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‘The Invisible Man’ Stalks Its Way to $26 Million Opening

Anime import ”My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising“ also hits theaters

Universal/Blumhouse’s “The Invisible Man” is meeting box office expectations and headed for a $26 million opening weekend.

Director Leigh Whannell’s modernized spin on the H.G. Wells novel is breaking a small slump for horror films at the box office by grossing $9.8 million at the Friday box office from 3,610 screens.

While it’s not one of the biggest opening weekends for a Blumhouse film, “The Invisible Man” is set to bring a much bigger return on investment for Universal than their 2017 attempt to revive one of their classic horror IP. “The Mummy,” which was supposed to be the start of the doomed Dark Universe series, had a larger opening weekend with $31 million, but also had a far larger budget at $125 million and took 80% of its $409 million gross from outside the U.S.

“Invisible Man,” by contrast, has a net budget of just $7 million and far better reception. Critics have praised the Elisabeth Moss-starring film’s sheer terror and provocative social commentary, giving it a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score. Audience reception has been positive as well with a B+ on CinemaScore and a 4/5 on Postrak. In a winter of highs (“1917”) and lows (“Cats” and “Dolittle”) for Universal, count this one as a high as “The Invisible Man” stands to build word of mouth over the next two weeks as a mature and intense alternative to the slew of family films in theaters.

Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” and 20th Century/Disney’s “The Call of the Wild” are in a narrow race for the No. 2 spot on the charts, with “Sonic” currently having the edge with an estimated $15 million grossed in its third weekend. That would push the video game adaptation to $127 million in its domestic grosses, but its worldwide total will take a big hit at the hands of the coronavirus outbreak, as release in China has been indefinitely postponed.

“The Call of the Wild” is in third with an estimated $13 million, which would give it a total of $45.6 million after 10 days in theaters. While that is still well short of the film’s $125 million budget, any write-down Disney takes on this film they inherited from the 20th Century Fox acquisition is expected to be made up for by the release of “Onward” next week. Expect both “Call” and “Sonic” to take a big drop in grosses next weekend when family audiences are peeled off by Pixar’s newest film.

In fourth is Funimation’s “My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising,” the second feature-length film based on the hit manga and anime series from Kohei Horikoshi. Funimation, which is owned by Sony Pictures Television, gave this film a targeted release on 1,260 screens on Wednesday, and it is now projected for a $4.7 million Friday-Sunday total and an $8 million 5-day total. That beats the total earned by the previous film from the franchise, “My Hero Academia: Two Heroes,” which made $5.75 million from a limited event release on just over 500 screens.

Completing the Top 5 is Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which will cross $400 million in global grosses this weekend. The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence revival has held on incredibly well in theaters, staying in the Top 5 longer than later releases like “Birds of Prey,” as it has earned $4 million in its seventh weekend. Domestically, the film now has a total of $196 million.