James McAvoy’s horror-thriller “Split” is showing plenty of staying power, heading for its second consecutive victory at the North American box office with about $19 million at 3,199 sites, early estimates showed Friday.
The opening of controversial family drama “A Dog’s Purpose” appeared to be performing at the lower end of expectations in second — with about $18 million at 3,058 sites — following a boycott launched by PETA over a leaked video showing a German Shepherd struggling during production. The filmmakers have insisted that PETA and TMZ have mischaracterized what took place.
PETA’s PR attack appears to have had a moderate toll, given that forecasts before the boycott was launched were as high as $25 million. “Split” should dominate moviegoing on Friday with $7 million while “A Dog’s Purpose” puts its paws on about $5 million.
Universal is handling both titles, with “Split” continuing to exceed expectations. The film, self-financed by director M. Night Shyamalan for under $10 million, should finish the weekend with about $71 million in its first 10 days.
Universal Pictures is releasing “A Dog’s Purpose” for Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media. The movie follows a devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of humans over several lifetimes. Universal canceled the Jan. 21 premiere and the film’s press junket. The pic was produced for about $22 million and stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, K.J. Apa, John Ortiz, Juliet Rylance, and Pooch Hall.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said the weekend’s outcome remains a bit uncertain.
“The fate of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ will ultimately be decided audiences who have to decide if the controversy carries any weight with regard to their ticket buying decision,” he said. “Though Friday date night belongs to ‘Split,’ Saturday could go to the dogs as families make tracks the the theater on that family friendly day.
Screen Gems’ opening of “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” is projected to take in about $4 million of Friday, which will give it a weekend with about $15 million at 3,104 sites, or slightly above Sony’s forecasts. The film — which has a $40 million price tag — marks the sixth and final installment in the franchise adaptation of Capcom’s video game series.
Milla Jovovich — who has been in all six movies — portrays the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”), Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, and South Korean actor Lee Joon-Gi also star with Paul W.S. Anderson returning to direct.
The Weinstein Company’s Matthew McConaughey adventure “Gold” is showing little traction as it opened with about $1.3 million on Friday amid muted expectations for a take in the $4 million range at 2,166 sites. McConaughey stars as a businessman who discovers a massive gold deposit in a remote Indonesian jungle. Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell, and Craig T. Nelson co-star.
Following three Academy Award nominations — including one for best picture — Fox’s “Hidden Figures” is battling “Resident Evil” for third place with about $13 million at 3,351 locations. The historical drama has generated an impressive $90 million in a month of release.
Lionsgate’s “La La Land” is jumping from 1,850 domestic locations to 3,136 locations Friday to capitalize on its record-tying 14 Oscar nominations. Friday’s projections are for a $10 million to $12 million frame for the musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. “La La Land” has grossed $94 million domestically and $92 million internationally.