‘Miss Peregrine’ claims an easy box office win over ‘Deepwater Horizon’

Image: Fox

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the best-performing movie of the weekend, domestically, with an estimated $28.5 three-day opening.

It’s the eighth-largest opening to date for director Tim Burton, falling just a hair shy of the filmmaker’s 2012 feature, Dark Shadows. In fact, the two are close enough that Peregrine‘s finalized tally could end up surpassing Shadows‘ $29.7 million domestic opening.

It’s an as-expected start for the latest from Burton, who has averaged close to $31 million per opening across his 14 wide releases. Though Peregrine is missing some of the qualities that have helped to sell past Burton films.

The filmmaker didn’t have the box office draw of frequent collaborator Johnny Depp on this one. And Peregrine an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ young adult fantasy novel doesn’t have the same broad appeal as the likes of Alice in Wonderland or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In that context, Peregrine is off to a fine start. And it’s well-positioned to keep charting through much of October, with Max Steel (Oct. 14) a movie based on a toy line that feels like a brand play, with fewer marquee names than Peregrine looking like the only direct threat to lure away its youthful audience.

Deepwater Horizon opens at #2, reuniting director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg. It’s another based-on-truth tale for the duo after the highly successful Navy SEAL survival story Lone Survivor, from 2013.

Deepwater is looking at an estimated $20.6 million for its domestic opening. That’s just over half of Lone Survivor‘s $38.2 million launch, though the newer film has a better shot overseas.

Survivor grossed $29.7 million outside the U.S. over its entire run, likely due to its patriotic soldier survival story. Deepwater embraces more of a global focus, detailing the real-life heroism that occurred in the wake of 2010’s BP oil spill. It’s already at $12.4 million overseas (estimated), or just under one-third of Survivor‘s total foreign take.

The rest of the top five is filled out by earlier releases, with The Magnificent Seven ($15.7 million) at #3, Storks ($13.8 million) at #4 and Sully ($8.4 million) at #5. Storks is looking like a keeper for moviegoing families, with a mere 35 percent dip in ticket sales since last week, when it opened.

Sully, meanwhile, used the weekend to surpass $100 million in domestic ticket sales. The early-September awards bait, starring Tom Hanks as real-life hero pilot Thomas “Sully” Sullenberger, has now brought in an estimated $105.4 million in the U.S. to date.

It’s not until the #6 spot that we see the weekend’s other newcomer, the ensemble comedy Masterminds. How do we explain the weak $6.6 million start when the cast is filled out by present-day favorites like Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Jason Sudeikis?

Release delays probably had something to do with it. Masterminds was originally set to bow in Aug. 2015, but that was a month after the studio declared bankruptcy. An October 2015 release was planned next, but that was moved as well, to the now-final Sept. 30 release.

The result was an uneven marketing campaign that sputtered out following the delays and never really found its footing again. Between the lack of pre-release buzz and the post-release critical drubbing, expect Masterminds to fade away quickly.

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