This past weekend offered some great competition for the top movie at the box office with a new animated feature, a new comedy and a new horror movie all debuting in the final weekend of a successful September. After “Crazy Rich Asians” pretty much owned August we saw three different movies top the box office in the first three weekends of September. So did this past weekend give us September’s fourth different #1 or did the streak break with another repeat winner? Let’s take a look in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.
At the end of the day we did, in fact, have our fourth consecutive new film at the top spot giving us four different chart-topping releases in the month of September. Last week I predicted that “Night School” had the best shot at earning the win and I was correct making it the second weekend in a row that Universal has topped the box office and with two VERY different films. The Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish led comedy received poor reviews but that was never going to stop audiences from flocking to the theater to see these two work off each other on the big screen. While below expectations “Night School” took in an estimated $27.2 million in 3,010 theaters nearly matching its $29 million production budget in a single weekend. You can read my review of the comedy here.
Warner Bros. continued to impress in 2018, this time with an animation offering from the Warner Animation Group called “Smallfoot”. The film served as a family-friendly alternative to the more gritty and adult oriented films currently dominating the box office, but may have been slowed by Universal’s “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” which topped the box office last weekend and provided more a more timely product with Halloween right around the corner. Regardless “Smallfoot” opened to decent reviews, including mine which you can read here, and scored a solid second place finish with $23 million from over 4,000 theaters. “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” held strong in third place with a $12.5 million take. Lionsgate’s “A Simple Favor” and WB’s “The Nun” held strong as well as fourth and fifth respectively with “The Nun” becoming the highest grossing movie in the “Conjuring” Universe in the process.
The only other new offering of the weekend was Lionsgate’s latest horror film “Hell Fest” which seemed to get lost in the shuffle despite the looming Halloween holiday. The film had a bland reception from audiences and critics but, as most horror movies like this do, made back most of its $5.5 million budget easily with a $5.1 million take and a sixth place finish at the end of the weekend. You can look for my review of “Hell Fest” tomorrow. “Crazy Rich Asians”, “The Predator”, “White Boy Rick” and “Peppermint” all rounded out the top ten while other new additions to the charts included the limited release films “My Hero Academia; Two Heroes” in 11th and “Little Women” in 16th.
This weekend should be pretty big for the box office with two much-anticipated features on the way to the big screen. It’s going to be a brawl between Sony’s “Venom”, which takes the famous Spider-Man villain and gives him his own standalone story, and Warner Bros. remake of “A Star is Born”, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut which has already gotten great reviews prior to its opening weekend and looks to be an early mainstream awards season favorite. Which one will top the weekend? I’m not even going to TRY to predict this one. We’ll find out the victor next week and look for my reviews of these two films and more this weekend.