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Weekend box office: ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ flops with $14.1 million

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Surprisingly enough, it appears Smurfs: The Lost Village isn’t having the best of opening weekends at the box office after debuting to a lackluster $14.1 million despite its impressive cast and $60 million budget, which, in all honesty, actually isn’t much for an animated film whose predecessors carried a hefty price tag twice that size. Either way, it was a mistake for Sony Pictures to choose this particular release date for The Lost Village when we still have Twentieth Century Fox’s The Boss Baby continuing its reign while Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast is still going strong weeks after its initial release.

After crushing Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell with its massive $49 million opening last weekend, The Boss Baby, the animated comedy in which Alec Baldwin voices a baby that also (seemingly) happens to be some sort of business executive, is No. 1 again this weekend after pulling in $26.3 million, enough to bring its domestic total to an impressive $89.4 million. However, with Universal’s eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious, set to hit theaters next weekend, the success of the animated infant won’t stick around for much longer.

On a separate note, Going in Style, the comedy which boasts quite an impressive ensemble that includes Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin, took in $12.5 million on its relatively low production budget of only $24 million. Staggering along slowly behind it is, yes, you guessed it, Ghost in the Shell, with only $7.3 million to add to its $31.6 million domestic total. Keep in mind, this is a film that features a big-name actress, top-of-the-line special effects, and a fairly large marketing campaign—it cost $110 million to produce. For Paramount, this is yet another big blow following several other box office flops including Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated Silence and last summer’s Ben-Hur remake.

As I mentioned in last week’s box office report, April is not an exciting month for movies, with the exception of next weekend’s The Fate of the Furious. Thankfully, things will certainly pick-up in May with the arrival of the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Baywatch. Until then, let’s hold our heads up high and try to get through these next couple of weeks.

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Weekend box office: ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ repeats at No. 1 in worst weekend in 16 years

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As many people around the nation turned their attention to Hurricane Harvey and Saturday night’s much talked about Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor match, which reportedly took in an estimated $700 million in revenues worldwide, the weekend’s domestic box office came to a screeching halt, with returns totaling in at just $64 million overall (The Hitman’s Bodyguard came out on top with an estimated $10 million).

The lack of new selections at the multiplex this weekend could be the biggest culprit, however. The Weinstein Company’s Leap! earned only $5 million, placing it in third place, while Blumhouse’s Birth of the Dragon reeled in a measly $2.5 million and Sony’s All Saints trailing not too far behind it with $1.55 million.

Unfortunately, with no major releases expected to arrive in theaters for another two weeks until Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel It opens on September 8, one could only imagine how miserable next weekend is going to be until Pennywise scares up an estimated $55 million-plus opening weekend for the upcoming New Line/Warner Bros. Pictures release.

While box office numbers may have fallen to historic lows this weekend, there are still a number of exceptional films still playing on the big screen that wholeheartedly deserve your undivided attention (and money). Steven Soderbergh’s critically acclaimed hillbilly heist comedy Logan Lucky is looking to end the weekend with roughly $4.3 million, while Indrid Goes West and Good Time expanded to 647 theaters and 721 theaters to earn $781,750 and $610,890, respectively.

To see returns like this attached to such quality, independent films is not only disappointing, but it’s unacceptable. As a society that complains so much about the lack of original films in Hollywood in the age of reboots and sequels, we should be showing these titles as much love as possible when they expand to our markets, right? Or so we thought.

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Andrés Muschietti’s ‘It’ could scare up a whopping $50 million-plus opening next month

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While Stephen King fans were left rather disappointed with The Dark Tower starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey earlier this month, they aren’t letting Nikolaj Arcel’s critically panned adaptation stop them from looking forward to what director Andrés Muschietti has put together with his long-awaited adaptation of one of King’s most beloved novels, which, as early tracking suggests, is looking to break box office records.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, box office analysts say It could earn more than $50 million during its opening weekend, beating out Hotel Transylvania 2, which earned $48 million during its first weekend, as the biggest opening ever for the month of September. However, Warner Bros. and New Line are forecasting something slightly smaller in the $40 million to $45 million range—a bold move considering the film is rated R for “violence/horror, bloody images, and for language,” and, well, the fact that the movie is opening in the month of September.

King’s horror novel has been terrifying readers for decades and previously spawned a low-budget TV miniseries in the early ’90s, that wasn’t nearly as faithful to its source material as Muschietti’s reportedly is. It follows a group of young kids, perhaps best known as the Losers Club, who must face their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence in the town of Derry, Maine dates back for centuries.

It stars Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lills, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, and Bill Skarsgard. The film will open in theaters on September 8, 2017.

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Box office: ‘The Dark Tower’ wins the weekend with a modest $24.5 million opening

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Amid a wave of negative reviews from critics, several release date changes, and a report that described a disastrous filmmaking process, the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s beloved The Dark Tower opened to a modest $19.5 million on an estimated production budget of $66 million.

The Dark Tower marks the second time in recent weeks in which a Sony Pictures title managed to win one of the top two spots at the box office despite abysmal reviews. Last week, The Emoji Movie, one of the worst reviewed films of the year, reeled in $24.5 million and proved to be some form of serious competition for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which wasn’t too far ahead with $27 million.

Just days before its release, Variety published an extensive report about what went on behind the scenes of The Dark Tower, detailing a creative process that “was plagued with problems” and “clashing visions.” Perhaps even worse, audiences at test screenings for the film last October were confused because they “couldn’t under the mythology” and ultimately gave the film a poor rating.

Other new releases this weekend included Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, the period crime drama from the Zero Dark Thirty director whose turnout was rather disappointing, earning the film only $7.3 million during its wide release, and Kidnap, the Halle Berry thriller that somehow managed to pull in $10.2 million.

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