‘Gretel & Hansel’ Finds $475K; ‘The Rhythm Section’ Offbeat With $235K – Thursday Night Previews – Deadline

2nd Update: Sony’s third weekend of Bad Boys for Life easily will defeat both new wide entries, Orion/UAR’s Gretel & Hansel and Paramount/IM Global/Eon’s The Rhythm Section, with an estimated $17.5M, -49%. Not only that but holdovers such as Universal/Amblin’s 1917 and Uni’s Dr. Dolittle also are whipping the new competition in the second and third spots with $9.4M and $7.7M, respectively.

No one really wants to see Gretel & Hansel, which is seeing $6.2M over three days, or Blake Lively’s The Rhythm Section at $3M. As several execs have griped to me this morning: You can’t beat the Rotten Tomatoes scores on either film (59% and 28% Rotten, respectively).

Big win here for Will Smith’s box office prowess (especially in the wake of the disasterous The Gemini Man) with three consecutive No. 1 weekends Bad Boys for Life. His Aladdin last summer held No. 1 for two weekends, en route to becoming Smith’s highest-grossing movie of all time with $1.05 billion. Bad Boys for Life by Saturday will best Bad Boys II ($138.6M) and should reach $147.8M by Sunday. Smith was a producer on Bad Boys for Life as well.

‘Bad Boys For Life’ Review: Will Smith & Martin Lawrence Bring The Right Stuff To Long-Gestating Sequel

By Sunday, 1917 looks to hit $119M, while Dolittle will see $55.2M.


Unfortunately, it looks to be official: Rhythm Section, despite an earnest attempt here by 007 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, will go down as the Gossip Girl star’s worst wide opening ever, lower than 2005’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ($9.8M). With Paramount shelling out $30M for most of the world on this $50M production, the studio is going to get hurt here, as well as those who took foreign i.e. Germany and China. Friday’s figure looks to be $1.25M, including Thursday night’s dismal $235K. Big upset here for Lively as she’s been a dependable star of low-budget fare, i.e. A Simple Favor ($97M+) and The Shallows ($119M).

‘The Rhythm Section’ Trailer: Blake Lively Takes No Prisoners In Revenge Thriller From James Bond Producers

She’s receiving praise for her turn as a British proper girl-turned-prostitute-turned assassin, the problem is that Rhythm Section is boring Bourne, La Femme Nikita we’ve seen all too much before. Lively broke her knuckle during production, which was then stopped for six months. Insurance took care of the cost gap, I hear. P&A at minimum here is $20M-$25M. No reason for Paramount to spend on this when it knew it was destined to die; this wasn’t a scenario like Crawl, where the studio went thrifty, betting that the critics would deep-six a genre pic (turned out reviewers loved it at 83% certified fresh, even though Paramount didn’t screen for them. Nonetheless, Crawl was profitable for Par at $91.5M, $13.5M production cost; it’s just that it could have made much more). Rhythm Section was supposed to come out a year ago, on February 22. The pic was moved to November 22, then moved again to this weekend. I understand the last release date push to this year for the film had to do with Lively being able to promote the film in the wake of welcoming her third child.

‘Gretel & Hansel’
United Artists Releasing

While $6.2M is nothing to brag about on Gretel & Hansel, the low overhead on the picture will leave minimal bleeding next to Rhythm Section. The fantasy horror movie is looking at $2.5M today, including last night’s $475K.

1st Update, 9:26AM: All the action over Super Bowl weekend will be in the Hard Rock Stadium down in Miami, not at the box office.

Two wide entries will enter the marketplace, IM Global/Paramount/Eon’s Blake Lively R-rated femme assassin movie Rhythm Section and Orion/United Artists Releasing’s PG-13 fantasy horror Gretel & Hansel, but neither are expected to make any kind of excitement at the multiplex. Rhythm Sectionwhich cost $50M before P&A, is expected to die according to tracking with a single digits gross over 3-days at 3,049 locations, while Gretel & Hansel could see $10M at 3,007 theaters in a weekend that will be ruled again by Sony’s Bad Boys for Life in its third go-round with $15.3M. If Hollywood is going to have any eyeballs this weekend, it will be for their movie trailers during the Big Game on Sunday.

Gretel & Hansel took in $475K at 2,500 sites from showtimes that began at 7PM. I’m told that the box office comparisons for the movie is Paramount’s 2017 horror reboot Rings ($800K) and 2018’s CBS feature Winchester which made $615K in previews both on the Thursdays before their Super Bowl weekend openings. Rings opened to $13M, while Winchester did $9.3M in its debut. Directed by Oz Perkins and written by Rob Hayes, Gretel & Hansel the classic fairytale siblings as they venture into a dark wood in desperate search for food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil. Rotten tomatoes score is at 59% Rotten which is better than Rhythm Section at 28% Rotten. The pic I hear cost around $10M before P&A, which is in the financial wheelhouse of Orion’s genre pics.

Rhythm Section
Paramount/IM Global

Last night off 7PM shows, Rhythm Section made $235K from 2,256 theaters. Paramount shelled out $30M for domestic rights, and most foreign territories except for China and Germany. The pic reps the first big studio action film by The Handmaid’s Tale Emmy winner Reed Morano who helmed the Sundance dystopian future pic I Think We’re Alone Now, which made its premiere two years ago at Sundance, and the Olivia Wilde 2015 drama Meadowland. Based on Mark Burnell’s drama, Rhythm Section follows a woman who seeks revenge on those who killed her family in a plane crash.

Bad Boys For Life

Bad Boys for Life made an estimated $1.97M yesterday at 3,775 theaters in the top spot, even with Wednesday’s gross, ending its second week with $43.7M and a running total of $130.3M. The pic is $8.3M away from besting the $138.6M lifetime domestic of 2003’s Bad Boys II. The threequel continues to top Fandango’s weekend sales with the online-mobile ticket retailer reporting that the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence movie is their best-selling title ever for the month of January (not counting December holdovers like Force Awakens or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle).

Amblin/New Republic/Universal’s 1917, nominated for ten Oscars including Best Picture,ranked 2nd with an estimated $1.24M, -1% from Wednesday for a fifth week of $21.5M and running total of $109.6M.

STX/Miramax’s Guy Ritchie Brit action movie The Gentleman earned $790K in third, -3% from Wednesday, for a first week of $14.4M.

Last year repped the lowest Super Bowl weekend in 19 years at the box office with $75M, after 2000’s $66.3M weekend.

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