Nun Better, Except the Predator

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A win is a win, even if it’s an ugly one. But some are uglier than others.

On the surface, The Predator did just fine. More than 30 years after the original Predator spent a whole movie hunting future California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, its cinematic progeny returned to Earth, invaded more than 4,000 movie theaters and walked away with an estimated $24 million in North America. As a trophy, it took home the weekend’s box-office victory.

But here’s the thing: Movies that play in that many theaters typically do better than $24 million. Waaaay better. In fact, The Predator’s tally, according to Box Office Mojo, is the worst debut ever for a film opening in more than 4,000 theaters—knocking off Tom Cruise’s The Mummy for that dubious distinction. (Good thing Cruise had another franchise to fall back on.)

Indeed, the box office list is rife with underachievers this week.

Take The Nun. After scaring up a phenomenal $53.8 million during its unholy novitiate weekend, the fright flick suffered a shock of its own, losing about two-thirds of its audience. Still, the $18.2 million that The Nun earned helped keep its head above water—floating into the box-office standings’ second slot like a Monty Python witch. But it only stayed afloat due to its lackluster competition.

Outside The Predator, a trio of newcomers tried and failed to capitalize on the box office’s relative weekend weakness. A Simple Favor did, simply, fine for itself, collecting $16 million to finish third. But Matthew McConaughey’s White Boy Rick didn’t do alright, alright, alright. The odd biopic about a teenage drug dealer cleared just $8.8 million to settle into fourth. Still, both of those R-rated offerings outperformed PureFlix’s Unbroken: Path to Redemption, the spiritual sequel to Angelina Jolie’s well-received Unbroken. Its $2.4 million came in below most prognosticators’ expectations, and it landed in ninth place.

Crazy Rich Asians, meanwhile, spent its fifth-straight week in the top five, collecting another $8.7 million for fifth place. The romcom has now collected $149.6 million domestically, making it the year’s 11th highest-grossing movie.

Oh, speaking of moneymakers, one final note: Mission: Impossible – Fallout earned $2.3 million this weekend, bringing its total haul to $216.1 million. That makes it the highest-grossing M:I installment ever. I guess The Mummy didn’t hurt Tom Cruise’s bankability too much.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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Anonymous 3 months ago
Can't wait for the The Predator 2: The Predator takes California, in which the Predator decides to run for governor against his old enemy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the White House sends in an elite group of politicians to take him down! Followed by the Predator taking a lovely trip to Disneyland to see that he's now owned by Disney and has a contract to cameo in the next Star Wars movie.


Also, that shot of the Predator you used for the header looks really cool. I love me some good high color contrast limited palette shots in movies and art.

-Evan