Sony’s action-thriller “Black and Blue” opened with $675,000 at 1,962 sites on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, STX’s horror movie “Countdown” has called up $515,000 million at 2,150 North American locations in Thursday night preview showings.
Both new arrivals are expected to wind up with less than $10 million during the weekend, which will be dominated by holdovers. The fourth weekend of Warner Bros.’ hit “Joker” and the second session of “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” will probably be battling for the top spot at somewhere between $15 million and $20 million. “Joker” has shown impressive staying power with $256 million domestically in its first 20 days.
The second weekend of Sony’s “Zombieland: Double Tap” will likely wind up in third place in the $10 million to $15 million range. The horror-comedy sequel has topped $33 million in its first six days.
“Black and Blue,” released through Sony’s Screen Gems, is projected to gross $6 million from 2,062 theaters during its first three days of release. Directed by Deon Taylor, “Black and Blue” follows a rookie cop (Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. “Black and Blue” cost $12 million to produce.
“Countdown” will debut at 2,675 theaters amid expectations in the $5 million range. The PG-13 movie follows a nurse who downloads an app that predicts when a person is going to die and finds out she only has three days to live. It carries a $6.5 million price tag.
Also debuting this weekend is the long-delayed historical drama “The Current War,” which looks to collect $3 million over the weekend at about 1,000 locations. The Weinstein Company was originally on board to distribute the movie following its premiere at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, but it got shelved and sold after sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein were brought to light and the studio was shuttered.
101 Studios, former Weinstein executive David Glasser’s company, is handling the film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse.
Sony is bringing back Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” with 10 additional minutes of footage, to 1,674 locations starting on Friday. The movie has taken in nearly $140 million in North America since its release on July 26. It was playing in less than 100 venues last weekend. With the 10 additional minutes, the run time will be two hours and 51 minutes.
Lionsgate is expanding the reach of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” to 1,567 sites, adding more than 1,300 venues on the pre-Halloween weekend.
Overall 2019 domestic box office has totaled $9.08 billion, down 5.4% as of Oct. 23, according to Comscore. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore, said the lag will persist.
“In the continuing saga of a most tenacious year-to-date box-office deficit, a host of newcomers take on the daunting task of trying to somehow get the revenues going in a positive direction,” he said. “Unfortunately, it may not be in the cards with the year-ago second weekend performance of ‘Halloween’ exhibiting Michael Myers-type strength with a $31.4 million result, plus ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Venom’ bringing the heat as well.”