It may be time for Fox to rethink the Predator franchise, and quite possibly time to end it altogether. If you include the AvP: Alien vs. Predator films, which I suppose we should since the name is in the titles, there’s really nothing spectacular going on creatively or commercially.
The first film, directed by 80s action maestro John McTiernan (Die Hard) and loosely based on the famous short story The Most Dangerous Game, made around $100 million worldwide on a $12 million budget, which is pretty good for 1987, so Fox ordered a sequel. In November of 1990 Predator 2 opened to $8.7 million domestic and petered out with $57 million internationally. The next film was AvP: Alien vs Predator (the title so nice they named it twice!), which, although derided by fans, is actually the highest grossing film in the Predator franchise with a worldwide gross of $172 million. It’s not terrible take for a film with a $60 million budget. However, fans absolutely hated it and the sequel, which was unwisely released on Christmas Day in 2007, tanked with only $128.8 million worldwide. The next film, 2010’s Predators, finally moved the setting the predator home world and tried to make Adrien Brody an action star. None of it really worked, so now here we are with another attempted reboot or at least reorganization of The Predator franchise.
Fox has been making back there investment on these films, but just barely. The budget of The Predator is $88 million and that’s before you factor in marketing costs. As I said, its time to rethink this franchise. It was a good idea to hire Shane Black to write and direct, but I hear there was some meddling from the studio and, as we’ve seen with Fox time and again, that’s never a good thing. While $88 million isn’t especially high by today’s standards, it’s just high enough that Fox won’t hand the property off to a filmmaker and walk away. So…meddling.
If they do decide to make another Predator film I’d like to see Fox mimic what they did with the first Deadpool. Not the tone of that film, but the idea of setting the budget at a point where the studio is comfortable enough to let the filmmakers make the film they want, without feeling the need to takeover the editing. Also, let’s get a nice mid-range, but known, action star for the lead. I’m thinking a Jason Statham level star, although, with the success of The Meg, and the Fast & Furious spin off Hobbes and Shaw next year, I imagine his price tag is steadily climbing.
Be sure to take a look at MFR’s review of The Predator. His opinion more or less echoes what I’ve been hearing about the film.
And now lets take a look at the rest of the top five…
The big story at the box office last week was Warner Brothers’ The Nun, the latest entry in The Conjuring universe. It debuted to a series best of $53.8 million, but, with a sophomore take of $18.2 million (a drop of 66.2%), the horror flick had to settle for second place. The domestic take is at $85 million, so expect it to go well north of the $100 million mark before all is said and done.
Paul Feig decided to take a break from comedy with A Simple Favor, and managed a third place opening with $16 million. I went to see this yesterday with my wife and we both enjoyed it; although, we agree it suffers form the usual Feig issue of needing about twenty minutes trimmed to tighten it up. Otherwise, it’s a decent thriller with great performances from Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.
White Boy Rick also debuted this weekend and came in at number four with $8.8 million. The film stars Matthew McConaughey and newcomer Richie Merritt. It tells the true story of a fifteen year old kid who got involved in the drug trade, became a DEA informant and ended up in jail.
After five weeks in theatres, and three weeks in the top spot, Crazy Rich Asians still managed a spot in the top five, albeit the last spot. The hit romantic comedy earned an additional $8.7 million this week for a drop of only 33.3% from last week. The domestic cume is at a robust $149.5 million, with more to come.
What did you think of this week’s top five? Do you agree that Fox needs to rethink its approach to The Predator franchise? Let us know in the comments below.
Here’s the full top ten. As always, worldwide numbers include the domestic takes, so if you need to know what the international numbers are you’ll have to break out the calculator.
|Rank||Title||Weekend Take||Domestic Total||Worldwide Total|
|3.||A Simple Favor||$16,050,000||$16,050,000||$19,550,000|
|4.||White Boy Rick||$8,800,000||$8,800,000||N/A|
|5.||Crazy Rich Asians||$8,700,000||$149,551,904||$187,451,904|
|9.||Unbroken: Path to Redemption||$2,350,000||$2,350,000||N/A|
|10.||Mission: Impossible – Fallout||$2,315,000||$216,135,337||$760,935,337|
SOURCE: Box Office Mojo