Some blame the World Series, others say it’s due to Halloween revelry, but the fact remains: Moviegoers aren’t flocking to the crime adventure sequel “Inferno.”
The third movie starring Tom Hanks as Harvard symbology expert Robert Langdon was looking at a $25 million debut earlier last week, but current estimates have its three-day debut set to $15 million.
That puts the only new wide release of the weekend in second place, behind returning title “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” which came in at No. 1 in back-to-back weekends with an estimated $16.7 million.
“Inferno” is earning less than half of what its 2009 predecessor, “Angels & Demons,” made when it debuted to $46.2 million — and went on to earn $133.4 million domestically.
The movie, also starring Felicity Jones, has a B+ CinemaScore — awarded by those surveyed on opening night. It has a low 20 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, which also likely dampened its potential box office blaze.
Diminishing returns is something of a trend in the Dan Brown book-based series, as “Angels & Demons” opened to roughly half of what the original “The Da Vinci Code” made on its debut. The 2006 film opened to $77 million and went on to earn $217.5 million domestically.
Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Imagine Entertainment likely picked up on the trend as the spend on the “Inferno” production was $75 million (not counting marketing costs) — which is roughly half of the budget allotted to the two previous films in the series.
Domestic results are a bit beside the point, as the Robert Langdon movies have consistently made more than 70 percent of their global grosses abroad. “The Da Vinci Code” made $540.7 million overseas, for example.
“Inferno” opened first overseas and is about to cross the $150 million mark internationally, TheWrap has learned.
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Directed by Ron Howard, who also helmed the past two films in the series, “Inferno” revolves around Langdon’s desperate race to head off a global pandemic by using Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” to unravel a mystery.
The film is playing in 3,576 theaters (377 of those being IMAX and 400 are premium large format screens).
The Top Five:
1. “Boo! A Madea Halloween” (Lionsgate) — $16.7 million in Week 2 ($52 million total)
2. “Inferno” (Sony) — $15 million in Week 1 ($15 million total)
3. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (Paramount) — $9.6 million in Week 2 ($39.7 million total)
4. “The Accountant” (Warner Bros.) — $8.5 million in Week 3 ($61.3 million total)
5. “Ouija: Origin of Evil” — $7.1 million in Week 2 ($24.6 million total)