20th Century Fox’s “The Predator” will take the top spot on the box office charts from “The Nun” this weekend with an estimated $26 million opening from 4,037 screens, but will need help from overseas markets to stay out of the red.
Shane Black’s addition to the ’80s monster franchise looks like it will have an opening slightly higher than the $24.7 million the last installment, “Predators,” made in 2010. But “The Predator” is a far more expensive film, with an $88 million budget compared to $40 million for its predecessor. The larger budget is mainly due to the increased CGI in the film, as well as the salaries of stars like Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown and Keegan-Michael Key.
Similar to last year’s “Alien: Covenant,” “The Predator” seems to have brought in longtime fans of the franchise, but hasn’t grown its audience and will need international revenue to make its money back. Word of mouth has also been weak, with a 34 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a C+ from audiences on CinemaScore.
In second place is WB/New Line’s “The Nun,” falling 65 percent from its $53.8 for an estimated $18 million opening. While a steep drop, it’s par for the course for a horror film and would give this film an $85 million 10-day total, approximately $2 million more than that of its predecessor “The Conjuring” back in 2013.
Below the two creature features are new releases from Lionsgate and Sony, “A Simple Favor” and “White Boy Rick.” “A Simple Favor” is taking third, opening slightly above box office expectations with an estimated $16 million opening from 3,102 screens. Sporting a $20 million budget, the film has the best critical reception of this weekend’s newcomers with a B+ on CinemaScore and 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sony/Studio 8’s “White Boy Rick,” meanwhile, is performing slightly beneath tracker expectations with an estimated $9 million from 2,504 screens. Trackers had projected a $10-12 million opening against a reported budget of approximately $28-30 million, though Sony projected $8-10 million. Despite strong reviews for the film’s newcomer star Richie Merritt, critics were mixed on the rest of the movie with a 62 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, putting a damper on potential audience awareness.
WB’s “Crazy Rich Asians” completes the top five with an estimated $8.7 million, putting it just slightly short of $150 million to become WB’s current top domestic grosser of 2018. Outside the top five, Pure Flix’s “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is estimated to open to $2.3 million from 1,620 screens, holding a 21 percent Rotten Tomatoes score but an A from faith-based movie fans on CinemaScore.