This weekend’s box office is expected to be a slow one, as new releases “The Rhythm Section” from Paramount and “Gretel & Hansel” from United Artists/Orion aren’t expected to earn opening weekends of more than $15 million due to competition from the Super Bowl.
“This is always a slow weekend since most people are staying home on Sundays to watch football, especially in a year where we have the Chiefs and 49ers, two exciting teams that a lot of people were hoping would play in the championship,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock. “It also affects Saturday box office as well, since many people are home on that night as well as getting ready for their watch parties.”
Beyond the NFL, studios are also steering clear of this weekend because of a slew of February blockbusters coming down the pipe, starting with Warner Bros.’ “Birds of Prey” next weekend. “The Rhythm Section” wasn’t even originally set for release this weekend, but was moved here from previous dates in February and November 2019 after lead star Blake Lively was injured during filming.
Produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson — the longtime producers behind the James Bond series — on a $50 million budget, “The Rhythm Section” is facing an uphill battle to profitability as projections have the film making $9-12 million this weekend. With little marketing and competition from the aforementioned Super Bowl and upcoming releases, it will take incredibly strong reviews for this revenge thriller to gain traction. Currently, the film does not have a Rotten Tomatoes score.
Directed by Reed Morano, “The Rhythm Section” stars Lively as a widow who discovers that the plane accident that killed her family three years earlier was no accident. Bent on revenge, she embarks on a mission to track down those responsible by assuming the identity of an assassin. Sterling K. Brown and Jude Law also star in the film, which was adapted for the screen by Mark Burnell from his novel of the same name.
“Gretel & Hansel,” a fantasy horror take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale, is projected for a $4-6 million opening weekend. Directed and co-written by Oz Perkins, the film takes a more female-focused spin on the story as 16-year-old Gretel (Sophia Lillis) leads her 8-year-old brother Hansel (Sam Leakey) into the dark woods in search for food, where they find a house belonging to a powerful and evil witch (Alice Krige) and need the help of a nameless Hunter (Charles Babalola) to escape. The film does not currently have a Rotten Tomatoes score.