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The Predator Skulks To The Top Of The Box Office With Mediocre $24M Debut

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Director Shane Black’s The Predator managed to hunt The Nun off the top-spot at the domestic box office this weekend, despite a less than stellar opening.

The action-horror flick drew in a $24 million US debut, for a worldwide cume of $54.7 million; by no means astounding numbers, and the picture still has a long way to go to justify Fox’s pricey $88 million production budget (inflated due to costly reshoots). $24 million is a contextually decent pull however for a franchise that, despite its cultural significance, has rarely garnered much in the way of financial success. The Predator marks the second-highest domestic opening for the franchise, not adjusted for inflation, behind only 2010’s Predators – which raked in $24.7 million.

It also appears that even in the age of the #MeToo movement, the scandal surrounding The Predator – in which Shane Black hired his friend Steven Wilder Striegel, a registered sex offender, and shot a scene between his character and actress Olivia Munn’s that was later removed at the behest of the studio – has not significantly affected the box office takings of the film. In a statement, Fox’s head of domestic distribution Chris Aronson said “I don’t think it dissuaded anyone who wasn’t predestined to go. I think it had minimal, if any, impact.”

The Predator is in UK cinemas now, rated 15. It currently holds a 49 MetaScore, and a less-than-ideal 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. Read Movie Marker’s two-star review here.

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Halloween Scores Series-Best Opening, As Venom Crosses $450m Worldwide

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Jamie Lee Curtis’ rebootquel Halloween scored a domestic opening of $77.5 million this weekend, after an impressive $27.2M Saturday. Not only does that easily make it the best US opening for John Carpenter’s four-decade old franchise, but it also solidifies it as the second-best opening ever for the month of October behind Sony’s Venom, which netted $80.2M just a few weeks ago.

Speaking of Venom, the critically-derided, audience-adored antihero flick starring Tom Hardy took another $18 million in the US this week, and a further $32 million internationally, taking the film’s global total to a staggering $460.2 million – for perspective, that’s bottom-end MCU money, beating out titles like Thor ($449.3m), Captain America: The First Avenger ($370.6m) and The Incredible Hulk ($263.4m), and gaining on films like Ant-Man ($519.3m) and the original Iron Man ($585.2m). Venom is still yet to open in China and Japan.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ smash-hit musical drama A Star Is Born is still raking in the dough. Star/director Bradley Cooper’s feature, which has garnered a big push in ticket sales from the successful stunt-casting of Lady Gaga as the secondary lead, brought its tally up to $201 million internationally this week, and looks set to continue hanging on at the box office despite fierce October competition.

All three films are in UK cinemas now, with Venom and A Star Is Born both rated 15, and Halloween rather expectedly rated 18.

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The Grinch Eyeing $50m+ Opening Weekend

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Illumination Animation’s forthcoming The Grinch, with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the green grouch, has landed on early tracking – and Universal could be looking at quite the Christmas present.

Yes, by all accounts, The Grinch is looking at a minimum $50m opening weekend, with that number potentially ballooning as the weeks roll on and the film’s marketing pushes deeper into the public consciousness.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the franchise (and character) has proven itself before to have both presence and staying power; 2000’s live-action version, starring Jim Carrey in the title role, opened to $55 million and went on to score $260 million total, not adjusted for inflation.

The Grinch is due out in UK cinemas on the 9th November, rated PG.

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Venom Dominates The Domestic Box Office With $80M Opening

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In spite of the overwhelming cascade of negative press and critical reviews, Venom still destroyed its opening weekend, with a domestic total debut of $80 million.

Sony’s MCU-adjacent flick (supposedly the first in a line of dark and gritty Spidey-less films centred on the popular Spider-Man characters the studio still has the rights to) trounced Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star is Born, which brought in a still-impressive $42.6 million.Venom also crushed the record for an October release by 43%, beating Gravity’s 2013 record of $55.8 million.

Internationally Venom drew a further $125 million, for a worldwide total of $205 million.

Sony are reportedly thrilled at the takings, successfully piggybacking off of the Marvel brand to deliver a genuine box office success before any potential poor word-of-mouth gets around. The flick was a modestly-budgeted project, especially for a superhero film, and has already doubled its $100 million price tag.

Meanwhile, A Star is Born is expected to have greater legs, as positive buzz (and rumblings of Oscar nominations) carry the feature into the coming weeks. Competition will be fierce though, as the 12th of October will see the similarly positioned Bad Times at the El Royale and First Man releasing, along with animated family feature Smallfoot and neon-soaked Nicolas Cage horror Mandy.

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