‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ topped the box office this weekend with a strong $39 million, better than its predecessor, ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ which opened to $36.2M in 2015. This is especially positive considering that the first movie opened on a holiday weekend (Valentines Day), but by now, the first film has developed a strong following thanks to TV and home video, making the brand more appealing. Some industry estimates, however, predicted that ‘The Golden Circle’ would come in well over $40M, possibly even $50M. While the franchise has won fans thanks to the strength of the first movie, ‘The Golden Circle’ was a dud with critics, with a blah 50% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. In this day, those aggregate scores have a heavy sway with audiences. Average viewers, as usual, were kinder, giving this sequel a B+ CinemaScore.
Poor reviews may have also contributed to the less-than-projected opening of the #3 entry, ‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’, which racked up $21.2M, versus the predicted upper $30M’s. Even Warner Brothers themselves had believed it would come in between $27-32M, which was pretty conservative. ‘Ninjago’ doesn’t have the appeal to older theater-goers as the first ‘LEGO Movie’ and ‘LEGO Batman’, and therefore only drew young kids and their parents.
Another possible factor to this weak opening is oversaturation. After all, this is the second ‘LEGO’ movie this year, plus ‘LEGO Ninjago’ is already an existing TV show (in its seventh season). It’s rare that TV shows-turned-movies are successful. And in this case, the voice cast and storyline are different, so not only did parents not feel compelled to shell out for something they can get for free on TV or on their mobile devices, those that did turn out for the film based on their affection for the show were disappointed that it wasn’t actually tied to the property that they were already familiar with.
‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’ has a poor 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ CinemaScore, which is actually pretty weak for an animated movie.
‘It’ dropped a respectable 50% from last weekend and still managed to come in at #2, ahead of ‘Ninjago’, taking in an additional $30M. With ‘It’ proving a hit with both critics and audiences, it’s still taking a bite out of newer releases like ‘Kingsman’. ‘It’ has now collected $266.3M and should make it to $300M, domestically.
Speaking of horror movies, the low-budget ‘Friend Request’ crashed with a measly $2.4M on a budget of $9.9M, getting a lousy 21% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes and perhaps even more damning, a C+ CinemaScore.
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle (20th Century Fox) – $39M
- It (New Line/Warner Brothers) – $30M
- The LEGO Ninjago Movie (Warner Brothers) – $21.2M
- American Assassin (CBS/Lionsgate) – $6.2M
- Home Again (Open Road) – $3.3M
As you can see, Darren Aronofsky’s ‘mother!’ starring Jennifer Lawrence dropped out of the top five in only its second weekend. As reported last week, audiences absolutely hated this Biblical thriller, and it appears that this toxic word-of-mouth has effectively squashed this movie.
Though it wasn’t the case in the United States, internationally, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is now the #1 superhero movie of the year, with $542M foreign, making its total take $874.4M. (‘Wonder Woman’s global total is $819.6M.)
Next week sees the release of another Doug Liman/Tom Cruise collaboration, the action/comedy/biopic ‘American Made’ as well as the remake of early 90s thriller ‘Flatliners’ with Diego Luna, Ellen Page, and Nina Dobrev.
Check back to see how these newcomers fare!