Box Office Brasserie – Movie News For Movie Lovers
Two new R-rated action flicks enter the box office fray this weekend, but neither will walk away victorious as Marvel’s “Black Panther” eyes a three-peat at the top of the theatrical food chain, after posting the second-best second weekend of all-time, $111M.
Bruce Willis and Jennifer Lawrence will be duking it out for the scraps, although Lawrence has the edge–as “Red Sparrow” has a wider reach these days than Willis, who hasn’t had much box office heat in years, and hasn’t headlined a “Die Hard” film in five years.
Long before there was John McClane’s handful of “Die Hard” films, there was a mustachioed Charles Bronson in “Death Wish,” which also survived through five incarnations, spanning 20 years from 1974 through 1994. Perhaps it’s a fitting tribute that aging action star Willis steps into the man’s shoes that trail blazed the path of one-man cinematic vengeance of the endless-sequel variety.
Willis has been busy, no doubt; however, he’s following the woebegone path of fading action stars—straight-to-Redbox. Just like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal and Arnold Schwarzenegger, these former bastions of the box office occasionally show up in multiplexes for one last stand, one last call, if only to shout “Yippee-Kai-Yea” one last time.
This may be Willis’ swan song, but it’s just the beginning for former Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen, as Lawrence is really just commencing her run with her name splashed above movie posters. It’s well earned, as her films—mostly “Hunger Games” and the “X-Men” series—have totaled $5.6B worldwide. But on top of being an action star, she’s also an actress with serious chops, many mentioning her in the same breathe as the mighty Meryl Streep.
At just 28-years-old, the sky’s the limit for Lawrence, but hopefully she won’t waste her time with shoot-em-up sequels like her male predecessors. Honestly, she’s too good for that. Sure, they make mountains of money, but they also come with a double-edged sword, slicing and dicing your career, and forming a groove—or more appropriately, a rut—that often proves too deep to escape from.
“Red Sparrow” arrives with a hefty $69M pricetag from director Francis Lawrence—no relation to Jennifer, but he’s worked with her extensively, helming the final three “Hunger Games” films, and also has “I Am Legend” and “Constantine” on his resume.
While reviews haven’t been remarkable, like every J. Law film, she’s earning high marks for her performance; however, many are calling it more style than substance, much like last summer’s other female-driven spy film, “Atomic Blonde.”
Charlize Theron drove Focus Features’ R-rated actioner to an $18M debut, and $95M worldwide. “Red Sparrow” spreads its wings in 3,000+ venues and should land with around $20M this weekend.
MGM’s “Death Wish” is most likely looking at numbers similar to “Den of Thieves” and “12 Strong,” two R-rated, male-centric flicks that opened in January with $15M apiece.
With a budget of 2,700+ theaters, fanboy-hype may be guiding some box office prognosticator’s dream board, as some have mentioned “Death Wish” opening with upwards of $20M. That may be a bit of wish fulfillment, but, if that happened, it would definitely mean a possible springboard to a sixth “Die Hard” flick.
Director Eli Roth, who is known primarily in horror circles, has never debuted a flick higher than “Hostel,” which opened 12 years ago with $18M, and that arrived with a ton of swagger. “Death Wish” seems to be joining the box office party without an invitation. It’s not a death sentence by any means, but will certainly be a heat check for Willis.
One thing we know for sure: “Black Panther” will rule once again.
- Black Panther – $65M
- Red Sparrow – $18M
- Death Wish – $14M
- Game Night – $11M
- Peter Rabbit – $9M