Manners maketh money.
Fox’s over-the-top spy sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle is on track to gross an estimated $39 million in the U.S. and Canada during its first weekend in theaters, unseating two-time box office champ It and outpacing fellow new release The Lego Ninjago Movie.
After getting roughed up by critics, The Golden Circle will likely debut below the $41.8 million four-day total pulled in by its predecessor over Presidents Day weekend in 2015, but above the original’s Friday-Sunday total of $36.2 million. With $39 million, the sequel would notch the fifth-highest September opening ever, not adjusted for inflation. It’s also on pace to add an estimated $61.2 million from 55 international markets this weekend.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn and loosely based on the comic book The Secret Service, the second Kingsman film finds young British spy Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his mentor Harry (Colin Firth) teaming up with their American counterparts to save the world. The high-profile cast also includes Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, and Jeff Bridges.
Moviegoers gave The Golden Circle a decent B-plus CinemaScore.
Dropping down to the No. 2 spot, It is on pace for an estimated $30 million, which would bring its domestic total to $266.4 million after 17 days in theaters. The Warner Bros. and New Line film, adapted from Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel of the same name, has smashed several box office records, including highest September opening and highest-grossing horror movie (both unadjusted for inflation). A sequel is already in the works.
Things are less rosy in Legoland, as Ninjago is debuting in third place with an estimated $21.2 million — considerably below industry projections, which pegged it closer to $30 million. The Warner Bros. animated film, about a young ninja warrior and friends battling his warlord father, is lagging far behind the openings of predecessors The Lego Movie ($69.1 million) and The Lego Batman Movie ($53 million).
Reviews for Ninjago were underwhelming, and audiences gave it a B-plus CinemaScore.
Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan directed the movie, and the voice cast includes Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Olivia Munn, Michael Pena, and Jackie Chan.
Rounding out the top five are the Dylan O’Brien action thriller American Assassin, with an estimated $6.3 million, and the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy Home Again, with an estimated $3.3 million.
On the specialty front, this weekend saw the release of the sports biopic Battle of the Sexes, the Boston Marathon bombing drama Stronger, and the period pic Victoria and Abdul.
Starring Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs, Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes is on pace to take in an estimated $525,000 from 21 locations, for a solid per-theater average of $25,000.
Focus Features’ Victoria and Abdul, starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as her attendant Abdul Karim, will gross an estimated $152,000 from four locations, for a strong per-theater average of $37,933.
And Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions’ Stronger, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, is poised to crack the top 10 with an estimated $1.7 million from 574 locations. That works out to a per-theater average of $3,045.
According to ComScore, overall box office is down 4.6 percent year-to-date. Check out the Sept. 22-24 figures below.
1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle — $39 million
2. It — $30 million
3. The Lego Ninjago Movie — $21.2 million
4. American Assassin — $6.3 million
5. Home Again — $3.3 million
6. mother! — $3.3 million
7. Friend Request — $2.4 million
8. The Hitman’s Bodyguard — $1.9 million
9. Stronger — $1.7 million
10. Wind River — $1.3 million