Disney/20th Century Studios feature adaptation of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild drew $1M on Thursday night from 6 PM previews, while STX’s horror sequel Brahms: The Boy II saw $375K at roughly 1,800 theaters. They’re the two wide entries in a post-Presidents Day weekend that will see Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog the winner with $29M-$40M in Weekend 2.
Sonic made an estimated $2.55M on Thursday, -4% from Wednesday to end Week 1 with a fantastic $80.3M.
The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford and Karen Gillan and directed by Chris Sanders, was in development before the Disney-Fox merger and repped a revived strategy by Fox when it was under Stacey Snider to head more aggressively into the animated space post-Blue Sky’s Ice Age movies and an effort to emulate the live-action/CGI hybrids like Disney’s Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book. We hear the pic was greenlighted at $135M, shot here in California, but even with a projected $17M-$20M domestic take, the studio will look to overseas for a bailout. Still, this is an Americana story, and that’s not apt to translate.
Call of the Wild opens day-and-date in most of the world sans Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Argentina, Venezuela, Finland, South Africa, and, of course, China, which continues to have a shuttered exhibition infrastructure in the height of the coronavirus. Call of the Wild‘s Rotten Tomatoes score is at 65% fresh, which is meh for this PG-rated film.
Thursday night’s business for Call of the Wild is being compared to The Upside ($1.1M, $20M opening), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ($900K, $13M opening) and A Dog’s Way Home ($535K, $11M opening) — a mix of older-skewing and family titles.
Brahms: The Boy II, rated PG-13 and directed by William Brent Bell, follows the continuing terrors of the lifelike titular doll after a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion and doll and young boy make friends. Estimated opening is in the mid-to-high single digits at 2,151 theaters. STX claims that they have a $3M exposure on this $10M movie given their foreign pre-sales model. Eight reviews currently on RT are registering at 0%. The first 2016 movie, made for $10M, opened to $10.7M stateside and finaled at $35.8M, $74.1M WW. At those numbers, the movie got a sequel.
Elsewhere at the weekly B.O.: Warner Bros. Birds of Prey in No. 2 made $990K yesterday, -2%, for a week 2 of $23.3M, running total of $65.5M. Sony’s Bad Boys for Life in No. 3 earned $620K, even, for a week 5 of $15.3M, running cume of $185.3M. Sony/Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island is 4th with $565K,-8%, for a first week of $16M. Fifth belongs to Uni/Amblin/New Republic’s 1917 with $540K, +3%, week 8 of $11.3M, cume of $147.6M. NEON’s Oscar best picture winner Parasite ranked 6th yesterday with $405k, -5%, and a week 19 of $8.1M, running total of $45.8M. Universal’s The Photograph slotted 7th with $365K, -9% and a first week of $14.8M.