It's been a slow weekend for both new releases and box office, as studios appear to be holding onto their big titles until next week, with "The Lego Batman Movie", "John Wick Chapter 2" and "Fifty Shades Darker" (no snickering please) all set to premiere next Friday, so the pickings this weekend are slim.
But here we go again; another weekend, and another sequel that no one asked for that underperformed at the box office. This weekend it was "Rings" - the who-asked-for-it sequel to 2002's horror film hit, "The Ring", itself a remake of the Japanese horror film, "Ringu", which was a surprise success that grossed over $129 million in the States, and $250 million worldwide. Naturally, that was followed by a sequel three years later titled "Ring 2", which wasn't as successful, earning only $76 million domestically and $100 million less than the first "Ring" film worldwide.
So you would think that audiences have been "Ring"-ed out, but Paramount, looking for a hit, thought inexplicably that audiences were in the mood to see yet another sequel to a movie that played itself out 12 years ago. And though "Rings" actually was made for $20 million less than the first "Ring" movie, it looks like a non-starter, since it only opened to $13 million, coming in second place this weekend. The good news is that it did better overseas, drawing about $15 million, meaning Paramount will probably still come out ahead once the film has finished its run. But whether another "Rings" movie will be produced is now uncertain. The studio will take what it can get, since they had a lousy 2016 box office, and 2017 looks grim for them.
Number 1 for the third weekend in a row, is M. Night Shyamalan's suspense thriller "Split", which grossed just over $14.5 million this weekend, for almost $100 million domestic, and $142 million worldwide. Though reviews still remain split (ha-ha) on the film, it's somehow capturing audiences and getting some very good word of mouth. Perhaps some kind reader who has seen the film can tell us why it's proven to be so popular (without giving away any spoilers, mind you).
"Hidden Figures" continues to pull in solid numbers, again with the lowest per week drop off of any movie; meaning that, not only is word-of-mouth very strong (is there anyone who doesn't like this film? I doubt it), it's also getting repeat business. It came in fourth this weekend with just over $10 million, and looks even more certain to do at least $150 million domestically (it's earned almost $120 million as of this weekend). The film continues to expand overseas with just $3 million to date (Spain accounts for half of that with $1.5 million, once again disproving the lie that black films don't do well overseas).
SPX's sci-fi film for teenagers, "The Space Between Us", was the big loser this weekend, earning $3.8 million, which is perhaps not so surprising since SPX held back the release of the film twice until finally opening it this weekend, which means that they likely knew that they had a loser on their hands.
And Weinstein Company's film "Lion" finally opened wider on 1400 screens, but it's still struggling to catch fire, grossing only $4 million to date.
But to end with some excellent news - the opening box office for Raoul Peck's acclaimed James Baldwin documentary, "I Am Not You Negro", which premiered in a limited release on just 43 screens nationwide this weekend, earned a total of $709,500, or $16,000 per screen, giving it the highest per screen average for any film in release in the top 25 this weekend. Magnolia Pictures, the film's distributor, will continue to broaden its release so that it reaches an even wider audience. To find out when and where exactly it'll screen in your city, click here.
The rest of the story below:
1) Split Uni. $14,584,485 Total: $98,700,950
2) Rings Par. $13,000,000
3) A Dog's Purpose Uni. $10,824,830 Total $32,926,095
4) Hidden Figures Fox $10,100,000 Total $119,402,095
5) La La Land LG/S $7,450,000 Total $118,306,924
6) Resident Evil: The Final Chapter SGem $4,500,000 Total $21,851,775
7) Sing Uni. $4,080,715 Total $262,907,195
8) Lion Wein. $4,006,000 Total $24,711,674
9) The Space Between Us STX $3,820,000
10) xXx: The Return of Xander Cage Par. $3,700,000 Total $40,024,887
11) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story BV $2,933,000 Total $524,642,512
12) Monster Trucks Par. $2,120,000 Total $31,114,593