‘Fallen’ Ascends To the Top of the Box Office

It was a weekend of modest business at multiplexes across North America as Lionsgate’s sequel Angel Has Fallen fought its way into the number one spot. Fellow new arrivals Overcomer and Ready or Not weren’t quite as strong as Angel, but they also weren’t outright flops. Overall, without a sleeper hit like Crazy Rich Asians or The Meg in its midst, the late summer box office continued to limp to the finish line.

The third in the Fallen series that began six years ago with Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen, Angel Has Fallen hit 3,286 screens Friday where it earned an estimated $21.25 million. The opening numbers for the Gerard Butler feature were just slightly below the $21.6 million pulled in by the previous installment, 2016’s London Has Fallen. That film went on to gross just over $62 million at the box office.

The previous two Fallen flicks weren’t exactly held in high regard by the press, so it’s no surprise that the new film experienced a similar reception. Angel was bestowed with a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 45/100 on Metacritic, which places it in the middle in terms of critical consensus for the three Fallen flicks. Ticket buyers, however, seemed to be pleased with the latest round of bullets and explosions. They gave Angel an “A-” on CinemaScore. That grade is also the same one given to the two previous Fallen flicks.

Last week’s number one film, the Universal comedy Good Boys, showed some staying power in its second round on 3,353 screens. The R-rated hit slid a moderate 45% to earn an estimated $11.75 million. After ten days, the Boys have been good for $42 million. Good Boys is looking to end its cinematic summer vacation with a respectable $65-70 million.

Four years ago next week, Sony released a $3 million spiritual drama called War Room.Dismissed by critics but a hit with the public, War Room became a $67 million-grossing sleeper hit. Four years later, the studio and creative team behind War Room are teaming up again for a new faith-based drama, Overcomer, in the hopes that box office lightning will strike twice. While it’s too early to determine whether the $5 million production will become another box office surprise, it did get off to a somewhat respectable start with an estimated $8.2 million from 1,723 theaters.

Targeted marketing towards churches is what drives the openings for films such as War Room and Overcomer. Fortunately for the studio and the filmmakers, it is the ensuing word-of-mouth among viewers and not reviews –which tend to be largely on the negative side- that keep faith-bred films afloat at the box office. At least that is what Sony is…ahem…praying for when it comes to Overcomer.

Sony did their best to keep the film from the press by not showing it in advance. Some, however, did venture out to see it on opening day. Their consensus? A less-than-heavenly 38% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and an even more damning 17/100 on Metacritic. The feedback from the public, however, was quite the opposite. They gave Overcomer an “A+” on CinemaScore, which could translate into another low-cost, high-return hit for Sony Pictures.

Still showing plenty of bite in its sixth weekend, Disney’s The Lion King commanded fourth place with an estimated $8.15million from 3,300 screens. Off only 34% from one week ago, The Lion King’s new domestic total stands at a mighty $510.6 million. With a small boost from the upcoming Labor Day holiday next weekend, The Lion King should wind down its domestic tour just past the $530 million.

Overseas, the King has commanded a whopping $998 million so far. It will cross the billion-dollar mark by tomorrow. The current $1.5 billion global take places the Jon Favreau-directed smash in ninth place among the all-time highest-grossing global box office hits. King will pass Furious 7 and Marvel’s The Avengers by next weekend while moving up to seventh place on the chart.

Rounding out the top five was Universal’s Hobbs and Shaw, which dipped 43% in its fourth weekend to earn an estimated $8.14 million from 3,312 screens. The new domestic total for Hobbs and Shaw is $147.7 million. The Testosterone Twin’s first solo adventure is looking to wind down near the $165 million mark. Overseas, the film has sped to a massive $442 million thanks to the massive $102 million opening in China this weekend.

  1. Ready or Not (Fox Searchight) $7.5 million; $10.5 million

While the reviews were on the strong side for this new horror/comedy, the opening weekend turnout was a bit subdued.

  1. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (Sony) $6.3 (-38%); $27 million
  2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Lionsgate) $6 million (-40%); $50.5 million
  3. Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Paramount) $5.2 million (-39%); $43 million
  4. Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood (Sony) $5 million (-35%); $123.1 million

For Labor Day weekend, the only film debuting in wide release is the horror feature Don’t Let Go. Sony will also be reissuing Spider-Man: Far From Home with an additional four minutes of footage added back into the film.

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