Here’s the good news: studios may be closing in on a deal to finally end the writers’ strikes this year, one where marketing seems to be lost in an abyss somewhere while folks are unpleased about the suspicions of artificial intelligence in the filmmaking space. The bad news is after a hot streak since the summertime, things have toppled at the box office with one too many franchise entries that not enough people desired. Case in point, Expend4ables tumbled to a new franchise low with $8.3 million (a far cry from its predecessor’s in 2014) and couldn’t even dispatch The Nun II for gold at the domestic box office.
The Jason Statham/Sylvester Stallone action-thriller was never poised to break out, as this series has bombastic action leading to bombastic results. True, it could make a profit years ago with its predecessors with its S-tier star power, and folks are okay with tagging along for ludicrous action. Now, we’re tossing in whoever is available with poor reviews and a B- from CinemaScore, so this may be what the crew can work with. But, with a $19 million global debut, this will be a catastrophe for Lionsgate, who remains on eggshells as they desperately hope to acquire a win from Saw X or The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. While Jason Statham won with Meg 2, he will not be here.
The Nun II dipped 42% in its third weekend, clenching for $70 million domestically and passing $200 million worldwide. One of the few bright spots of September, this should have enough to surpass $275 million worldwide; $300 million could be possible if legs stand for the spooky season. A Haunting in Venice dipped 56% in its second weekend, with $25.4 million domestically and $71.6 million globally. In other words, it’s tracking its predecessor in terms of legs (even with the COVID variables) and may get enough to break even. Dumb Money added 608 more theaters in its second weekend to earn $2.5 million, and It Lives Inside opened with $2.63 million.
The Equalizer 3 will top $150 million worldwide by the end of this sentence (and is on pace to reach its predecessors in terms of domestic legs). Barbie is closing the gap on Frozen 2‘s total ($1.45 billion) at $1.427 billion, and Oppenheimer has taken in $925 million worldwide. TMNT: Mutant Mayhem will wrap up around $180 million worldwide as it heads to Paramount+ (a solid win), while Gran Turismo is stretching to break even on its $60 million budget.
Next weekend sees the release of The Creator and Saw X.