Thanks to the underperformance of Lionsgate/Millennium’s “Expend4bles,” Warner Bros./New Line’s “The Nun II” has a chance to narrowly hold on the No. 1 spot at the box office for a third weekend. Meanwhile, overall grosses have sunk even further from last weekend.
According to Sunday estimates, “The Nun II” made $8.4 million this weekend, bringing its domestic total to just under $69 million. “Expend4bles” is right behind it with an opening weekend of $8.3 million from 3,518 theaters. Like last weekend, it will come down to Monday’s actual numbers release to determine who tops the charts.
And like last weekend, business for theaters is close to the annual lows seen on Super Bowl weekend. Estimated overall grosses are down to $54 million, 14% down.
Suffice to say, the surge in moviegoing turnout fueled by the “Barbenheimer” craze has run out and theaters are in need of fresh films to build momentum again. Fortunately, they will get some help next weekend with the arrival of movies like Lionsgate’s “Saw X,” Paramount’s “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie” and Disney/20th Century’s “The Creator.”
“Saw X,” with the return of series star Tobin Bell, should be a big winner for Lionsgate. But “Expend4bles” is DOA as its $8.3 million opening weekend is the lowest for the action franchise after nearly a decade away, well below the $15.8 million that “Expendables 3” opened to in 2014.
Along with the competition for male audiences from “Saw X” and “The Creator” that will come next weekend, “Expend4bles” will also likely see a big drop against those films due to its poor reception, with a B- from audiences on CinemaScore — also a new low for an “Expendables” film — and a 16% Rotten Tomatoes score from critics.
Fortunately for Lionsgate, this sequel is a low-risk title — the studio only paid for North American and U.K. distribution.
As for the rest of the top 5 on this sluggish weekend, Disney/20th Century’s “A Haunting in Venice” is in third with $6.3 million in its second weekend. That’s a 56% drop from its $14.8 million opening weekend, which gives it a two-weekend total of $25.4 million domestically and $71.6 million globally.
Sony’s “Equalizer 3” is No. 4 with $4.7 million in its fourth weekend, giving it a domestic total of $81.4 million. Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” completes the top 5 with $3.2 million in its tenth weekend, as the year’s top-grossing film sees its totals rise to $630 million domestic and $1.42 billion worldwide.
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