The big question this weekend is the impending arrival of Hurricane Matthew and its impact on the weekend box office. Even if Matthew’s eye never hits land, the outer bands will be drenching Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina’s over the weekend, making it not ideal weather to go out to see a movie. That being said, you have to look at the movies in question and wonder… which films are doing well in the Southeast? Which films would stand to be hurt the most by four states not going to the theatres this weekend?
The Girl On The Train is a film that plays almost equally due to its “adapted from a best-selling novel” status. In order to really break it down, you’d have to look at literacy levels, and no one has time for that. The closest comp for Girl is Gone Girl, which opened to 37.5M. Gone Girl also had Ben Affleck, who is a slightly more bankable star than Emily Blunt, and also had better reviews. Train is sitting at 57% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not great, considering this should have been a film in the Oscar conversation, but instead proves that Tate Taylor is in way over his head.
Also opening with a director in over their head is Birth Of A Nation, featuring one of the most controversial people right now, Nate Parker. Parker isn’t scared of Matthew, as he’s already at the center of a media hurricane, having to defend his part in a rape trial from before he was famous. Did He or Didn’t He will absolutely affect his box office this weekend, the question is how much? The problem is that there was no tracking to see how the film would have done if the scandal hadn’t broke, so everyone is just trying to predict where the film will land now. 12 Years A Slave made 6.6 million in its first “wide” weekend. Birth is going wide immediately, which will increase that box office a bit, but not by much.
And for the kids, Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life hits, but with very little star power, which makes it hard to comp it to something. You can’t comp it to Goosebumps or Where The Wild Things Are, because while those are kids books, both are much bigger book titles. You can’t comp it to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible… because that had Steve Carell, and this has no stars. I would comp it to films like Good Boy (13M), but I don’t think it could even get 10M.
1) The Girl On The Train- 27M Weekend, 27M Total
2) Miss Peregrine- 15M Weekend, 52M Total
3) Deepwater Horizon- 11M Weekend, 37M Total
4) Storks- 8.5M Weekend, 51M Total
5) The Magnificent Seven- 8M Weekend, 74M Total
6) Birth of A Nation- 7M Weekend, 7M Total
7) Middle School- 6M Weekend, 6M Total
8) Sully- 5M Weekend, 113M Total
9) Masterminds- 3M Weekend, 11M Total
10) Queen of Katwe- 1.5M Weekend, 5.5M Total