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Whisper Numbers: Can The Birth of a Nation weather the storm?



As the Southeast coast brace for Hurricane Matthew, three new wide releases storm into theaters with mixed forecasts. Based on a runaway best-selling novel, Girl on the Train [GRLOT] should easily top the weekend box office. Emily Blunt [EBLUN] leads a star-studded cast in the R-rated murder mystery that appeals primarily to older women. Universal has built up awareness with a long marketing campaign. The Girl on the Train has drawn comparisons with Gone Girl, which opened to $35.7 million two years ago. However, advance ticket sales are only pacing ahead of Prisoners, which debuted with $20.8 million three years ago. Rolling into 3135 theaters, Girl on the Train could pull away with $26 million.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children [PRGRN] connected with the family audience, which should keep it from dropping more than 45% in its second weekend to about $15 million.

With good word of mouth among the older demographics, Deepwater Horizon [DPWTH] should hold better than 50% for a second weekend haul around $11 million.

Nate Parker [NAPAR] directed The Birth of a Nation [TBOAN] and starred as Nat Turner who led a slave revolt in 1831 Virginia. The Sundance sensation was acquired by Fox Searchlight during the mist of #OscarSoWhite, and hyped as a leading awards contender. Unfortunately, Parker’s past has generated controversy over the past months and overshadowed his film. Fox Searchlight then decided to open the R-rated film wide in 2105 theaters, rather than slowly build up through the award season. The Birth of a Nation may settle with $9 million.

The PG-rated Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life [MIDSC] is based on a kids book series. Lionsgate targets the same audience that made The Diary of Wimpy Kids series a success, though Middle School is not as popular as the Fox films. With competition from Miss Peregrine, Middle School could tally $7 million from 2822 locations.

That’s the whisper on the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): GRLOT, EBLUN, PRGRN, DPWTH, NAPAR, TBOAN, MIDSC

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, October 6, 2016 @ 03:31 PM        1663 views


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