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American Ultra, Hitman Agent 47, and Sinister 2 Box Office Projections
The three major releases of August 14th, create a very unique situations where all of the films are rated R, which doesn’t happen every often. The three releases are American Ultra, Hitman Agent 47, and Sinister 2. Only one of these titles is showing any real potential of success even though the other two should have had the potential as well. These three films, more so American Ultra and Hitman rather than Sinister 2, also have serious competition from Straight Outta Compton, which is in it’s second weekend following a spectacular $60 million first weekend. Partially because of Compton this particular weekend isn’t going to be too spectacular for the new release, but also because films in August tend range from ok performance to poor with an exception to usually one film during the month. This month is comprised the left over’s of the summer season trying to take advantage of the slowdown. The result of this is you may get some very bad movies as a result.
This action comedy stars Jesse Eisenberg as a stoner that works at a convenience store who turns out to be a secret government agent, which he is unaware of himself. He is ear marked for disposal by his government handlers after he is deemed a liability. Co-starring is Kristen Stewart as Eisenberg’s love interest and That 70’s Show’s and Interstellar’s Topher Grace. Also featured in the film are Connie Britton, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman, and Tony Hale. The director of 2012’s Project X, Nima Nourizadeh, directed American Ultra. Max Landis, wrote the screenplay who was also co-writer of 2012’s Chronicle and is the son of writer, director, and producer of such films as The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, and Trading Places John Landis.
On the surface, American Ultra seams to be a very funny stoner comedy mixed with Bourne Identity. Unfortunately, that hasn’t turned into anticipation to help drive the movies opening weekend. Compounding the problem of low anticipation are bad early reviews, which the film currently has a 44% rating on Rottentomatoes.com. The poor reviews are an indicator of poor word of mouth going forward but the positive reviews do give some hope. The film also feels just a little too much line The Bourne Identity to some, which has not been helping. This film still has a chance of clicking with audiences because the good reviews do point out that it’s more like a typical B movie and those types of films can find an audience. Even if the film does find its audience, with the low anticipation leading up to American Ultra there’s not going to be a big enough audience to start with.
Current projections have the film opening around $10.75 million and gross $27.5 million domestically. These projections are probably about right but they are older and like I mentioned before, the film could find an audience. Also, the low anticipation could possibly be misleading and could be much larger than what was apparent. My models do give varying degrees of mild success but these models are based on older totals and I believe the film may not perform as originally projected. The models give a final domestic gross as high as $41.63 million and an opening weekend as low as $5.14 million.
The film should open between $10.49 and $6.29 million. The final domestic gross will be between $36.27 and $21.76 million. My prediction for America Ultra is an opening weekend of $7.5 million and a $25 million final domestic gross. Overall, things do not look good for this film even though there is some surprise possibility that it could do well but it’s unlikely.
Hitman Agent 47
Based on the video game franchise, Hitman Agent 47, follows the barcode tattoo wearing assassin helping a woman find her father. Playing Agent 47 is Homeland star Rupert Friend and Hannah Ware. Featured in the film is Zachary Quinto and Ciran Hinds. In the directors chair is polish director Aleksander Bach and the screenplay is by Skip Woods and Michael Finch.
This is classified as a reboot of the 2007 film Hitman staring Timothy Olyphant as agent 47, which was very successful but there was just never a sequel ever made. The original film opened with $13.1 million domestically, grossed $39.6 million, and had a worldwide total of $92.1 million. It appears that the success of the original will not find the reboot even though it does have solid anticipation from an established fan base. Early reviews also do not paint a good picture with 5 out of 5 reviews calling the film rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. It is very early to count the poor reviews against the film since there are only five but it’s a bad sign regardless.
My current models give an average opening weekend of $5.9 million, a domestic gross of $21.6 million, and a worldwide gross of $47.9. Like American Ultra I based these models on old data and the film will most likely performer a little worse and my R rated models have the effect of inflating totals of films that are going to perform poorly.
Opening weekend for Hitman Agent 47 will fall between $7.5 and $4.5 million. The final domestic gross will be between $27 and 16.2 million. I am unsure about the worldwide total because the franchise does have appeal overseas but it may not do well there either. If the film does do well overseas the worldwide total could fall between $59.9 and $36 million. I predict an opening weekend of $6 million and a final domestic gross of $15 million.
Hitman Agent 47
The big success of the weekend should come from this sequel from the 2012 horror smash Sinister. The film follows an investigator that is investigating a serial murder that brings him to a country house where a single mother and her twin sons live. Sinister 2 stars James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, and Dartanian Sloan. Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill return to write the script and Ciaran Foy directs.
Current expectations have the film opening around $17 million and grossing $41.7 million. The first installment opened at $18 million and grossed $48 million and this one is popular enough to match the original film. Based on current projections and trends established by the first film, Sinister 2 could gross as high as $45.4 million and a worldwide total of $82.7 million.
I expect the film to open solidly and if word of mouth is good the film should perform well over the long haul. The movie should open between $18.2 and $10.9 million. The domestic gross should range from $64.3 to $38.6 million. The worldwide total will be between $137.7 and $82.6 million. I predict and opening weekend of $18 million, as domestic gross of $45 million, and a worldwide total of $85 million.
Weekend forecast should be available soon and will give a better look into what the weekend will be like.
The reviews for all three films are still outright horrible. So far the worst reviews coming in are for Sinister 2 which may not be living up to the bar set by its predecessor and will not live up to projections. All three movies are trending low and it looks as if Straight Outta Compton will be on top for one more weekend.
UPDATE 8/22/2015 WEEKEND ESTIMATES
All three movies are performing under expectations due to putrid reviews. Sinister 2 has an opening weekend of $10.5 million. Hitman Agent 47 is at $7.5 million. American Ultra is at an extremely anemic $5.7 million. All three films come behind Straight Outta Compton in its second weekend and Mission: Impossible 5 in its fourth weekend.
The final numbers are in and all three films have unperformed and the best performing new film of the weekend came far behind Straight Outta Compton and Mission: Impossible 5. Sinister 2 opened at $10.5 million, Hitman Agent 47 at $8.3 million, and the biggest underperformer was American Ultra at $5.4 million.
All three films continue to stumble at the box office with Hitman Agent 47 being the strongest perfomer out of the bunch. The estimated domestic haul after the Labor Day weekend is $23.7 million. Hitman Agent 47 estimated domestic gross is just $19.7 but is performing well internationally with a worldwide haul of $62.9 million. American Ultras domestic gross will be an anemic $13 million.