‘It Chapter Two’ Balloons Franchise To $1B+ Global; Tarantino’s ‘Hollywood’ Overtakes ‘Basterds’ WW; ‘Downton Abbey’ Serves Up Early $12M Debut – International Box Office

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (UNI): $1.3M intl weekend (33 markets); $269.7M intl cume ($428M global)
Yesterday (UNI): $1.2M intl weekend (28 markets); $65.6M intl cume ($139M global)
String that onto the 2017 original and the two films combined have made $1.02B. UPDATE; writethru: New Line/Warner Bros’ It Chapter Two had its second reading at the global and international box office this weekend, after screaming to the 2nd highest worldwide opening ever for a horror movie last session. The split on Chapter Two is currently $169.5M overseas and $153.8M domestic for a global take of $323.3M. With the sophomore frame’s extra balloons, the franchise has now crossed $1B worldwide.
Good Boys/strong> (UNI): $1.8M intl weekend (33 markets); $18.3M intl cume ($91.6M global)
Fans of the series — which was a global phenomenon that sparked a new worldwide age of British drama — are expected to embrace it. Most agree the film is a warm hug from favorite characters with a giant scale and intricate detail not seen on TV. North America, where the Michael Engler-helmed movie opens this week, was one of the majors that helped push the TV saga to its heights (it won more Emmys than BAFTAs, and many of the cast and crew have told me in past years that they were stunned by the American response). and NBC and Focus are teaming on Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event one-hour special set to air a day before the extravaganza hits theaters Stateside. The challenge on this one will be in drawing an unschooled audience. As of two weeks ago in North America, Downton was on fire in pre-sales ahead of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
IN HOLLYWOOD ONCE UPON A TIME…
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
TLK notably had a great hold in Spain this week (-9%) given this was the start of the school year for kids locally.
HUSTLERS
MORE…” />
 
Universal’s spinoff is still spinning cash overseas with an $8.1M weekend to cume $572.6M abroad and $740.9M global. China remains the lead market at $196.1M after weekend 6. The film passed $700M last week, which star Dwayne Johnson even noted.
*Denotes new
1 at $214K from 31 locations, 51% above Bad Moms 2, and 119% over A Simple Favor. Elsewhere, Netherlands bowed to $370K from 86 sites, on par with A Bad Moms Christmas, while Israel boogied into No.
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
Dora And The Lost City Of Gold (PAR): $2.3M intl weekend (29 markets); $28.2M intl cume ($79.5M global)
Disney and Fox combined now have the top 5 films ever in EMEA with Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Lion King and Avengers: Endgame. As noted above, in EMEA, TLK bested Avengers: Endgame to become the No. 4 highest grossing title of all time. It's good to be the king.
NEW
Universal's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw banked a further $8.1M this weekend from 68 markets to lift the cume overseas to $572.6M and global to $740.9M. China is now at $196.1M.
While the UK, at $16.5M, is Pennywise’s top market so far, he did cede the No. The Dowager Countess’ zingers also nabbed the top spot in Australia while much play is still to come, including in the U.S. next weekend. The total weekend on this big screen transfer released by Universal is an estimated $11.7M from 17 markets. 1 spot there to Downton Abbey which grossed an estimated $6.3M in the home counties.
In Hollywood has become the director’s 2nd highest-grossing movie ever worldwide with $329.4M to surpass Inglourious Basterds. Elsewhere, Sony/Bona and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… The offshore portion is closing in on $200M with $192.5M so far.
Overseas, next session notably adds Germany which should see a solid serving; France opens September 25. There are also several other international markets to come.
The Top 5 overseas markets are: UK ($16.5M), Mexico ($16.1M), Russia ($13.9M), Germany ($12.8M) and Italy ($0.1M).
Japan is the last key market to release on November 1.
Hollywood is now the 2nd highest grossing film in the director’s career. The international cume is inching towards $200M, currently at $192.5M. Sony/Bona’s Quentin Tarantino love letter to 1969 Hollywood scooped another $8.4M this weekend from 60 markets. Globally, the hot August nights that sparked this Cannes premiere have now led to $329.4M, overtaking QT’s Inglourious Basterds.
As Anthony has noted, talent (including JLo, Cardi B, Lili Reinhart and Constance Wu) have a considerable social reach with more than 318M worldwide fans.
The UK, however, is the lead market at $16.5M in 2nd place this frame behind Downton. Germany was the best hold, with a 39% drop to cume $12.8M.
Holdover markets overseas dropped just 39% this weekend and there is still Italy and Korea to come.
The box office start there was $6.3M for No. This is above TV transfer Absolutely Fabulous (+25%), as well as period comps Darkest Hour (+26%) and The Favourite (+129%). A Focus Features and Carnival Films production distributed internationally by Universal Pictures, Downton Abbey, the movie, began offshore rollout via Universal this week in 17 markets including the UK where the film had its world premiere on Monday. 1 at 730 locations.
Toy Story 4/em>(DIS): $2.8M intl weekend (25 markets); $625.5M intl cume ($1.085B global)
*The Goldfinch (WB): $985K intl weekend (13 markets); $3.625M global
HOLDOVERS/EXPANSIONS

In the UK, the Jennifer Lopez pic was No. 3 with an estimated $1.7M from 477 locations to give STX its best debut to date there. In other new openers, STX’s Hustlers bowed in 15 overseas markets, shimmying to a $4.6M start.
Crawl (PAR): $555K intl weekend (26 markets); $37.3M intl cume ($83.5M global)
Top Five on TLK: China ($120.4M), UK ($90.8M), France ($78.6M), Brazil ($68.8M), Japan ($58.3M).
Disney’s The Lion King has put a paw past $1.6B global with an added $6.9M offshore in the current frame for a $1.083B international cume and $1.617B worldwide. 4 release ever. Notably, in Europe Middle East Africa, TLK has overtaken Avengers: Endgame to become the No.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (SNY): $4.1M intl weekend (54 markets); $72.1M intl cume ($111.7M global)
MISC CUMES/NOTABLE
Rollout continues from October through December in such majors as Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Germany.
I movie in Europe and Latin America this session; and as the top U.S. title in Asia (there are some local newcomers in both Korea and China). Overall, It2 continued as the No.
A Dog’s Journey (UNI): $1M intl weekend (4 markets); $49.2M intl cume including non-UNI markets ($71.8M global)
Disney’s The Lion King has now crossed $1.6B globally and stands as the No. The current weekend was worth $6.9M offshore in 44 markets. The gross abroad for Simba is $1.083B; global is $1.617B. 7 movie of all time both worldwide and overseas.
In launches, France welcomed the scary clown this session with $4.7M on 600 screens and Hong Kong grossed $935K from 83 to become the biggest opening weekend ever for a horror film in the market.
This lifts the global total to $37.7M. In the UK, the Jennifer Lopez pic was No. 2 with $1.2M from 2K sites. 3 with an estimated $1.7M from 477 locations to give STX its best debut to date. STX’s domestic champ opened in 15 overseas markets this session, overperforming in the UK and Russia, and shimmying to a $4.6M start. In Russia, the launch was No. That’s 6% ahead of STX’s A Bad Moms Christmas.
The Andy Muschietti-directed Chapter Two scared up another $47M this weekend in 78 offshore markets. 1 in all of its debuts this session, also maintaining No. 1s in 52 hubs that bowed last session. It is holding the top spot at the international box office and was No.
THE LION KING
 
DOWNTON ABBEY
2. 1s in Finland ($608K/100 sites) and New Zealand ($502K/111), all above comps. There were also No. Australia, likewise, was a No.1 launch and well ahead of comps with $2.2M; Netherlands indexed above comps and rang in $685K from 136 locations at No.
 
IT CHAPTER TWO
New openers were all No. Now released in 78 international markets, Andy Muschietti’s star-studded follow-up to 2017’s Stephen King adaptation has grossed $169.5M for $323.3M worldwide. 1s while 52 markets held the top spot. Crazy clown-like, the weekend also puts the two movies in the franchise over $1B global. This weekend, like last, Pennywise was top clown overseas and added $47M from 20,449 screens in 78 markets.

‘Hustlers’ Boogies To $28M Opening, Set To Be Record Start For STX & Jennifer Lopez Live-Action Fare

That is 6% ahead of previous installment London Has Fallen, which finaled stateside with $62.5M. In second on Thursday was Millennium/Lionsgate's Angel Has Fallen with $515,000, -8% at 3,229 for a third week of $8.5M and a running total of $56M.
EPs are Adam Fogelson, Robert Simonds, Pamela Thur, Alex Brown and Megan Ellison. Anything over $23.1M this weekend for Hustlers reps a live-action opening record for Lopez, besting her 2005 high Monster in Law, and anything over $23.8M is a record opening for STX, which is greatly in need of a hit after the UglyDolls debacle. Hustlers is produced by Jessica Elbaum, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
The Andy Muschietti-directed sequel is expected to lead the box office with a second weekend around $36M, down 60%. Yesterday in regular release, New Line's It Chapter Two led all pics with $4M, -12% from Wednesday, for a first week of $113.1M, pacing 29% behind the first week of Chapter One which made $158.7M.
PREVIOUSLY, Friday 6:56 AM: STXfilms' Hustlers, as anticipated, is off to a fantastic start for the weekend with $2.5 million. That's a figure that's higher than Universal's Girls Trip ($1.7M), STX's Bad Moms ($2M) and Paramount's Rocketman ($2.3M).
Wu plays Destiny, who tells the story of how she becomes the protege of Lopez's Ramona, who eventually hatches a plan for Scores strippers to take down their Wall Street clients.
However the same success can't be said of Warner Bros' drama The Goldfinch, which is just simply not flying with a Friday of $1.35M and a three-day of $4.1M, a complete disaster. New Line's It Chapter Two at this point in time looks to be holding a bit better than expected with a second weekend of $41M in first place, down 55%, for a running 10-day total of $154M.
Even if grosses fall back to $26M, which is where some conservative projections lie, Hustlers will still be an opening record for STX and Lopez. The Friday total, including last night's $2.5M, looks to be around $11M according to industry estimates.
The project was passed over by Annapurna roughly a year ago with STX taking a shot at the feature adaptation of the New York magazine article "The Hustlers at Scores" by Jessica Pressler, with Lorene Scafaria writing and directing. Hustlers plays in 3,250 theaters today.
UPDATED, Friday midday: STX's Hustlers is poised to rake in a $28 million opening in second place overall for the weekend frame, a total that will easily be an opening record for STXfilms in the wake of Bad Moms ($23.8M) as well as Jennifer Lopez's live-action pics. Hustlers is also an opening record for Constance Wu, higher than her Crazy Rich Asians ($26.5M three-day total, even though a five-day opening).
The Toronto Film Festival is a launchpad where films can either prime themselves for great riches or completely explode. What can we say? Stripper pics are easy at the B.O., orphan dramas are hard. Warners didn't hold any previews last night for Goldfinch.” /> That latter Warner Bros pic, based on the Donna Tartt bestseller, is unfortunately expected to die this weekend with a mid-single-digit gross, not enough for its $45M production before P&A. Hustlers had no problems with critics at TIFF, who loved it with a 95% fresh score, while they shot down John Crowley's The Goldfinch at 29% Rotten.
Advance ticket sales for Hustlers is huge. Older females plan their trips to the cinema, so it stands to reason that this pic, which has exploded on social media, would be a hot ticket. Yesterday, Hustlers was the top-selling title on Fandango, beating It Chapter Two and The Goldfinch, repping more than 30% of all tickets sold on the movie ticket service.
Those who loved the film the most last night included females under 25 (91% positive), the under 25 set (87%), 45-54 demo (88%) and African Americans (84%). Comscore/Screen Engine exits last night for Hustlers show 3 1/2 stars and a 50% definite recommend. Females over 25 repped 51% of the audience, males over 25 were 25%, with females under 25 at 15% and guys under 25 at 9%. Diversity breakdown was 42% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 23% African American and 6% Asian.
The Jennifer Lopez-Constance Wu-Lili Reinhart pic, which was made for $20.7M before P&A, is expected to make at least $20M this weekend, with tracking and others betting Hustlers' dance ends between $25M-$30M.

STX Shows Off Chadwick Boseman-Starrer ’21 Bridges’, Dave Bautista’s ‘My Spy’ & More – CineEurope

This is Jennifer Lopez's reteam with STX after Second Act and sees her as the head of a group of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. There was also a Hustlers exclusive sneak. Lorene Scafaria directs with STX releasing September 13 domestically and in the UK.
Several scenes were on display today for the August 23 release. The latter got the most extensive look-in with a video introduction from Bautista who winked that the movie has it all, including an "immensely sexy, super-buff and undeniably charismatic lead." In April, Bautista had told CinemaCon attendees this was the first time he was "fully hands on as a producer." The Peter Segal-helmed pic, which also stars Kristen Schaal and Big Little Lies' Chloe Coleman, follows a hardened CIA operative who has been sent to surveil the family of a precocious 9-year-old girl.
Butler starts filming next week what he said would be an "epic, exciting and emotional" ride. Also appearing in a taped message was Gerard Butler as he heads off to shoot Greenland, the disaster thriller that Ric Roman Waugh is directing.
STXinternational today made its second-ever appearance on stage at CineEurope, repped by John Friedberg and Llewellyn Radley who were respectively promoted to President of International and Managing Director, UK & EVP International earlier this year. The pair presented a roster of upcoming titles that includes Chadwick Boseman-starrer 21 Bridges, horror thriller Countdown, the Jennifer Lopez-fronted Hustlers and Dave Bautista action comedy My Spy.
and UK October 25 via STX. Justin Dec wrote and directs the movie which releases in the U.S. Countdown, about an evil app that informs people of the exact moment they will die, was presented in a first-look trailer.
Among titles on the 2020/21 slate that also got a shoutout today were Black Bear Pictures collaborations I Care A Lot, The Friend and The Marsh King's Daughter as well as Allison Williams-starrer Horizon Line and the Chris Pine-fronted Violence Of Action.” />
An exclusive trailer was shown for the Russo brothers-produced pic about a disgraced NYPD detective who, after being thrust into a manhunt for a cop killer, is given a shot at redemption amid a citywide lockdown. Crime thriller 21 Bridges, from director Brian Kirk, releases domestically via STX on September 27 and begins in some overseas markets this month.

Chadwick Boseman-Russo Bros Actioner ‘21 Bridges’ Moves To Fall As STX Sets Dave Bautista’s ‘My Spy’ For Summer

It's the only PG-13 comedy opening in the weeks leading up to, and after, the 23rd. It's the first release day for My Spy, which stars wrestler-turned-actor Bautista as a hardened CIA operative (who finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.) The pic will open wide against Lionsgate action threequel Angel Has Fallen, Sony drama Overcomer and Fox Searchlight's horror pic Ready or Not.
STX made a pair of scheduling moves today, shifting its Russo Brothers/Chadwick Boseman actioner 21 Bridges from July 12 to September 27 and dating the Dave Bautista action comedy My Spy for August 23.
The pic had been set to open against Paramount's horror film Crawl and another Bautista action-comedy, Disney/Fox's Stuber, with Kumail Nanjiani.” />
Simmons, Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch and Stephan James, it will go up against Universal's toon Abominable, Untitled Blumhouse Project and Entertainment Studios drama All Rise. Co-starring J.K. The thriller, 21 Bridges (fka 17 Bridges) features Black Panther star Boseman as a disgraced NYPD detective who, after being thrust into a citywide manhunt for a cop killer, is given a shot at redemption.

STX COO Tom McGrath Exits, Will Remain Senior Adviser At Studio

He will remain a senior adviser at the company. Deadline has confirmed that STX Entertainment chief operating officer Thomas McGrath is stepping down.
No more details were provided by STX. Variety first had the news on McGrath's departure.
He is reportedly planning a return to the Broadway space, where he has a notable background including Tootsie which recently opened. McGrath, who has been at Bob Simonds’ mini-major since its ramp-up, exited his post on Monday.
rights out of American Film Market for $8M-$9M. The news comes in the wake of STXfilms' much-anticipated foray into feature animation UglyDolls, which tanked with a $8.6 million domestic opening. STX is opening eOne's Poms this weekend after it acquired the pic's U.S.
She started there in 2016.” /> Back in March, STX chief brand officer Patti Röckenwagner departed the company for another opportunity.

Why ‘UglyDolls’ Wasn’t Beautiful At The B.O. With $8.5M Opening

While the pic has yet to lock down a release date there, box office history for family pics in China is against UglyDolls: family fare under-indexes there, with even Pixar films challenged. STX eventually got ahold of UglyDolls and believed that the property would resonate over in China. Based on this weekend's box office results, it's clear that the doll line isn't as universal as originally perceived by STX.
 
STX jumped the gun on UglyDolls before the movie even hit the screens, developing a 26-episode 2020 series for Hulu (hmm, maybe that should have aired first before the movie?), and taking all rights to the UglyDolls property, including worldwide merchandising and licensing rights for toys and consumer products. While Hasbro is the global licensee for UglyDolls merchandise, industry experts believe that those ancillaries will be hurt based on the result of this movie's stateside performance. STX was likely counting on higher returns in these sectors.
Barbie built the House of Mattel, and the last thing that toy company will do is make a film that screws up its legacy bread and butter. No wonder why Mattel is so slow to develop their toylines into films, i.e. when Barbie wasn't working at Sony over several years with versions starring Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway, they jettisoned the IP to Warner Bros.
Even though UglyDolls had a huge social media universe across Facebook, YouTube views, Twitter and Instagram of 345.7M, the viral rate of videos of 9:1 EOR was half that of the average animated pic's 18:1. The studio sought to tap pop artists with high social media wattage: RelishMix alone estimates the total Twitter/Facebook/Instagram following between Clarkson, Pittbull and Nick Jonas at over 184M. Speaking of top clips, the movie’s average daily views for its best YouTube videos are 10.7K, once again short of the 28.5K genre benchmark." Says RelishMix, " It’s also worth noting the many of the movie’s top-viewed clips are owned in nature (paid by the studio).
US animation struggles in China, and a $60M projection would be hard to meet for UglyDolls in the Middle Kingdom. on UglyDolls. The film only released in a few territories this weekend, and as of yesterday it wasn't doing so hot in South Korea. We understand that STX would be happy with a $150M global B.O. Pixar's Coco overindexed in the Middle Kingdom with $189.2M, because China has a Tomb Sweeping Day holiday that's similar to Mexico's Dia de Los Muertos. But Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory, respectively, struggled with $51M and $38M, particularly when you compare them to the live-action titles like Fate of the Furious and recent Marvel movies.
The reason why UglyDolls went in the wake of the Marvel beast was because the animated pic was vying for young girls (who, under 12, showed up at 63% per PostTrak). Further hurting UglyDolls was its release date. "It was always about Avengers: Endgame this weekend," says one rival studio executive about the last three days, which saw the Disney/Marvel movie crossing $600M in a record 10 days stateside.
 
Animation is a high-performing genre at the box office, but the pics have to be good and parents and kids can tell the difference (Despite a B+ CinemaScore, Screen Engine/ComScore PostTrak exits show parents gave the pic two stars and kids under 12, three stars): A day at the movies for a family is quite expensive. Critics were immediately turned off, thinking they were watching a toy commercial. "Every aspect of this computer-animated movie directed by Kelly Asbury seems equally overdetermined and tossed-off, as if it were a caffeinated weekend project for everyone involved," slams The New York Times Glenn Kenny.
What went wrong here from our numerous interviews is that STX rushed this feature into production over the last year, despite the fact that they've been talking this up over the last five years, first with director Robert Rodriguez, then with Kelly Asbury taking over.
Clarkson plays Moxy and her gang of lovably imperfect characters as they embark on a hilarious journey through UglyVille, where they embrace what it means to be unique and discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing. Based on the 2001 doll line from husband-wife artist team David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, STX's take stars a number of prolific recording artists, including Pitbull, Janelle Monae, and Kelly Clarkson (altogether who made an estimated $3.3M on the movie).
In the case of STXfilms and Alibaba's UglyDolls, it was the first two points making for a disastrous start at the box office of $8.5M for this reported $45M-$53M net production, intended to launch the mini-major's foray into the feature animation space. As the old saying goes, you can make it fast, you can make it cheap, and you can make it good, but you can't have all three.
STX, given their motto of trying to make movies more efficiently for core demos than the majors, and profiting off them, literally vied to one-up the Illumination Entertainment cost-efficiency model of making feature toons for less than $100M. The trade media was dumb-founded by the low production cost for a CGI pic, but it's apparently true.
STX co-owns all the songs with Atlantic Records from the pop artists they cast in the film (all music for the pic, all-in, reportedly cost $3.67M). STX partnered with Alibaba and reportedly has a Chinese co-production with a 40% box office rental (more on this in a minute), and they put together a long list of 100 global promotional partners (including McDonalds, Walmart, Carl's Jr/Hardee's, Pinkberry, the list goes on), so that they could achieve a lower P&A spend (reportedly $40M overall, with the TV spot spend portion of that number in the high single digits). An estimated $20M in foreign sales, apart from China's contribution, apparently went toward the production cost. In lieu of spending excessively on TV spots, STX leaned on such stunts as Clarkson performing the movie's single "Broken and Beautiful" on The Voice and The Billboard Music Awards.
UglyDolls is a case of you get what you paid for. STX took one road and went for it. Typically, an animated feature will go through several different versions before production decides on an ultimate path. But the fact of the matter is that successful animated movies require an investment of time, artistry and money.
Yet, based on domestic results this weekend for UglyDolls, one rival studio executive with knowledge of the breadth of animated franchises says, "This type of performance puts the whole franchise at risk."
They saw the brand as a small cottage industry with a cult following quite reminiscent of The Simpsons, and had initial intentions for a wider range of media opportunities. UglyDolls came to STX after initially being set up at Universal with Illumination Entertainment  in 2011, when they acquired rights to the 2001 doll line.
 
How much money will UglyDolls lose? "A decent amount," predicts one film finance executive this morning, but it's still too soon to determine an exact number. China hasn't set a release date for UglyDolls yet, which means Alibaba hasn't begun promoting the movie through its massive tentacles.
In some respects, there was an earnest attempt by STX to get UglyDolls right within their efficiency model, besting the production spends on such original toon IP like Paramount's $100M disaster Wonder Park. Canadian rebates were received for outsourced work by the pic's animation studio Reel FX.
Weeks out, the thinking was that young girls wouldn't be stolen away by Endgame. But PostTrak reports this weekend that they were at 49% under-12 girls. Also, STX was trying to stay away from Toy Story 4 (but then there's Legendary/Warner Bros. Pokemon Detective Pikachu, which is supposed to be a surprise with $50M+ opening in U.S./Canada).
 ” />
Great stories beget great movies, and for every TLC taken with Hasbro's multi-billion grossing The Transformers franchise, and Warner Bros.' first Lego Movie, there's the thrifty and hasty executions of Bratz (final domestic $10M, global $26M) and 2017's My Little Pony ($21.9M domestic, $60.3M WW), which never took off at the box office. Still, we can't hastily say the feature adaptation of toylines are simply destined to fail.

‘Shazam!’ Striking Lightning With $49M; ‘Pet Sematary’ Digging Up $23M+ – Midday Box Office

 
star Zachary Levi recently traveled to China to promote the movie. He’s known locally for the Thor movies, and also has a following in the market. A premiere was also held in London on March 20 and Sandberg, who is Swedish, did some local promotion in his native country. Shazam!
Henson as Civil Rights activist Ann Atwater who faces off with C.P. The pic, which will widen to 1,705 locations tomorrow, is estimated to open in the mid single digits. Critics are hard on the pic at 57% Rotten.” /> Ellis (Sam Rockwell), Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration. Previews started tonight at 7PM. STX has the $10M-bio drama The Best of Enemies starring Taraji P.
Par is hoping for a $20M-plus start for the Kevin Kolsch-Dennis Widmyer-directed horror pic. Currently those figures for the R-rated film are close to Sony's 2013 remake of Evil Dead ($1.9M Thursday, $11.9M Friday, $25.7M opening). Early buzz is that Thursday night showtimes which kicked off at 7PM are earning $2M+ per industry estimates. Again those numbers could fluctuate. Also opening on Friday is Paramount's closing night film from SXSW, the latest rendition of Stephen King's Pet Sematary. Pet Sematary plays at 3,585 tomorrow.  Pet Sematary will be present in 48 off shore markets this weekend (73% of ultimate) including:  Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Others Middle East, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland – G, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela. RT is at 74% fresh.
Nonetheless, this was a means by New Line/DC to expand the comic book brand on screen with a more comedic, family-skewing superhero, much like Marvel did for its universe with 2015's Ant-Man (which posted $6.4M in previews). Beck-created superhero will over-index in its 3-day start. We've heard that the social media heat on this David F. Theater count is at 4,217 for tomorrow. String all these factors together and there's a lot of momentum that the Bill Parker and C. Sandberg-directed movie has been rising. C. Pic's Rotten Tomatoes score is at a great 93% positive, and then there were those paid previews which reached a record $3.3M (Warners will add those to whatever is made here tonight, so figure around $7.7M by tomorrow AM).
April 5 kicks off the Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, which was an extra boon for WB’s Ready Player One last year. A lack of familiarity with the character abroad is not expected to have a major impact. Sources are seeing the international opening in the $100M range with some more aggressive figures up as high as $120M. Anticipation is high in China, in the $50M zone, and with the benefit of a major holiday on Friday. All in a global blast-off between $145M-$170M.
bowed abroad yesterday in France, Korea, Italy and Sweden and by tomorrow will be in all offshore markets, including China, but save Japan which goes April 19. Shazam!
Disney's Captain Marvel takes 5th with $14.2M, -31% in weekend 5, for a running total by end of Sunday of $375.6M.
PostTrak was 83% positive with males turning up big. Imax and premium large format drove 31% of Shazam!'s business last night.
Paramount's Pet Sematary is drawing in $9.5M today and a 3-day opening of $23.1M.
STX's opener The Best of Enemies is seeing $2M today, for a 3-day of $5.9M.
Next to horror comps, that's higher than the $1.8M which Get Out pulled in, the $2M made by Split and the $1.9M made by Sony's remake of Evil Dead. The pic carries a low net production cost of $20M. Paramount's Pet Sematary drew $2.3M in previews at 2,942 locations.
As we always note, these estimates come from Deadline sources, not Warner Bros. is shooting toward an estimated $4M-$4.4M tonight from U.S./Canada shows starting at 4PM, a result that's around what Captain America: First Avenger made ($4M off shows starting at midnight back in 2011, $25.7M Friday, $65M opening) and higher than Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse ($3.5M from 5PM shows, $12.7M Friday, $35.3M opening) in Thursday night previews. EXCLUSIVE: New Line/DC's Shazam!
The thinking is that there’s a lot of good will built up worldwide after the outsize success of WB/DC’s Aquaman ($335M domestic, $812.1M overseas, $1.1 billino WW) and that folks are seeking something new. The family elements should also work to hook markets that lean into this type of fare. What’s more, as this film skews younger, the soft performance of last weekend’s Dumbo should open up some space for this well-reviewed Big-meets-Superman story.
is currently at this point in time looking at a $18.9M Friday, a 3-day of $49M and including previews a running total of $52.3M. Note late night business yesterday pushed its Thursday higher, so we might see the same again tonight, plus Saturday matinees, natch. FRIDAY MIDDAY: New Line/DC's Shazam!
All Friday figures above include last night's previews.
While Shazam! While Superman has continually been kept alive by DC, Shazam goes in fits and starts. isn't deep-deep DC universe, he arguably doesn't have the massive popularity of Superman who has been kept alive through movies and cartoons. While there was the 2010 DC direct to DVD toon Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam, anyone over 45 will certainly remember watching Shazam! as a kid in the mid '70s on TV with Jackson Bostwick in the title role. Tracking has suggested that the film will open between $45M-$50M in U.S./Canada.
However, those films had different release patterns so the debuts are not apples-to-apples. The best comps for Shazam overseas look to be the original Ant-Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy. At unadjusted rates, Ant-Man finaled with $339M internationally and GOTG was $440M.
 
Universal's Us owns fourth with a third Friday of $4.75M, -53%, a third 3-day of $15.6M, -53% –a solid hold– and a running total of $154.1M.
 
Disney's Dumbo is looking at a $4.6M second Friday, -70% for a second weekend of $17M, -63%, steep for a family film. 10-day by EOD Sunday will be $75M.
2016. The Robin Bissell directed and scripted movie adapted from Osha Gray Davidson. Focus went wider with Race at 2,369 and opened to $7.3M, That result is a tad higher than what Focus Features' Race did making $205K at 1,800 locations in Feb. STX reports that its Civil Rights drama The Best of Enemies drew $265K at 1,440 theaters.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE following Thursday PM exclusive: New Line/DC's Shazam! to higher figures last night from the early $4M+ we first spotted. Add in those paid Fandango sneaks and the DC guy has $9.2M already at the domestic B.O. Lots of late night business pushed Shazam! is higher than what we saw soaring to $5.9M in U.S./Canada Thursday previews. Nancy will be getting an overseas update in a bit.
Shazam! also knocks down the $3.75M made by Ready Player One's Wednesday night preview during last year's Holy Week. carries a net production cost of around $100M, and after its global launch, the current expectation is that it should fare quite well in the long run. Shazam! Today there's 16% K-12 schools off, and 12% colleges, so spring break still has a pulse, but all that changes by Monday when K-12 simmers down to 3% and college is fully in session. K-12 will go back on spring break at around a 20%-tile during the April 15 Holy week reaching 74% off on Good Friday. Shazam!'s Thursday is just under the $6.4M that Disney/Marvel's Ant-Man did which repped 28% of its $22.6M first day Friday, yielding a $57.2M opening.

Alicia Keys Dance Movie ‘Work It’ & ‘Bad Moms’ Moms’ In The Works At STX – CinemaCon

Her feature film credits include Smokin' Aces, The Nanny Diaries and Jem and the Holograms, and, on TV, Empire. Keys is a 65M-album-selling, 15 Grammy Award-winning performer.
Keys hasn't been set to star yet. Toward the end of STX Boss Adam Fogelson's presentation today at STX, two projects were announced in development: Work It with Alicia Keys producing and the Bad Moms spinoff Bad Moms' Moms starring A Bad Moms Christmas' Cheryl Hines, Susan Sarandon and Christine Baranski.
Previous Bad Moms pics have grossed over $314M at the global box office.
No further details were revealed by STX about the projects.” />
Bad Moms and A Bad Moms Christmas directors and writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are also involved on Bad Moms' Moms.

T.J. Fixman Sets ‘Rogue’ At STX & Tencent; Phantom Four’s David S. Goyer & Keith Levine Producing

Tencent Pictures will co-finance the feature and distribute in China. Goyer and Keith Levine have set T.J. Fixman's original action-thriller Rogue at STX Entertainment. EXCLUSIVE: We hear that Phantom Four's David S.
His past sales include One Night on the Hudson to Universal, The Lost to New Line, and The Men Who Kill to Fox. Fixman has a number of projects around town, his most recent being Past Midnight at Netflix with the Russo Brothers producing, Dope's Rick Famuyiwa directing, and Keanu Reeves headlining.
Phantom Four has a first look deal with Tencent Pictures. Next up for Goyer is Deeper at MGM with Baltasar Kormakur directing as well as season two of Syfy’s Krypton, and the first season of Issac Asimov's Foundation for Apple. Phantom Four, which Goyer runs with Levine, is currently in post-production on the horror-thriller Antlers for Fox Searchlight with Scott Cooper directing and Guillermo del Toro producing.
Goyer and Fixman are both repped by WME and Bloom Hergott. Additionally, Fixman is repped by Grandview.” />
In 2018, STX and Tencent partnered to bring the Golden Globes Awards and Billboard Music Awards to Chinese audiences through a distribution partnership with Dick Clark Productions. STX is coming off the box office success of its Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston feature The Upside which is shooting past the $80M domestic mark this weekend. STX and Tencent are currently co-producing the upcoming Zombie Brother feature film, as well as an untitled Jason Statham project together.
Rogue is in the spirit of Die Hard and follows a deep-cover CIA operative on the longest night of her life.

‘Upside’ Could Upset ‘Aquaman’ For Weekend Win With Near $18M- Friday Midday Update

Also Universal will expand Golden Globe best comedy winner Green Book gradually as we head into Oscar noms moving from 566 theaters to around 650 today. The Participant Media/DreamWorks co-production currently counts $36.4M at the domestic box office.
The Freddie Mercury biopic counts $195.3M at the domestic box office; Fox will get this to $200M. We're also apt to see some movement among the Golden Globe winners, specifically Golden Globe best drama picture and actor winner Bohemian Rhapsody which in weekend 11 expands from 1,080 to 1,334 sites with more than 750 of those playing a never-before experienced 'sing-along' version of the film which was a stunt that Fox did with The Greatest Showman last year.
The pic has grossed $5.3M to date. Annapurna is expanding Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk from 335 sites to 1,018 with an eye on $3.5M in weekend 5. Last Sunday Regina King won best supporting actress at the Golden Globes for her portrayal of a woman who is determining to prove the innocence her daughter's boyfriend faces.
2nd Update: STXfilms/Lantern's The Upside is currently in a too-close-to call weekend race with the fourth weekend of Warner Bros.' Aquaman, $17.9M to $17.8M. For certain today is that the crowd-pleasing Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston dramedy will beat DC's fish man, $6.5M to $5M. 1 win for STX which has typically played the middle of the box office chart would be spectacular. A No.
Focus Features' On the Basis of Sex –remarkably without any awards season heat–jumps to 5th place with $6M-$8M in weekend 3 and a Friday around $2.5m.
Byron Allen picked up the North American rights to the Keanu Reeves sci-fi drama for $4M at the festival. Reeves plays a synthetic biologist, who after losing his family in a car accident, will stop at nothing to bring them back, even if it means pitting himself against a government-controlled laboratory, a police task force, and the physical laws of science. Entertainment Studios also held previews for their 2017 TIFF acquisition Replicas last night which earned $200K at 1,630 theaters. projection around $4M. The pic will have an impossible time breaking through this weekend with an 11% RT score and B.O.
By Sunday, Aquaman should be $10M shy of the $300M mark stateside, but worldwide he'll be thrusting himself past $1 billion worldwide.
 
Keanu Reeves' sci-fi drama Replicas is powerless with $1.5M today and $4M over the weekend per industry sources.
Hence STX has limited skin in the game with potent upside. We hear that Upside was a distribution deal for STX; they didn't acquire full-on rights form Lantern who absorbed the movie as part of their takeover the Weinstein Co. assets. Anything over $17M would rank as STX's second best opening of all-time behind July 2016's Bad Moms which opened to $23.8M. Reportedly TWC spent around $37.5M to make Upside which was directed by Neil Burger and also stars Golden Globe Destroyer actress nominee Nicole Kidman.
Disney's Mary Poppins Returns will wedge herself in between the two with an expected $10M fourth weekend, -37%, for a running total of $153.4M.
It's also not far from the $1.35M Thursday night earned by Night School. Upside's Thursday night of $1.1M is right in line with the preview gross of Hart's PG-13-rated action film Ride Along which went on to post a $14.4M Friday during MLK weekend and a $41.5M three-day, as well as the $800K milked from his Wedding Ringer which did $6.9M on its first Friday (including previews) and a $20.6M weekend. STX is using different comps showing that Upside is besting the Thursday nights of such older-skewing titles as Book Club ($625K Thursday, $4.7M Friday, $13.5M opening) and New Line's Game Night ($1M Thursday, $5.5M Friday, $17M opening).
Sony/Bona Film's A Dog's Way Home will find his way to third place with an estimated $3.5M today and a $11M-to-$13M opening. Sony will also have fourth place with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse's fifth weekend earning $7.5M-$9.5M, for a running total on the high end of $148.2M.
1 four weeks straight on one film. The last time that occurred was with 2008's The Dark Knight. If Aquaman rebounds on Saturday, Warners will have bragging rights that they've held No. Count on Aquaman crossing $1 billion either tomorrow or Sunday at the global B.O.
Industry projections are around $8M. The movie, which stars Felicity Jones as a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg who takes on the U.S. In its third weekend, On the Basis of Sex from Focus Features, is breaking wide to 1,900 locations. Court of Appeals to overturn laws on gender discrimination, has clocked $4.3M through 17 days of play.” />
records next weekend. Two reasons why we're not seeing fresh event product out there is because Warner Bros./DC's Aquaman is still going strong with an estimated fourth weekend of $20M (-35%) plus Universal/BVI/Blumhouse's Glass is poised to shatter MLK B.O. We originally heard $70M for the four-day weekend on the M. The Upside is here this weekend instead of next so that it can play into the MLK weekend, and get some momentum as Glass will soak up most of the air in the four-day holiday. It's another weekend of the studios taking it easy with a majority of lower budget product hitting the marquee, some of it counter-programming. Night Shyamalan-directed sequel, but other tracking services have it between $54M-$64M which is still extremely robust.
In the wake of Lantern taking over TWC, STXfilms partnered with Lantern to handle global rights on the film, a story which Deadline exclusively reported. The Upside currently has a low 34% score on Rotten Tomatoes. untangling, and originally premiered to a great response at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. Originally, TWC was planning to do an awards campaign around the film. The Upside was mired in the legal fallout of the Weinstein Co.
The pic, directed by Charles Martin Smith, cost a reported $18M net and will play at 3,090 locations. Rated PG, A Dog's Way Home chronicles the heartwarming adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human. Sony/Bona Film has the family canine film A Dog's Way Home based on the W. A Dog's Purpose opened to $18.2M back in January 2017 and made $205M WW off a $22M budget before P&A. Way Home is not a sequel. The pic earned $535K at 2,657 locations that started at 5PM. Bruce Cameron novel, who also penned A Dog's Purpose, which became an Amblin/Universal movie. The studio is expecting a $9M-$10M opening. Meanwhile, Sony's PG-13 horror pic from last weekend Escape Room should do around $9M, -50%, in weekend 2 after making $23.5M in its first week.
1st Update: STXfilms' release of Lantern Entertainment's The Upside drew $1.1M last night from 7PM shows at 2,460 theaters. The Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston remake of the French hit $426M-plus grossing film The Intouchables will play at 3,080 locations starting today with an eye on $10M-$14M by Sunday.

‘Aquaman’ Darting To $120M+ In Competitive Christmas 5-Day Corridor – Box Office Preview

It's the most wonderful time of the year at the box office, a time when ten wide releases in the marketplace carrying a combined near production cost of $900M will vie for business in a marketplace that one distribution source describes as a "game of chutes of ladders; there will be winners and there will be losers."
The multiple factor is wild, and many studios, (if you're not Disney with Star Wars) like to assess business over the long haul, with clicking turnstiles all the way through mid January. That's not B.S. when you consider how Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was able to excel in a Last Jedi-dominated marketplace last year, earning 58% of its $404.5M in the New Year. Ditto for 20th Century Fox's The Greatest Showman which looked like it was dead with an $8M 3-day, $19M six-day, only to make 72% of its $174.3M domestic in 2018.
It's a complete reboot of the franchise sans Michael Bay in the director's chair with an E.T. Give the weight of the franchise product in the marketplace, projections are low for this $102M production (before P&A) with a $20M-$25M three-day at 3,500 theaters and a Friday-Tuesday take between $35M-$40M. 8 evening preview. Paramount's Bumblebee is a wild card with the best reviews of any Transformers at 97% fresh. Around 325 theaters have already generated around $500K for Bumblebee from a Dec. like story starring around Hailee Steinfeld's teen character. Previews starts at 5PM on Thursday.
Annapurna's Vice from Oscar-winning filmmaker Adam McKay which stars an invisible Oscar winner Christian Bale as former Vice President Dick Cheney is launching at around 2,350 with an eye on an opening day of $4M off an RT of 67% fresh. Reilly period bawdy comedy Holmes & Watson which could see an opening day's take of $5M. On Christmas Day, Sony has the PG-13 Will Ferrell & John C. The pic cost around $42M.
1. Currently there's only 4% K-12 schools off today according to ComScore, but that number will grow to 32% by Friday, and 100% all next week up to Jan. Currently there's 69% colleges on break, a number that swells to 84% by Friday and 100% throughout the rest of the year.
 ” />
With a three-day of $35.3M, it's the biggest animated weekend opener for December beating Illumination/Universal's Sing from two years ago. Already strong in the mix is Sony's $90M animated production Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse which made $2.7M yesterday taking its four-day take to $38.1M. The pic could easily stand at $65M before Christmas. Three-day is looking at around $23M, down about 35%.
Disney's Mary Poppins Returns from Rob Marshall, the sequel to the 1964 musical from Chicago and Into the Woods director Rob Marshall and starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, is starting off gradually tonight in 125 Dolby auditoriums and will expand to 4,000 theaters tomorrow including 250 PLFs with an eye on a $35M weekend and a first week (Wednesday through Tuesday) of what many believe is closer to $75M. Currently Mary Poppins Returns is 78% fresh on RT. The sequel cost an estimated $130M. The thinking is that the movie will pull in most women, 8-80, and not really stand in the way of Aquaman's momentum.
Yes, that's lower than Justice League's FSS of $93.8M, but the thinking is that through five days, Aquaman will make more than its predecessor, $120M to $111.9M, over the Friday to Tuesday stretch. The pic cost $200M net, and has grossed north of $266.4M at the overseas box office with China repping 71% of that figure. Projections are wild. Aquaman currently has a 69% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango reports that Aquaman is surging ahead of Wonder Woman in pre-sales, but again, that doesn't mean folks will show up on the weekend, rather Christmas. Right now 3-day is at $65M-$70M. Aquaman, is technically ashore and off to a great start. A few are saying $150M, but that's a truly lofty number. Amazon Prime previews on Saturday night stateside earned $2.9M for the DC pic. Wonder Woman opened to $103.2M. Despite that early start, it's Warner Bros./DC highly anticipated Aquaman which is taking the 'must see' spot of the season in the wake of Star Wars owning the year-end period for the last three years. Previews start Thursday at 5PM and will play in 3,300 locations backed with the strength of Imax.
Marwen will be an upset for Universal after last weekend's blow with Mortal Engines which is set to lose north of $105M. STX is targeting women 25+, and the film which carries a 57% RT score was never expected to be No. African American and Hispanic demos could push this title to overindex. No RT score yet. 1 in a the brand-heavy Christmas market. While Second Act will likely file between $10M-$13M over five-days, the pic was really cheap at $15.7M before P&A. Projections are in the high single digits over five days for this film which many Oscar prognosticators have passed over. On the low side, there's STX's Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy Second Act and Universal's Robert Zemeckis' $40M-priced fantasy drama Welcome to Marwen.

STX Has Acquired Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Hustlers’; Constance Wu Joins Cast

Lopez, her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina had a great experience with the team at STX on the actress' romantic comedy Second Act, which comes out on Dec. 14, that it was significant in them wanting to take Hustlers to the Burbank, CA studio. Tonight Lopez is debuting a new song on the American Music Awards from Second Act.
Lopez is set to portray the ringleader to the group. The Hustlers movie follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. Gloria Sanchez, Benny Medina, Lopez and producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas are behind the film, which Lorene Scafaria wrote and is directing.
EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED with more info: STX has acquired the Jennifer Lopez Hustlers project, which was cut loose by Annapurna earlier in the day. At the same time, Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu has joined the cast.
However, those close to Megan Ellison's company simply say that the Hustler film wasn't in their wheelhouse and that the company is re-calibrating. There is loose talk around town that Annapurna is seeing financial hardships, as this is the second film with which they have parted ways today. Word is the Hustlers project was in turnaround for the last month by Annapurna.
Soon after the news broke today that Annapurna was pulling out of Jay Roach's Roger Ailes feature, Deadline confirmed that the Hustlers project based on the New York magazine piece "The Hustlers at Scores" was also leaving the studio. Variety first reported that Hustlers was leaving Annapurna.
Wu is repped by UTA and Principal Entertainment LA.” />

STX Re-evaluating Hong Kong IPO, Contemplates Shift To New York Public Markets

Sources familiar with the matter say STX has not withdrawn its application for listing on the Hong Kong exchange, which, if not renewed, expires in November.
STX's executive team continues to hold meetings with potential investors in the United States as it evaluates interest in a public offering through one of the New York exchanges, sources say.
exchanges, according to people with knowledge of the matter. EXCLUSIVE: STX Entertainment is re-evaluating making its initial public stock offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is contemplating, among its options, whether to sell shares on one of the U.S.
So far, it has grossed nearly $40 million worldwide and is on a profitable path. Two consecutive late-summer offerings — Mark Wahlberg action movie Mile 22 and Melissa McCarthy puppet satire The Happytime Murders — both underperformed. A third, Jennifer Garner vigilante thriller Peppermint, did a bit better last month. The company, which is cash-flow positive and has seen its revenues more than double this fiscal year, nonetheless has had a bumpy ride at the box office.
Not for nothing are STX’s business cards printed in both English and Mandarin.” />
The independent film studio had hoped to raise $500 million from investors in an IPO initially timed for August or September, though Hong Kong market has grown increasingly volatile — giving investors have little to cheer about.
Another end game that seems entirely plausible, given the relationships of TPG Growth founder Bill McGlashan, would be a more fully developed 50-50 partnership between STX and the Chinese government in the first true China-U.S. Wanda may have failed to deliver on its ambitions for its massive studio in Qingdao, but McGlashan has spent three decades working in China and is seen as a savvy dealmaker who understands the cultural nuances better than most. studio.
The Hang Seng Index has been in a five-month-long swoon, marking its worst performance since 2011, amid concerns about China's deteriorating relationship with the U.S., a slowing economy and a regulatory crackdown that cause Internet giant Tencent, an STX investor, to report its first profit decline in a decade.
(TPG Growth and John Malone's Liberty Global have also bought in, and the bankers and sponsors of the IPO were JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.) Last spring, STX filed a 462-page prospectus ahead of the proposed Hong Kong offering, which sought to generate some $500 million to fund the company's ambitions. It detailed the company's efforts to strike gold with a unique combination of Asian access, a ruthless focus on "mid-budget" features costing between $20 million and $80 million, and a strong pedigree beyond its Chinese investors.
Against this backdrop, STX's executives have begun to weigh their options. It doesn't help that the money-losing studio was attempting to drum up investor enthusiasm after a pair of summer box office disappointments, The Happytime Murders and Mile 22.
STX declined comment for this story.

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Stringing Up Melissa McCarthy’s Naughty Puppets With $21M-$23M

5 in weekend 4 with an estimated $6M, -32%, with $77.2M by Sunday. Disney's Christopher Robin is No.
The studio will go wider with the title on Aug. Sony has in limited release Searching in 9 venues; an unconventional thriller that Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition snapped up at Sundance (when it was titled Search). Pic marks the feature directorial debut of 27-year-old Asian American helmer Aneesh Chaganty, and stars a largely Asian cast. In Searching, John Cho plays a desperate father whose 16-year-old daughter goes missing; he breaks into her laptop to search for clues. 31.
Following bad news at Global Road that the banks have taken over their domestic theatrical production and distribution ops, they're opening robot dog movie A.X.L. (what does that even mean?) at 1,695 theaters with an expected disastrous result of $2M-$3M.
MORE….
Lower down the charts, Studio 8/Sony's Alpha grossed $715K last night, -32% from Wednesday, for a $14.5M first week. STX's Mile 22 ended its first week with $19.1M, after a $1M Thursday, -6% from Wednesday.
Yesterday, Meg earned $1.4M, -23% from Wednesday for a current running total of $92.3M. Definitely by Sunday, possibly by Saturday, Warner Bros./China Gravity's The Meg will cross $100M, becoming Jason Statham's sixth starring role feature to do so.
Other McCarthy preview nights include Ghostbusters (PG-13, $3.4M), Spy (R, $1.5M), and the Sandra Bullock cop comedy The Heat (R, $1M), Happytime Murders expands to 3,256 theaters today. Happytime Murders' Thursday night isn't that far from McCarthy's R-rated The Boss from April 2016, which drew $985K at 2,533 theaters and continued on to a $8M Friday, $23.5M weekend. Unlike Sausage Party which was propelled by young males, females on tracking have the edge here with Happytime given McCarthy's fanbase. The pic, directed by McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone, off a B CinemaScore wound up with a 2.9 multiple stateside with $52.8M. The Brian Henson-directed comedy cost $40M before P&A with a consortium of financiers. Too soon to tell if Happytime even smiles that wide. That's a better result than McCarthy's PG-13 comedy Life of the Party back in May, which posted a $700K Thursday night from 2,900 locations on its way to a $4.9M Friday and $17.9M opening weekend.
1ST UPDATE, FRIDAY 7:10AM: STX Entertainment's R-rated Melissa McCarthy puppet comedy The Happytime Murders, one of summer's last wide releases, collected $950K previews at 2,500 locations.
Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding and director Chu are supporting Searching and promoting a #GoldOpen for the movie and buying out a theater so that audiences can see it.
Paramount/Skydance's Mission: Impossible – Fallout is heading for 4th with $7.3M in weekend 5, -32%, which would put the Tom Cruise pic at $193.2M by Sunday.
2ND UPDATE, FRIDAY MIDDAY: At this point in time, industry matinees show Warner Bros. Crazy Rich Asians is bound for a $6M Friday. Crazy Rich Asians prevailing over STX's The Happytime Murders, with $21M-$23M, -18% for weekend 2 on its way to $74.8M on the high end.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BmxoOo7BWM-/?hl=en
Despite the entry of Happytime Murders, which is expected to earn $13M-$15M, Warner Bros.' multi-generational hit romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians is expected to remain golden in its second weekend with $16M-$18M, -36%, for a running total by Sunday of $69.8M. Chu film grossed $3.6M, -2% from Wednesday for a nine-day total of $51.8M. On Thursday, the Jon M.
is going to the dogs with a forecasted $700K today, $2.1M opening. Global Road's robotic dog A.X.L.
MORE…” />
The Happytime Murders is eyeing $11M-$13M after a $950K start last night. By Sunday, on the high end, Meg could reach $105M+ Friday is projected at $4.5M. The Meg is looking to take third behind Happytime, however, there's a chance it could outstrip as it's landing in the same weekend bandwidth. Warner Bros. Truth be told, gotta give this R-rated pic a shot to leg out until tonight as the stoners and young folk head to late showtimes.

STX Partners With Lantern For Global Distribution Of Weinstein Co.’s Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston Pic ‘The Upside’

“Neil did an incredible job with this comedy and we can’t wait to work with Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman and Bryan Cranston. We are thrilled to add The Upside to the STXfilms slate and we look forward to working with the team at Lantern Entertainment.” “This is a hilariously funny and emotionally affecting film. It evokes elements of films like Trading Places and Scent of a Woman, while still being completely fresh with characters that are as memorable as they are hysterical,” said Fogelson.
Other finished TWC titles that were screened for buyers include The Current War, which premiered at TIFF last year, and Mary Magdalene with Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix, which has already been released overseas making around $12M.” />
The original French-language version of The Intouchables grossed $416 million overseas. Producers are Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black and Steve Tisch. The Upside is an Escape Artists production. Inspired by a true-story, it chronicles an aristocrat (Francois Cluzet) who, after being injured, hires a young man (Omar Sy) from the wrong side of the tracks to be his caretaker.
opening, so those are factors in regards to when The Upside opens. 10 preview date and Dec. For a moment before the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal, the Weinstein Co. No official word yet on the release date for The Upside, but we've heard that an awards season corridor release isn't out of the question. 28, Night School with Tiffany Haddish, and Cranston is taking Network to Broadway for a Nov. Having these two bankable stars promoting a film like The Upside is important. was going to give The Upside an Oscar push last fall. Hart already has a major fall Universal comedy scheduled on Sept.
Lantern’s Andy Mitchell commented, “STX is an ideal distribution partner for this heartwarming film that has universal appeal and features world-class performances.  We are grateful for this partnership and look forward to fostering a productive relationship with the entire STX team.”
The pic which stars Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman world-premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival where it made its mark as a crowd pleaser. Julianna Margulies and Aja Naomi King also star. The pic follows a recently paroled ex-convict (Hart) who strikes up an unusual and unlikely friendship with a paralyzed billionaire (Cranston). The film is a sweet spot acquisition for STXfilms fitting the studio’s core model of programming titles with stars in their true signature roles.
The announcement was made today by STXfilms Chairman Adam Fogelson, along with Andy Mitchell from Lantern Entertainment. EXCLUSIVE: The most prominent of the Weinstein Co. We heard that others were circling to distribute this title, including Aviron, with some majors expressing interest, but word is that STX always had the inside track with this movie. The Upside is the first of the frozen TWC films to make its way into circulation. leftover titles The Upside is landing with STX Entertainment, who is partnering with Lantern Entertainment to handle worldwide distribution on Neil Burger's remake of the French hit The Intouchables.