Because movies are both strange and wonderful, this weekend’s box office is an incredibly tight race between the eleventh Madea film from Tyler Perry and an animated children’s starring a main character voiced by Jay Baruchel that’s only gotten increasingly and uncomfortably hotter over the years. Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral snagged $9.2 million in its first Friday night, headed toward an above-expectations $25-26 million opening weekend. This would put Family Funeral toward the upper half of the Madea openings—it wouldn’t touch Madea Goes to Jail’s $41 million debut in 2016, though—but it also puts it in a neck-and-neck competition with How to Train Your Dragon: The Lost World, which is on track for a $25-27 million second weekend after nabbing $6.5 million on Friday night.
A Madea Family Funeral is a farewell for Perry’s long-running Madea Simmons character, who debuted on-stage in 1999’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and then on film in 2005 with Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The film—which also sees Perry portray three other characters, as usual—sees a family reunion in middle-of-nowhere Georgia gone haywire when it unexpectedly turns into a funeral. It’s a goodbye to the character, but also a bounce-back of sorts for Perry after the filmmaker’s Nobody’s Fool—his first under a first-look deal with Paramount—debuted to negative reviews and just $33 million worldwide.
Speaking of a good ol’ fashioned flop: The weekend’s other debut, the stalker thriller Greta from director Neil Jordan, is looking to make just $4.7 million after taking in $1.6 million on Friday night. The film stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a young woman who befriends a widow (Isabelle Huppert) after finding her purse on a train, only to discover something far more sinister going on. In his review, Collider’s own Matt Goldberg put it pretty frankly: “Greta Is garbage.”
Alita: Battle Angel notched another $1.7 million in its on-going struggle to make up for a $200 million price tag (before marketing) for a movie about robot puberty. The movie is gaining serious steam overseas, though, where it’s taken in $222 million, a whopping 76% of its $289 million box office total.
Take a look at Friday’s numbers below and check back tomorrow for full weekend estimates. (Numbers via Box Office Mojo)
|1.||Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral||$9,200,000||$9,200,000|
|2.||How to Train Your Dragon: The Lost World||$6,460,000||$74,110,275|
|3.||Alita: Battle Angel||$1,700,000||$66,931,308|
|5.||Isn’t It Romantic||$1,350,000||$37,004,003|