Universal’s “American Made” is currently in a tight race against “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” and “It” for the top spot at this weekend’s box office. Estimates currently have the R-Rated Tom Cruise crime film making $16.5 million from 3,024 screens this weekend, matching the mid-teens pre-weekend projection from independent trackers.
Meanwhile, “Kingsman” is estimated to make virtually the same amount in its second weekend after making $39 million last week, while “It” is just barely behind with a $16.3 million weekend. “It” has now passed “Gravity” to become the highest grossing film released between Labor Day and Halloween.
“American Made” has earned critical acclaim off the back of Cruise’s performance, earning an 87 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences also enjoyed the film, giving it a B+ on CinemaScore. But despite the praise, this film is still on pace to be Cruise’s lowest domestic opening in five years.
Cruise’s last film that grossed less that $20 million in its opening weekend is 2012’s “Jack Reacher,” which made $15.2 million. It should be noted that except for the 2016 sequel to that film and “American Made” — which has a reported $50 million budget — all of Cruise’s movies since “Jack Reacher” had production budgets well north of $100 million and thus much larger marketing campaigns. The two films that “American Made” is in a virtual tie with also target the young adult male demographic that this crime film is aiming for, making it more difficult to grab viewers’ attention.
Outside the top 3 logjam, “The Lego Ninjago Movie” is expected to take fourth with $11.8 million in its second weekend. In fifth is Columbia Pictures’ “Flatliners,” which is underperforming with an estimated $5.5 million from 2,552 screens after scoring a hard zero percent from Rotten Tomatoes. The $19 million film is looking like it will even fall short of studio projections, which were set at $7-8 million.
Also releasing wide this weekend is Fox Searchlight’s “Battle of the Sexes,” which is pacing to make $3-5 million from 1,213 screens this weekend.