic, which also stars Pierce Brosnan as a British government official.

Otherwise, Open Road is launching “Marshall” in 821 spots, where it is tracking to earn about $5 million. The Thurgood Marshall biopic stars Chadwick Boseman in the titular role. Annapurna is releasing another biopic, “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women,” starring Luke Evans as William Moulton Marston, the man who created Wonder Woman.

“Breathe,” from Bleecker Street and Participant Media with Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, is opening in limited release. As is Fox Searchlight’s “Goodbye Christopher Robin” starring Margot Robbie, and “The Secret Scripture,” featuring Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara, distributed by Vertigo.