Paramount is grinning widely this weekend as its creepy pic, Smile, continued to stay atop the chart in its sophomore outing with a projected gross of $17.6 million from 3,659 theaters. That’s a decline of just 22 percent, one of the best holds of all time for the horror genre.
The news was just as good overseas. Smile earned $17.5 million from 61 markets for a foreign tally of $40 million and a global haul of $88.9 million to make the $17 million a major profit generator.
Smile earned more than enough to beat Sony’s new family film Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, which opened to an estimated $11.5 million domestically. Sony expects the movie to benefit from the Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday on Monday and earn a total of $13.4 million through Monday.
Heading into the weekend, most of Hollywood expected Lyle, Lyle, based on the kids book of the same name, to win the three-day frame, even if narrowly. The film currently has a 68 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and earned an A-CinemaScore from audiences.
The bomb of the weekend is David O. Russell’s star-packed film amsterdam. The mystery-comedy opened to an estimated $6.5 million from 2,005 locations after getting skewered by critics. It currently remains at a 33 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, one of the lowest of the filmmaker’s career, along with stars Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington. Audiences gave it a somewhat better ranking of a B CinemaScore.
amsterdam is a New Regency film distributed by Disney. As reviews started coming in, tracking lowered its projection to $10 million, since the film’s target audience — older adults, and especially older females — are more swayed by critics. However, even that number was bullish.
Universal, which made Bros, wasn’t left entirely bereft. Overseas, the studio’s George Clooney-Julia Roberts romantic-comedy Ticket to Paradise crossed the $60 million mark ahead of its domestic debut on Oct. 21.
At one point, bullish box office analysts and exhibitors believed that Lyle, Lyle and amsterdam could both open in the mid-teens.
The Woman King and Don’t Worry Darling rounded out the top five, followed by the Avatar rerelease.
Sony’s Woman King placed No. 4 with $5.3 million for a domestic total of $54.1 million. Warner Bros.’ Don’t Worry Darling followed with $2.5 million for a domestic total of $38.5 million and global cume of $69.3 million.
The 3D rerelease of James Cameron’s Avatar continued to wow, earning $2.6 million for a domestic total of $23.3 million. All told, the release from Disney and 20th Century has grossed $71.9 million globally.
Unlike Smile, Bros was hardly happy in its second weekend. The gay rom-com, directed by Nicholas Stoller and co-written by Billy Eichner, tumbled to No. 6 or No. 7 with an estimated $2.2 million for a 10-day domestic total of $8.9 million (the film fell a hefty 55 percent ). Eichner took to Twitter last weekend after the film’s fifth-place opening to say that homophobia was a major reason for the poor showing before encouraging everyone to see the film.
Elsewhere, the awards box office gets underway in earnest as Todd Field’s Tar and Ruben Ostlund’s Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness open in select theaters to promising numbers.
From Focus Features and starring Cate Blanchett, Tar posted the top location average of the weekend and one of the best of the year, or $40,000, as it launched in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. It was No. 1 in three of the cinemas, including the AMC Lincoln Square in New York and the AMC Grove in LA
Triangle of Sadness, from Neon, opted for a wider opening footprint, or 10 locations. The Woody Harrelson-starrer is expected to post a location average of $21,500 or more.
Oct 9, 8:05 a.m. PT: Updated with Sunday box office numbers and international earnings.