Weekend Box Office Report

Phil Crone

Back to School

Most projections didn't have the battle for #1 all that close between "Night School" and "Smallfoot," and they were right in "Night School's" victory, albeit with a smaller margin than some may have expected. For "Night School" star Kevin Hart, it marks a return to form with his first #1 debut since 2016's "The Secret Life of Pets." For co-star Tiffany Haddish, this marks the first (and very likely not last) #1 debut at the box office. With a gross of $27,257,615, "Night School" didn't do enough to make a dent in the FML Perfect Cineplex, but it'll go a long way to achieving profit against a $29M budget.

Myth No More

Until this week, Warner Brothers Animation had something in common with the legendary Bigfoot: like Bigfoot, no one in FML had ever witnessed a WBA movie post an opening weekend at or above its projection. Eventually, persistence pays off as "Smallfoot" becomes the WBA movie in FML history to actually open within shouting distance of its weekend projection, grossing $23,045,645. That was good for $63,487/Bux and a Best Performer bonus win.

While the maximum "Smallfoot" x2 anchor in the Most Played Cineplex of "Night School" x1/"Smallfoot" x1/"Life Itself" x1/Blank x5 (which, if you played this lineup, please brush up on the FAQ and come back stronger next week!) that was played by 560 players, it was a pretty popular combination. Almost 25 percent of FMLers went with the "Smallfoot" x2 anchor. However, the hard part was what to do with the other six screens to fill out the PC.

The key, I think, was a belief in another strong hold from "The Nun," which managed to finish second in value this weekend. I say "I think" because figuring out the PC was a bit of a mess and it was just about nailing your projections this week. The PC ended up looking like less of a mess than expected with "Smallfoot" x2/"The Nun" x1/"Peppermint" x3/"The Meg" x2 grossing $67,883,883 after including $9M in bonuses.

Going Gaga for Venom

Two big wide releases hit this weekend as we kick off October, and both promise to be big. First up we have "A Star Is Born," starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. With reviews already sky high on this one, it stands to reason to that "A Star Is Born" could be a breakout hit. We also have Sony's standalone "Venom" releasing this weekend, which is projected to break the record for biggest October opening ever. Additionally, a couple of small specialty releases join the fray in "The Hate U Give" and "Free Solo." Set your lineups by Friday Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific and we'll see you here next week!