Box Office: ‘Night School’ Takes Top Honors With $28M, ‘Smallfoot’ Opens With $23M

1. Night School (review)- $28M
Wha? The comic combo of Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and super producer Will Packer produced a number one hit comedy? That’s the least shocking thing about Night School‘s $28M debut. This was one of those critic-proof movies that was going to do well no matter what the Rotten Tomatoes score said. Currently it sits at 31%, by the way.  Hart continues to prove himself a box office star in the genre realm, perhaps the biggest male star its had since Will Ferrell’s prime. Haddish, I think, has the potential to be the next major female comedy star, like on a Melissa McCarthy level. She’s two for two in major comedy films and I’ll be curious to see if her name can boost a small film like The Oath, which opens in just a few days.
2. Smallfoot (review)- $23M
Warner Bros.’ animated Smallfoot film opened with a solid $23M, which is about standard for the studio’s all-ages stuff nowadays. It’s not a bad number for the $80M film, which I think has one of the most clever ideas in a minute. Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, and more voice a flip on the Bigfoot legend, with an adventurous Yeti discovering the existence of the fabled human “smallfoot”. Worldwide the film has $38M, which again is perfectly okay, although I thought it might do better with the lack of animated offerings out there.
3. The House with a Clock in its Walls– $12.5M/$44.7M
While the 53% tumble and $12.5M total may be a steep drop, it’s hard not to look at the $44M two-week domestic total in a bad light. The $42M film made the smart move getting out in front of Goosebumps 2 by a couple of weeks, and is riding on some pretty good reviews. Worldwide the film has $53M.
4. A Simple Favor– $6.6M/$43M
5. The Nun– $5.4M/$109M
6. Hell Fest- $5M
The first true Halloween movie of the season (before the actual Halloween sequel arrives) was Lionsgate/CBS Films’ small-budgeted Hell Fest, about a slasher who stalks victims at a Halloween carnival. The $5M total hits the production’s break even point, but we’re accustomed to seeing horrors do much better right out of the gate, especially with a large-ish 2200 theater count. I expect this will take a huge hit in the next week or two and be gone from memory soon after.
7. Crazy Rich Asians– $4.1M/$165.6M
8. The Predator– $3.7M/$47.6M
9. White Boy Rick– $2.3M/$21.7M
10. Peppermint– $1.7M/$33.5M