After a supercharged few months, the end of popcorn season is approaching.
The domestic box office weekend looks to be a battle between Disney’s “Christoper Robin” and the sophomore frame of Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” as both titles head for three-day totals around $30 million. Newcomer “The Spy Who Dumped Me” is targeting low double-digits.
“Christoper Robin,” Disney’s live-action adaptation based on the characters from Winnie the Pooh, hopes to tap into nostalgia when it opens on 3,500 screens. Ewan McGregor plays an adult version of Winnie the Pooh’s old pal Christopher Robin, who is now a businessman who has lost his sense of imagination. He reunites with his stuffed friends — including Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet — who help him find his way. Marc Forster directed from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder. Jim Cummings returns to voice Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, while Brad Garrett joins as Eeyore. The cast also includes Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, and Mark Gatiss.
Last weekend, the sixth installment of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise opened with a series-best $61.2 million. “Fallout’s” predecessor, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” only dropped 48% in its second weekend. Should the latest chapter have a similar hold, the spy thriller could surpass “Christopher Robin” and take the No. 1. slot.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate and Imagine’s “The Spy Who Dumped Me” is shooting for a release between $10 million and $15 million. That opening would be a head start on Kate McKinnon’s previous comedy, “Rough Night,” which launched with $8 million. It went on to earn $47 million worldwide on a $20 million budget.
In “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” Mila Kunis and McKinnon portray two best friends who get chased through Europe by assassins after they unwittingly get caught up in an international conspiracy when one finds out the boyfriend who dumped her works for the CIA. (You know, that old story.) Susanna Fogel directed and co-wrote with David Iserson, while Justin Theroux, Gillian Anderson, Hasan Minhaj, and Sam Heughan round out the cast.
The final wide releases are each aiming for single digit debuts.
Fox’s young adult sci-fi thriller “The Darkest Minds” is hoping to collect around $8 million when it opens on 3,127 screens. It will need to pick up steam in its theatrical run to justify its $34 million price tag. Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who had a hand in “Kung Fu Panda” and helmed its two sequels, is making her live-action directorial debut. Chad Hodge penned the script, based on Alexandra Bracken’s novel. “The Darkest Minds,” starring Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore and Gwendoline Christie, follows a group of teenagers who are on the run from the government after mysteriously getting superpowers.
Finally, Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial documentary “Death of a Nation” is aiming for $3 million. In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman says, “Dinesh D’Souza goes over the top — of hate, and of truth — in his latest documentary, a radical-right screed that equates liberalism with Nazism.” It’s been a strong summer at the box office for documentaries, though acclaimed titles “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” “RBG,” and “Three Identical Strangers” have opted for themes of encouragement and sincerity.
D’Souza’s last movie was “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,” which made $13 million. His first, “2016 Obama’s America,” topped out with $33 million.
Elsewhere at the box office, Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” is expanding nationwide. It began its limited run with the best-per-screen average of the year and has since picked up $3.1 million. Elsie Fisher stars in the coming-of-age comedy about a middle schooler navigating her last week of eighth grade.
Another A24 title, “Never Goin’ Back,” is also opening at the specialty box office. The stoner comedy, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, stars Mia Mitchell, Camila Morrone and “Saturday Night Live’s” Kyle Mooney.