In the new release news, Sony’s express train opened at $12.62 million on Friday, with $4.6 million coming from Tuesday and Thursday previews. Assuming it only goes that well The Suicide Squad, we’re counting on an opening weekend of $27 million. If it is as long-legged as The Lost City (which had better reviews and an identical B+ Cinemascore grade), then it will start at $33 million. Either would be fine for the R-rated You New adaptation (based on a Japanese novel) that’s positioned as the last big film of the summer. The $90M release is hoping for “last biggie of the summer” legs, similar to (relatively speaking) The Fugitive, The Sixth Sense, SWAT, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Suicide Squad. and The Hitman’s bodyguard.
The Brad Pitt (in Movie Star Only mode) and Friends flick, starring Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Andrew Koji, Brian Tyree Henry and more, costs $90 million and generally meets the pre-Covid criteria for a viable film non-franchise strip. It has an all-star cast, a star director (David Leitch co-directed John Wick and then helmeted Atomic Blonde, Hobbs and Shaw and dead pool 2), an upscale concept (colorful assassins trying to kill each other on a speeding bullet train), halfway decent reviews, and the promise of escapism. The tone is very strong ‘action comedy’. The reviews aren’t great, 54% and 5.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, but even the pans assure people they’re getting what’s sold in the trailers. if The Lost City and cartridge Train were pivotal releases in the survival of commercial cinema ‘just a movie’, both films keep hope alive.
Universal released Jo Koys Easter Sunday this weekend. The film, about a successful entertainer who returns home for the holidays and tries to solve longstanding family melodramas, grossed $500,000 on Thursday and $2.03 million on Friday. That points to a lousy $5M opening weekend and takes us back to the bad old days of 2021, when almost every non-tentpole was hovering just over/under $5M in the opening weekend. Despite poor reviews (47% and 5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes) and quiet enthusiasm (a B+ Cinemascore), it’s unfortunate that one of the few live-action comedies this year, one starring Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, Brandon, starring Wardell, Eva Noblezada and Asif Ali stocken. With Marry me Easter Sunday and both brothers and Entrance ticket to paradise Opening this fall, Universal is trying to keep the big screen comedy alive.
Youth distortion at A24 and Stage 6 body body body opened in six theaters ahead of a wide release next weekend. The celebrated and lively And then there weren’t any more Riff stars Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Myha’la Herrold, Pete Davidson and Lee Pace and currently sits at a 91% and 7.5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it’s one of those A24 coolers that I expect will play better with critics than audiences. I wasn’t great in the first half apart from strong performances but the third act works and has a great epilogue. The horror comedy directed by Halina Reijn grossed $94,762 on Friday for an expected opening weekend of $232,000. That’s a promising average of $38,683 per theater even if the next month or so is full (The case, the beast, the invitation, the barbarian, the pearl, etc.) with horror films.