“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.
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.