Box Office Report: Reynolds and Jackson Pair Up for Victory, While Soderbergh Gets Mixed Reaction

Box Office Report: Reynolds and Jackson Pair Up for Victory, While Soderbergh Gets Mixed Reaction

Aug 21, 2017

The Hitman's BodyguardHere's your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard - $21.6 million ($21.6 million total)

2. Annabelle: Creation - $15.5 million ($64.0 million total)

3. Logan Lucky - $8.0 million ($8.0 million total)

4. Dunkirk - $6.7 million ($165.5 million total)

5. The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature - $5.1 million ($17.6 million total)

6. The Emoji Movie - $4.3 million ($71.7 million total)

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming - $4.2 million ($314.0 million total)

8. Girls Trip - $3.8 million ($103.9 million total)

9. The Dark Tower - $3.8 million ($41.6 million total)

10. Wind River - $3.0 million ($4.1 million total)


The Big Stories

This is likely going to be the last weekend of the summer movie season to have anything resembling impressive or even interesting numbers. The next two weekends are filled with, in all likelihood, non-starters as everyone waits to give their money to Stephen King’s It over the September 8 weekend. All signs point to that to be the highest opening ever in September. But that’s in three weeks.

For this and the next two weeks, it will be all about wrapping up the summer and moviegoers catching up on what they’ve missed. Maybe that means they could finally get around to Logan Lucky, Steven Soderbergh’s highly-praised film that they mostly ignored this weekend to give their money to The Hitman’s Bodyguard.


We Both Know I’m Not What You Need

If The Hitman’s Bodyguard is to be measured by any degree of success, it is finally, in Ryan Reynolds’ involvement. Critics have mostly brushed off the film with just a 39% at Rotten Tomatoes in what has been a pretty split consensus between fresh and rotten releases that have made it into 650 theaters or more. That's 19 “fresh” vs. 20 “rotten” releases, including this weekend, with studios laying the blame for some of their failures at the door of critics who were just responding honestly to inferior craftsmanship. The overall top ten this weekend averages 59.3%, down from 66% on the same weekend last year.

Hollywood has been trying to make Ryan Reynolds a star for years, but it took last year’s Deadpool to make the presumed turn. The assumption, though, was that Deadpool still just represented the perfect marriage of actor to character and even Reynolds’ greater successes over the years could not exactly be attributed directly to him, whether that’s fair or not.

The three highest openings Reynolds has been associated with were all comic book-inspired (Deadpool, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern.) The Croods and Turbo were both animated and The Amityville Horror was a remake with a recognizable hook. Safe House and The Proposal had Reynolds co-starring with two of the biggest movie stars out there in Denzel Washington and Sandra Bullock.

No offense to Samuel L. Jackson, who has been associated with some of the biggest blockbusters and franchises imaginable – just ask him, as he has been touted as the “highest-grossing actor” in the past – but audiences don’t just show up to see him, even if he is always a welcome addition. This is what makes the $21 million opening for The Hitman’s Bodyguard a boon for the Reynolds movie star case. Forget R.I.P.D. and Self/Less, this is a solid opening for the $29 million production. Just look at the best August openings from the third weekend on:

Inglourious Basterds ($38.0), Freddy vs. Jason ($36.4), Superbad ($33.0), The Expendables 2 ($28.5), The Final Destination ($27.4), Don’t Breathe ($26.4), Halloween (2007; $26.3), Lee Daniels’ The Butler ($24.6), The Hitman’s Bodyguard ($21.6), The 40 Year-Old Virgin ($21.4), Takers ($20.5), The Last Exorcism ($20.3), Exorcist: The Beginning ($18.05), Hero ($18.00), The Possesssion ($17.7), The Cell ($17.5), Bring It On ($17.3), Blade ($17.07), Invincible ($17.03), Halloween II (2009; $16.3)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard only needs around $118 million worldwide to get into profit for Lionsgate, which has had success in 2017 with John Wick: Chapter Two, The Shack and How to Be a Latin Lover but failed with All Eyez On Me and had big losers in Rock Dog and Power Rangers.


Not So Lucky, Logan.

Speaking of actors Hollywood has been trying to make into movie stars, there is also Channing Tatum. He has certainly been more successful than Reynolds, helped in part by franchises like the Jump Street films, G.I. Joe and Valentine’s Day weepies (The Vow, Dear John) but beyond that and the beefcake phenomenon that was Magic Mike, he hasn’t quite leapt into must-see territory.

That last film was Steven Soderbergh’s doing, helping to craft a vehicle for Tatum, whom he also worked with in Haywire and Side Effects in limited roles. Logan Lucky is the fourth pairing for the duo (he needs two more to join George Clooney’s six-timer club with Soderbergh) and, unfortunately, it is one of the lowest starters for either of them.

The return of Soderbergh is certainly a bigger deal for critics than it is for audiences. Logan Lucky has garnered a 93% at Rotten Tomatoes, a score that equals both Out of Sight and The Limey as Soderbergh’s highest scores since the advent of the site. (Sex, Lies & Videotape and King of the Hill are at 98% and 97%, respectively, but with only 44 and 31 total reviews posted.)

Since 1998, Soderbergh has only directed three films to score “rotten” with critics (The Good German, Full Frontal and Ocean’s Twelve), compared to (now) 18 that have come up “fresh.” That being said, Logan Lucky has come up between the openings of Haywire ($8.4 million) and Solaris ($6.7 million) for Soderbergh and is the lowest ever for Tatum in a leading role amongst wide releases. (His previous low was 2011’s The Eagle with $8.6 million.)


Tales of the Top Ten

Last week’s #1 film, Annabelle: Creation took its expected second weekend horror drop but this is all just gravy for a film that has helped push the “Conjuring Universe” into a $1 billion enterprise for Warner Bros. You have The Conjuring ($318 million), The Conjuring 2 ($320.2), Annabelle ($256.8) and now Annabelle: Creation with over $159 million so far, with next year’s The Nun on the way. Creation is still well ahead of the pace of last year’s August horror hit, Don’t Breathe, but fell slightly behind its second weekend. Because that weekend was aided by the Labor Day holiday, a final gross for prequel-to-prequel-to-prologue Annabelle: Creation is still likely in the $89-100 million range.

Warner Bros. has even greater sights for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. An error last week suggested the film had already reached the half-billion mark worldwide when the film is just over $383 million through this weekend. That’s still a hit anyway you slice it. His critically-acclaimed WWII film remains over $7 million ahead of Interstellar’s pace and seems likely to end up somewhere between $190-200 million domestic.

Sony is seeing the best and the worst of their summer in the Top Ten once again with Spider-Man: Homecoming over $724 million worldwide making it their most successful film (profit-wise) of 2017. The Dark Tower looks as if it has at least passed Life (co-starring Ryan Reynolds) to not be Sony’s biggest failure of the year, but unless it finds at least another $110 million somewhere, a failure it is indeed. The Emoji Movie, meanwhile, still needs about $44 million to get into profit.

Girls Trip is hardly Universal’s biggest success this year, but it is over $100 million domestic and continues to climb the profit chart of 2017. The struggling Weinstein Co. managed to score a small victory for Wind River, getting it into the Top Ten in just 694 theaters this weekend. Is the $4.1 million it has made to date a good over/under on what their animated film Leap! does next weekend?

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[Box office figures via Box Office Mojo.]

Categories: Features, Box office
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