By now most of you know that this summer’s box office was the second most-lucrative in history with $4.48 billion in total sales. Only 2013’s $4.7 billion ranks higher, though the spoils of victory were more evenly divided back then. This year, more than half of the box office’s overall receipts were claimed by just two studios: Universal (Jurassic World) and Disney (Avengers: Age of Ultron).
The big hits of summer are well behind us now, as last weekend’s dismal Labor Day box office proved – and September is typically the lowest grossing month of any given year. Even so, the first frame of fall looks like it has two modestly-budgeted hits on its hands.
First up is Sony/Screen Gems’ The Perfect Guy. The PG-13 thriller starring Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan, and Morris Chestnut opened in first place on Friday with an estimated $9.95 million from 2,221 locations. For the three-day weekend, The Perfect Guy is expected to double its reported budget with an opening of almost $25 million. That’s on par with No Good Deed, another romantic thriller from Screen Gems, which debuted on this same weekend last September.
One week ago, it looked like The Visit was destined to join writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s growing list of box office disappointments. Once heralded for The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan has more recently been reviled for the likes of The Last Airbender and After Earth. But in something of a surprise, it looks like The Visit may actually exceed its (admittedly modest) expectations. The PG-13 horror pic opened with an estimated $9.2 million from 3,069 locations. That was close enough to challenge The Perfect Guy, briefly, for first place on Friday. As with most horror movies, The Visit is expected to fall off on Saturday – leaving it with an opening weekend projection of $20 million. That’s more than the film was expected to bring in and, when viewed in light of its $5 million budget, would be more than enough to give Shyamalan his first hit since 2004’s The Village.
Here’s Friday’s top five films, based on studio estimates:
|1.||The Perfect Guy||$9,950,000||$9.95|
|4.||A Walk in the Woods||$1,460,000||$16.7|
|5.||Straight Outta Compton||$1,200,000||$152.8|