“Inferno” won’t exactly set the box office ablaze this weekend, but the crime adventure sequel will easily earn the No. 1 spot.
The third movie starring Tom Hanks as Harvard symbology expert Robert Langdon is looking at a $25 million debut, according to the latest estimates for the title being distributed by Sony.
The only new wide release of the weekend is expected to easily best returning titles “Boo! A Madea Halloween” and “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”
If “Inferno” debuts to the current predictions, it will earn roughly 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.
Fifty percent 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 will cross the $100 million mark internationally within the next 24 hours, TheWrap has learned, which sets the stage for further domination in markets abroad.
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Directed by Ron Howard, who 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 will open in more than 3,550 theaters (377 of those being IMAX and 400 are premium large format screens). The $25 million estimate for “Inferno” is not set in stone as factors like the World Series and the fact that its Halloween weekend could affect turnout.