2nd Update, Midday: Weekend estimates right now show Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog ahead of Disney/20th Century Studios’ The Call of the Wild, $26.6M to $23.6M. If you see some media reports showing Call of the Wild, ahead, note that’s because the outlet is only using one studio’s estimates.
Despite besting tracking, that opening for Call of the Wild, isn’t anything to bark loudly about. It’s a very expensive movie at $135M before P&A, and the question remains what kids are going to be intrigued to see Harrison Ford outside of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Last night in Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak exits, females over 25 led at 41% followed by men over 25 at 39% with an overall 4 stars and 59% definite recommend, which isn’t that bad. We’ll see how this plays on. The over 35 crowd made up 57% of Call of the Wild‘s audience. Kids under 12 weren’t polled.
Friday’s figure for Sonic looks to be $6.6M (-68%) at 4,198 while Call of the Wild is looking at $7.2M at 3,752. Sonic‘s second weekend is looking to ease -54% coming off the built up Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend for a 10-day of $106.9M by Sunday.
Meanwhile, in 5th place is STX/Lakeshore’s $10M PG-13 horror movie Brahms: Boy II with an expected $5.2M at 2,151 after a Friday that’s bound for $1.86M. It’s another miss on PostTrak for a horror film after The Turning and The Grudge as Brahms gets stabbed with a 1/2 star from audiences and a 24% definite recommend (Fantasy Island got away with 2 stars last weekend).
1st Friday Update, 7:42AM: Disney/20th Century Studios feature adaptation of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild drew $1M on Thursday night from 6 PM previews, while STX’s horror sequel Brahms: The Boy II saw $375K at roughly 1,800 theaters. They’re the two wide entries in a post-Presidents Day weekend that will see Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog the winner with $29M-$40M in Weekend 2.
Sonic made an estimated $2.55M on Thursday, -4% from Wednesday to end Week 1 with a fantastic $80.3M.
The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford and Karen Gillan and directed by Chris Sanders, was in development before the Disney-Fox merger and repped a revived strategy by Fox when it was under Stacey Snider to head more aggressively into the animated space post-Blue Sky’s Ice Age movies and an effort to emulate the live-action/CGI hybrids like Disney’s Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book. We hear the pic was greenlighted at $135M, shot here in California, but even with a projected $17M-$20M domestic take, the studio will look to overseas for a bailout. Still, this is an Americana story, and that’s not apt to translate.
Call of the Wild opens day-and-date in most of the world sans Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Argentina, Venezuela, Finland, South Africa, and, of course, China, which continues to have a shuttered exhibition infrastructure in the height of the coronavirus. Call of the Wild‘s Rotten Tomatoes score is at 65% fresh, which is meh for this PG-rated film.
Thursday night’s business for Call of the Wild is being compared to The Upside ($1.1M, $20M opening), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ($900K, $13M opening) and A Dog’s Way Home ($535K, $11M opening) — a mix of older-skewing and family titles.
Brahms: The Boy II, rated PG-13 and directed by William Brent Bell, follows the continuing terrors of the lifelike titular doll after a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion and doll and young boy make friends. Estimated opening is in the mid-to-high single digits at 2,151 theaters. STX claims it has a $3M exposure on this $10M movie given its foreign pre-sales model. Eight reviews currently on RT are registering at 0%. The 2016 first movie, made for $10M, opened to $10.7M stateside and finaled at $35.8M, $74.1M WW. At those numbers, the movie got a sequel.
Elsewhere at the weekly B.O.: Warner Bros. Birds of Prey in No. 2 made $990K Thursday, -2%, for a Week 2 of $23.3M, running total of $65.5M. Sony’s Bad Boys for Life in No. 3 earned $620K, even, for a Week 5 of $15.3M, running cume of $185.3M. Sony/Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island is 4th with $565K,-8%, for a first week of $16M. Fifth belongs to Uni/Amblin/New Republic’s 1917 with $540K, +3%, Week 8 of $11.3M, cume of $147.6M. NEON’s Oscar best picture winner Parasite ranked sixth Thursday with $405k, -5%, and a week 19 of $8.1M, running total of $45.8M. Universal’s The Photograph slotted 7th with $365K, -9% and a first week of $14.8M.
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