Sony’s Brad Pitt action vehicle added $3.865 million on Friday. The film remains the widest release in the country with 4,357 locations. The studio is projecting a $13 million gross for the sophomore outing, which would mark a fairly solid 56% drop from its opening last weekend.
“Bullet Train” is expected to expand its domestic cume to $54 million through Sunday. The adaptation of Kōtarō Isaka’s crime novel of the same name carries a $90 million production budget — hefty for a prospective blockbuster outside of a franchise. With an August slate that’s light on high-profile new releases, Sony is hoping for “Bullet Train” to leg it out and draw in a solid gross over the month.
From there, it becomes a much tighter race between steady holdovers. The weekend’s crop of new wide releases are all landing lower on box office charts.
A24’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is projecting a $3 million haul, landing near the top of estimates heading into the weekend. After a limited release in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles, “Bodies” is expanding to 1,275 locations, projecting a $2,361 per theater average. The film should land in eighth place for the weekend.
“Bodies” follows a group of rich 20-somethings who host a party during a hurricane at a remote family mansion. A night of drinking and debauchery soon turns deadly after they decide to play a murder mystery game. The cast includes Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, Pete Davidson and (briefly) Conner O’Malley.
Efforts to expand the audience for “Fall,” which went from an R-rating to PG-13 by employing deepfake-style tech to alter f-bombs to “freak,” “friggin’” and other acceptable cuss substitutes, weren’t resoundingly successful. Lionsgate’s thriller earned $923,000 from 1,548 locations on Friday. The studio is projecting a $2.25 million opening with some upside, which would likely land the film outside of the box office’s top 10.
Still, sources close to Lionsgate indicate that the studio would remain satisfied with an opening of that size for “Fall,” which fits into its model of low risk theatrical entertainment. The film earned a so-so “B” grade through research firm Cinema Score, indicating middling approval from general moviegoers.
Meanwhile, the opening of Gravitas Premiere release “Mack & Rita,” a “Freaky Friday”-esque, body-swap comedy starring Diane Keaton and Elizabeth Lail, is barely making a dent in the box office. The film earned roughly $310,000 on Friday from 2,000 locations, notching a dismal $155 per theater average. What’s more, an alarming “D+” grade on Cinema Score indicates that most of those ticket buyers were not satisfied with their evenings.
Returning to the higher end of the weekend’s box office, “Top Gun: Maverick” could pull off another astonishing feat. Paramount and Skydance’s blockbuster is fending for the second place slot at the box office in its twelfth weekend of release — a stunning testament to its strength as a holdover throughout the summer. The studio is projecting a $6.57 million haul for the weekend, marking an ever-so-slight 7% drop from last weekend.
The Tom Cruise sequel has been a veritable phenomenon through the summer season. “Maverick” should expand its domestic gross to a staggering $673 million this weekend, placing it within striking distance of “Avengers: Infinity War” ($678 million) in the record books of the highest-grossing North American releases ever. From there, the “Top Gun” followup hopes to venture into the all-time top five by surpassing “Black Panther” ($700 million).
“DC League of Super-Pets” is aiming for a third place finish. The Warner Bros. animated release added $1.955 million to its haul on Friday, down 42% from last week. The film should expand its domestic gross to $53 million through Sunday.
Universal’s “Nope” looks to take fourth with a projected $5 million gross, down a slim 39% from its previous weekend. Jordan Peele’s sci-fi thriller recently surpassed a $100 million domestic gross — a resounding achievement for an original summer release with no franchise ties.
Rounding out the top five, Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” looks to add $5.1 million to its haul this weekend. The Disney release should expand its domestic gross to $325 million through Sunday.