Dwayne Johnson’s action-fantasy “Rampage” is heading for downbeat North American opening weekend of about $27 million to $32 million at 3,950 locations, early estimates showed Friday.
That’s well below forecasts and signals that Paramount’s second weekend of John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” should repeat as the box office winner with about $34 million at 3,508 sites. Universal-Blumhouse’s debut of “Truth or Dare” will come in above expectations in third with about $18 million at 3,029 venues.
With a price tag in the $120 million range, “Rampage” needs to deliver strong box office around the world to become profitable. The New Line-Warner Bros. release had been forecasted to debut between $37 million and $40 million from 3,950 theaters this weekend.
Johnson portrays a primatologist who shares a bond with a silverback gorilla who becomes a giant beast after a rogue genetic experiment goes wrong and creates an array of rampaging creatures. First-day grosses in China were impressive with $15.7 million, the third-largest opening day in Warner Bros. history.
Thursday night previews generated $2.4 million for “Rampage” in North America — well below the $3.1 million in Thursday night previews in June, 2015, for Johnson’s “San Andreas” on its way to a $54.5 million opening weekend. “Rampage” has mixed reviews, with a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Hopes had been high for “Rampage,” given the recent worldwide success of “Jumanji,” Johnson’s action-comedy teamup with Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan.
“A Quiet Place” opened with the second-best domestic debut of 2018 last weekend with $50.2 million. The thriller, starring Krasinski and Emily Blunt, should reach the $100 million mark by the end of the weekend. It carries a 96% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Strong ongoing social media buzz, great reviews, a killer original concept and a great release date have all conspired to make ‘A Quiet Place’ an unexpectedly strong performer that is poised to make a lot of noise in its sophomore session, and thus present a boisterous box office challenge to the wide release newcomers in what is expected to be another great weekend for the horror hit,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.
Blumhouse’s low-cost “Truth or Dare,” which Universal is debuting fittingly on Friday the 13th, had been tracking to open in third place with around $16 million from 3,029 locations. Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, and Landon Liboiron are college kids on spring break in Mexico who indulge in a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare that turns deadly when someone begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse a dare.
The third frame of “Ready Player One” and the sophomore outing of “Blockers” are likely to battle for fourth place in the $10 million to $11 million range. Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” has grossed $102 million in its first two weeks for Warner Bros. Universal’s raunchy R-rated comedy “Blockers,” starring John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz, has totaled $26 million in its first six days.
Fox Searchlight is expanding Wes Anderson’s animated “Isle of Dogs” from 554 to 1,939 locations. The stop-motion film, which has earned $13.1 million at the domestic box office in three weeks, is pegged to wind up the weekend with another $6 million.
Another canine-themed animated movie — “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” — is also opening at 1,685 sites amid expectations of less than $5 million for Entertainment Studios. The film centers on the real-life Sergeant Stubby, a stray Boston Terrier who became a hero during World War I.
Bleecker Street launched Jon Hamm’s thriller “Beirut” on Wednesday to moderate response with $372,089 at 524 venues.
“Rampage” had originally been scheduled to open on April 20 but was moved forward a week in the wake of Disney-Marvel moving “Avengers: Infinity War” forward a week to April 27. The superhero mashup is on pace to open to a massive $175 million to $200 million in its debut weekend, according to early tracking.
Overall domestic box office is down 2.6% this year to $3.16 billion as of April 11, according to comSeore. It will decline further this weekend since the year-ago frame was a robust $170.3 million when “The Fate of the Furious” — which included Johnson in its cast — opened impressively with $98.8 million.