Gavin Hood’s sci-fi adventure, ‘Ender’s Game’, performed stronger than market expectations upon its North American launch but may still fall short of the necessary returns to justify the franchise extension that Summit had planned. Based upon Orson Scott Card’s classic novel of the same name, a social media boycott campaign against the author’s controversial right wing views seems to have had little impact. It grossed $10m on Friday and, having received a reasonable ‘B+’ CinemaScore and solid reviews, should finish the weekend in the $26-27m range.
The R-rated sixty something comedy, ‘Last Vegas’, capitalised on a strong cast, including Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman, to gross a slightly higher than expected $5.1m on its debut. Boosted by a strong ‘A-‘ CinemaScore, it should go on to earn $15.5m over the three days.
But the good news did not spread to the weekend’s other wide release, ‘Free Birds’. The animation comedy grossed a disappointing $4m on Friday but its ‘A-‘ CinemaScore could encourage family audiences to turn out over the weekend. It won’t hit the $18m market predictions but will be in a close contest with ‘Last Vegas’.
Last weekend’s No.1, ‘Jackass Present: Bad Grandpa’, had a strong $6m Friday hold, falling just 44% from last week’s debut. It should be enough to secure second place with a three day tally around the $17m mark.
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