‘Angel Has Fallen’ tops box office during quiet movie weekend“Angel Has Fallen” easily topped the box office with a $21.3 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday, as the action sequel became the latest mid-budget release to find modest success in the often quiet late summer.
The Lionsgate film beat expectations going into the weekend, opening similarly to the previous 2016 installment “London Has Fallen.” The film series stars Gerard Butler as a Secret Service agent protecting the U.S. president played by Morgan Freeman. In “Angel Has Fallen,” Butler’s agent is wrongly accused of trying to assassinate the president.
Going back to 2013’s “Olympus Has Fallen,” the franchise has been a quietly consistent performer, taking in roughly $200 million worldwide each time. “Angel Has Fallen,” produced for about $40 million by Millennium Films, is poised for a similar course, opening just shy of the $21.6 million “London Has Fallen” debut.
David Spitz, president of domestic distribution for Lionsgate, pointed to the film’s A-minus CinemaScore and 94 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (far better than the 39 percent critic score) as good word-of-mouth harbingers for the continued playability of “Angel Has Fallen” through the last weeks of summer.
Late August is known as a sleepy period at the box office, but it’s also one of the few parts of the calendar relatively light on big-budget tentpole releases.
That’s given some room for recent successes such as Universal’s comedy hit “Good Boys,” which slid to second with $11.8 million. Last week, it became the first R-rated comedy in more than three years to land at No.1. The Lionsgate-distributed “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” has also flourished in August, taking in $50.5 million in three weeks, including $6 million this weekend.
Some of the bigger films are still expanding around the globe, though. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw” opened this weekend in China - where the high-octane franchise has regularly thrived - grossing $102 million and pushing the film to a worldwide total of $588.9 million.
Disney’s “The Lion King,” after seven weeks of release, still ranks among the top four films domestically and has now passed $1.5 billion worldwide. That ranks ninth all time, not accounting for inflation.
However, the acclaimed Fox Searchlight horror release “Ready or Not” about a bride forced into a deadly game of hide-and-seek with her new in-laws got off to a lackluster start. It took in $7.6 million in ticket sales and $10.6 million since opening Wednesday.
Faring better was the Christian film “Overcomer,” from Sony’s Affirm Films, which landed in third with an $8 million opening weekend. It also scored an A-plus CinemaScore from audiences.
Among specialty releases, Amazon’s “Brittany Runs a Marathon” about a young woman who devotes herself to running to lose weight scored the weekend’s most packed theaters. It debuted with a per-theater average of $35,194 in five locations.
Roadside Attractions’ “Peanut Butter Falcon” made an impression in expansion, taking in $3 million from 984 theaters. The film stars Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson.