Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish are teaching the competition a lesson this weekend.
The duo’s adult-education comedy Night School is on track to earn an estimated $28 million in ticket sales at 3,010 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday to Sunday, outpacing fellow new release Smallfoot to become the No. 1 film at the box office.
Heading into the weekend, Night School was projected to gross about $25 million to $30 million. Made for about $29 million and released by Universal Pictures, the film reunites Haddish with her Girls Trip director, Malcolm D. Lee, and producer Will Packer. For comparison, Girls Trip debuted with $31.2 million back in July 2017. As for Hart, Night School’s debut is coming in lower than 2016’s Central Intelligence ($35.5 million) and Ride Along 2 ($35.2 million), as well as 2015’s Get Hard ($33.8 million), but higher than 2015’s The Wedding Ringer ($20.6 million).
Night School centers on a high school dropout (Hart) who starts taking evening classes to get his GED and make himself a better man, with the help of an unconventional teacher (Haddish) and some fellow misfits (Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Keith David). Critics’ reviews have been tepid, but moviegoers gave it an A-minus CinemaScore.
Taking second place this weekend is Warner Bros’. animated movie Smallfoot, which will earn about $23 million at 4,131 theaters. That figure is slightly below industry projections, which were also in the $25 million to $30 million range.
Directed by Karey Kirkpatrick and made for about $80 million, Smallfoot tells the story of a Yeti who forms an unlikely friendship with a human. The voice cast includes Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya (as Meechee), Common, LeBron James, and Gina Rodriguez. Reviews were generally positive, and audiences gave it an A-minus CinemaScore.
Rounding out the top five this weekend are last week’s winner, The House With a Clock in Its Walls ($12.5 million), followed by A Simple Favor ($6.6 million) and The Nun ($5.4 million). Lionsgate’s slasher movie Hell Fest arrives with an estimated $5.1 million at 2,297 theaters, good for sixth place.
In limited release, National Geographic’s critically acclaimed climbing documentary Free Solo will earn an estimated $$300,804 in four theaters, notching the best per-screen average of the year ($75,201).
According to ComScore, overall box office is up 8.4 percent year-to-date. Check out the Sept. 28-30 figures below.
1. Night School — $28 million
2. Smallfoot — $23 million
3. The House With a Clock in Its Walls — $12.5 million
4. A Simple Favor — $6.6 million
5. The Nun — $5.4 million
6. Hell Fest — $5.1 million
7. Crazy Rich Asians — $4.2 million
8. The Predator — $3.7 million
9. White Boy Rick — $2.4 million
10. Peppermint — $1.8 million