It was a TERRIBLE weekend for the newcomers, “led” by a $7M opening for The Invitation. As Box Office Mojo hilariously identified:

“By pre-pandemic accounts, it’s the lowest first place debut since Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star ($6.66 million) in 2003.”

Classic! The big crime, however, was seeing Samaritan skip the box office completely after originally planning for Limited release. That decision by Amazon just cost Justin K. the $10 prize for the Bonehead Award as it didn’t earn the minimum requirement of $1.00. Just like The Gray Man. Turrible. Deadline had a nice little rant in response to Amazon’s decision:

Why in God’s name is the movie direct to service? The last Stallone movie Rambo: Last Blood opened to $18.8M. That’s a diamond mine by pandemic box office standards. I agree with Zaslav on this one: Why are you shedding the patina (and future ancillaries) of a theatrical movie by sending it straight to homes? Did it occur to you that perhaps more toilet paper could be sold off a title with a theatrical window than merely dropping it on the service? I mean, you have the billion-dollar cost of Lord of the Rings: The Power of the Rings series next weekend (the rights alone were scooped up by the streamer for $250M). That alone should trigger an early Christmas season for the marketplace site. On Rotten Tomatoes, audiences love Samaritan at 82%.

RelishMix noticed the online convo for the film, and believes 
Samaritan coulda been a contender at the box office, with fans expressing “absolute adoration for Stallone, everything that he represents in the film industry, and the heroic characters that he’s played,” to those who “are also intrigued that this aging superhero project is not a Marvel or DC production and that in of itself has fans interested in a unique way.”

The objective is to get people to leave their homes, not stay at home.

Focusing on the the chase for 1st Place, I don’t think we’ve ever seen as close a race as we do in these final days. With Nope being sooooooo close to catching Lightyear, all it needed going into the weekend was $3.20M. And after slashing 1/5 of its total screens it pulled in $2.19M against Lightyear’s $11K (why is this thing still in 45 total theaters?). Assuming neither movie expands its theater count, only 3 weekdays remain for Nope to make just another $684K to take the #7 spot and allow Dennis B. to tie John B. as co-winner. Last week Nope took in $422K, $478K and $384K from Monday-Wednesday. This is exciting! Meanwhile, John B. is like…

And look at just how close Bullet Train is to catching Crawdads for #10. I don’t believe it’ll happen by Wednesday, however.

Weekly Top Gun: Maverick update: Another $4.7M (only a 20% drop) and it holds at #6 ALL TIME with $691M. Black Panther will remain at #5 with $700M over the next weekend, but it should fall the following.

With the SMP ending on Wednesday, August 31 there are no more weekends to forecast. We’ll allow Wednesday’s box office Actuals to post online, likely on 9/1 or 9/2, before announcing our winner. Stay tuned!

– SB

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