Lionsgate got out early with the Millennium Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson action comedy sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with an official Wednesday debut plus last weekend paid sneaks; all totaled they’ve accumulated $3.9M at 2,940 locations. The whole reason why Lionsgate went early is to collect as much cash as possible before Universal’s F9 comes in next weekend, which is expected to soak up $50-$65M. Distributors and exhibitors are encouraged by the presales they’re seeing for both F9 and Black Widow.
Lionsgate had two sets of sneak previews over the weekend, with about 275 locations in a Atom Tickets/Snapchat sponsorship and another 1,500 locations which both amounted to $1.8M. Tuesday previews amounted to around $815K. The balance yesterday was $1.3M. Industry projections are in the teens for Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard over 5 days with a possible shot at $20M. The theater count will increase on Friday to 3,331. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is on a 42-day theatrical window, I hear, versus Lionsgate’s Spiral which was on an 18-day window. While Lionsgate was never planning on this, but with Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday (June 19), and many businesses giving employees’ Friday off, it’s possible that some people will find their way to the movies. CinemaScore audiences gave the sequel a B to the first installment’s B+. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard adds Salma Hayek, Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas. PostTrak audience exits showed 75% positive with a 53% definite recommend which is much better than what critics thought at 26% on Rotten Tomatoes (the first movie wasn’t beloved by critics either at 43% Rotten). Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard pulled in 56% guys, 60% over 25 with 57% between 18-34 years old. Diversity mix was 43% Caucasian, 30% Latinx, 14% Black, & 13% Asian/Other. The sequel saw an uptick in its Latinx crowd vs. the first movie which only had 21% Hispanic. I hear that Imax and PLF repped 20% of ticket sales to date.
The first Hitman’s Bodyguard opened to $21.3M during the third weekend of August in 2017 and went on to make $75.4M domestic, $101.1M WW off a reported $30M production cost. Lionsgate has skin in the game I hear on the sequel. It’s not a distribution deal with the distributor taking U.S. rights, UK and Latin American territories. UK and Mexico are also opening this weekend for the sequel.
Watch on Deadline
Paramount’s A Quiet Place 2 took second place on Wednesday with $1.53M, down 10% from Tuesday at 3,515 locations. Pic’s running total stands at $114.3M. The pic in its third session last weekend toppled Warner Bros.’ In the Heights for the No. 1 spot, $12M to $11.5M.
Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway did $975K yesterday, -20% at 3,346 for a running total of $13.2M.