The first weekend of August will see the release of Sony/Columbia’s R-rated action comedy “Bullet Train” in what will be the last major release period for the summer box office.
After this weekend, none of the remaining major studio releases, which include Idris Elba’s thriller “Beast,” are expected to gross more than $15 million in opening weekends. “Bullet Train,” which features a cast led by Brad Pitt, is expected to top the charts this weekend with an opening of at least $26 million, though most independent projections and analysts are calling for a $26 million opening. 30 million on 4,300 screens.
With an irreverent, gory tone reminiscent of the ‘Deadpool’ movies — largely because ‘Deadpool 2’ filmmaker David Leitch directs — ‘Bullet Train’ stars Pitt as Ladybug, an assassin summoned to a train Japanese high-speed train to Kyoto for what should be a simple briefcase flight. Instead, Ladybug ends up falling into a deadly conflict with other assassins, all seemingly bound by fate.
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Reviews for “Bullet Train” have been mixed with a score of 57% for Rotten Tomatoes, but Sony is banking on the film until August with no major competition ahead. Five years ago, Sony had strong word-of-mouth with another R-rated action flick, “Baby Driver,” turning a $20.5 million opening into a 107 domestic box office, $8 million and $225 million worldwide.
But while “Baby Driver” had a budget of $34 million, “Bullet Train” has almost triple that at $90 million, raising the bar for profitability considerably. Reviews from critics, which can help boost buzz ahead of a film’s release, also haven’t been as strong as for “Baby Driver,” so word-of-mouth from audiences will have to be very strong for make this movie a success.
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Meanwhile, Universal’s “Easter Sunday” has a much lower bar to cross with a $17 million budget, as projections call for the film to earn a $5-7 million opening with a chance. to reach $9 million. Directed by “Super Troopers” filmmaker Jay Chandrasekar, the film stars Jo Koy in a role based on his life and career, playing a comedian who takes his son to meet his Filipino-American family at an Easter gathering. Reviews have not been published at the time of writing.
Finally, A24, which enjoyed some box office success with Ti West’s “X,” will release another slasher flick with the horror-comedy “Bodies Bodies Bodies” on six screens in Los Angeles and New York. Starring Pete Davidson, Amandla Stenberg and “Borat 2” star Maria Bakalova, the film follows a group of Gen Zers spending a night playing a mystery killer game in a swanky mansion…only to find that there is a real killer among them. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive with a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score, and the film will be looking to match the $11.7 million total that “X” earned in March.
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