After an unbelievable $242M four day opening, Black Panther looks poised to take one of the highest second weekends on record. Meanwhile, Paramount and Warner Brothers hope to capture adults audiences with a pair of R rated genre titles, Annihilation and Game Night, and Orion Pictures attempts to find success for its teen drama Every Day.
Black Panther is hard to overestimate at this point. When breaking down the opening weekend, the film held incredibly well for any kind of blockbuster, down just 13% on Saturday and (debatably a more impressive feat) dropped only 9% on Sunday. That kind of lasting power suggests a very strong hold this weekend, perhaps even under 50%. The last mega-hit comic book film to be released on this same weekend was Deadpool, which dropped 57% in its second weekend. Considering that film more heavily targeted the R rated fanboy crowd, while Panther benefits from better word of mouth and the status of a genuine cultural phenomenon.
Paramount hopes to end their string of R-rated flops this weekend with Annihilation, a $55M ($40M after taxes) sci-fi drama based on the novel of the same name. The road to release has been somewhat difficult, however; poor test screenings resulted in producers wanting to change the film to make it more accessible, though director Alex Garland ultimately had final say. This resulted in the rights to the film outside of the United States, China, and Canada being sold to Netflix, where the film will premiere 17 days following its theatrical release. Annihilation is only being released into 2,012 theaters – a very low theater count for anything with a major budget from a major studio. The review consensus seems to be that this is more cerebral and inaccessible than the marketing may suggest, which implies it might fail to connect with mainstream audiences. Tracking is currently between $10-$12M.
Also opening is Warner Brothers’ Game Night, an R rated dark comedy starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. Critical reactions have been surprisingly positive to the film which currently harbors an 86% Rotten Tomatoes score, which could help this break out a bit; the marketing has been fairly aggressive in the last few months, the concept is amusing and different, and there hasn’t been a successful R rated comedy since A Bad Moms Christmas, which came out 3 1/2 months ago. Tracking is a wide range, $13-$21M, and I’m willing to bet it goes on the higher end of that.
Also opening is Orion Pictures’ first wide release in quite some time, Every Day. The teen drama is targeting 1,650 locations, despite a total lack of advertising and mixed reviews. About a month ago, Forever my Girl managed to open above expectations with around $4.2M from 500 fewer theaters, suggesting this could open on the higher end of its $2-$4M tracking.
- Black Panther – $102M
- Game Night – $17.5M
- Peter Rabbit – $11M
- Annihilation – $9.1M
- Fifty Shades Freed – $6.7M
- Jumanji – $5.5M
- Every Day – $3.6M