All the action over Super Bowl weekend will be in the Hard Rock Stadium down in Miami, not at the box office.
Two wide entries will enter the marketplace, IM Global/Paramount/Eon’s Blake Lively R-rated femme assassin movie Rhythm Section and United Artists Releasing’s PG-13 fantasy horror Gretel & Hansel, but neither are expected to make any kind of excitement at the multiplex. Rhythm Section, which cost $50M before P&A, is expected to die according to tracking with a single digits gross over 3-days at 3,049 locations, while Gretel & Hansel could see $10M at 3,007 theaters in a weekend that will be ruled again by Sony’s Bad Boys for Life in its third go-round with $15.3M. If Hollywood is going to have any eyeballs this weekend, it will be for their movie trailers during the Big Game on Sunday.
Gretel & Hansel took in $475K at 2,500 sites from showtimes that began at 7PM. I’m told that the box office comparisons for the movie is Paramount’s 2017 horror reboot Rings ($800K) and 2018’s CBS feature Winchester which made $615K in previews both on the Thursdays before their Super Bowl weekend openings. Rings opened to $13M, while Winchester did $9.3M in its debut. Directed by Oz Perkins and written by Rob Hayes, Gretel & Hansel the classic fairytale siblings as they venture into a dark wood in desperate search for food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.
Last night off 7PM shows, Rhythm Section made $235K from 2,256 theaters. Paramount shelled out $30M for domestic rights, and most foreign territories except for China and Germany. The pic reps the first big studio action film by The Handmaid’s Tale Emmy winner Reed Morano who helmed the Sundance dystopian future pic I Think We’re Alone Now, which made its premiere two years ago at Sundance, and the Olivia Wilde 2015 drama Meadowland. Based on Mark Burnell’s drama, Rhythm Section follows a woman who seeks revenge on those who killed her family in a plane crash.
Bad Boys for Life made an estimated $1.97M yesterday at 3,775 theaters in the top spot, even with Wednesday’s gross, ending its second week with $43.7M and a running total of $130.3M. The pic is $8.3M away from besting the $138.6M lifetime domestic of 2003’s Bad Boys II. The threequel continues to top Fandango’s weekend sales with the online-mobile ticket retailer reporting that the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence movie is their best-selling title ever for the month of January (not counting December holdovers like Force Awakens or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle).
Amblin/New Republic/Universal’s 1917, nominated for ten Oscars including Best Picture,ranked 2nd with an estimated $1.24M, -1% from Wednesday for a fifth week of $21.5M and running total of $109.6M.
STX/Miramax’s Guy Ritchie Brit action movie The Gentleman earned $790K in third, -3% from Wednesday, for a first week of $14.4M.
Last year repped the lowest Super Bowl weekend in 19 years at the box office with $75M, after 2000’s $66.3M weekend.