Hiding a sequel number in the title isn’t enough to make a film seem fresh. That’s the message audiences sent Millennium Films, which produced “Expend4bles” at a reported cost of $100 million. The franchise’s fourth film and the first since 2014 came in second place; it should have been an easy #1.

Lionsgate reports an estimated gross of $8.3 million, but studio estimates suggest it will be closer to $8 million. Pre-weekend projections had this in the range of $10 million or higher, but truly awful reviews (Metacritic has it at a rock-bottom 29) didn’t help.

Not every sequel bombs. “The Nun II” (Warner Bros.) repeated for a surprising third week at #1; last week it edged out Disney’s “A Haunting of Venice,” also unexpected. The New Line horror production, with a budget under $40 million, will head to a domestic total over $85 million. It’s a nice win for Warners, one that will put the film above DC Comics’ far more expensive “Blue Beetle” and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods.”

"The Nun II"
“The Nun II”Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Warners estimates $8.4 million for “The Nun II.” Last weekend, in another close decision, it guessed $200,000 over the actual result. This week, they have a margin of $100,000 to not be the lowest #1 for the year. Current title holder is Warners’ “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” which debuted to $8.3 million on the low-grossing Super Bowl weekend.

This weekend’s tentative total is around $52 million, the year’s lowest. Year to date, the box office is up 26 percent over last year.

Two other films made their top 10 debuts. Neon released “It Lives Inside,” the story of an Indian-American teen who confronts a demonic spirit who has possessed a classmate. It premiered at SXSW 2023 and received mixed reviews to open at #7.

“Dumb Money” (Sony) expanded to 616 theaters from last week’s eight for 8th place. It grossed $2.5 million ahead of the much wider expansion. The slower release is intended to elevate word of mouth; next week we’ll see if it worked. Its per-theater $4,058 average is a bit below what “Bottoms” (MGM) achieved in its second weekend with 715 theaters. With an estimated budget of $11 million, the MGM title will gross around $12 million. The reported “Dumb Money” budget is around $30 million.

“A Haunting in Venice” dropped to third, off 56 percent in its second weekend. It’s faring better overseas, where it’s grossed $46.2 million, but it’s much below hopes.

“Barbie” (WB), boosted by some first-time IMAX dates, had the best hold. It remains #5, off only 16 percent even with home PVOD access as an alternative. “Oppenheimer” is in a virtual tie for 10th place with a 22 percent drop. (Paramount’s estimate for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is only $5,000 lower).

STOP MAKING SENSE, David Byrne, 1984, (c)Cinecom International/courtesy Everett Collection
“Stop Making Sense” ©Cinecom Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

A limited IMAX-centered reissue of Talking Heads’ classic concert film “Stop Making Sense” (on screens often shared with “Barbie”) grossed $800,000 for the weekend and over $1.4 million including Thursday shows. Prior to the A24 re-release, the 1984 Jonathan Demme film has grossed approximately $20 million (adjusted).

The Top 10

1. The Nun II (WB) Week 3; Last weekend #1

$8,400,000 (-42%) in 3,536 (-207) theaters; PTA (per theater average): $2,376; Cumulative: $69,222,000

2. Expend4bles (Liongate) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 29; Est. budget: $100 million

$8,300,000 in 3,518 theaters; PTA: (per theater average): $2,359; Cumulative: $8,300,000

3. A Haunting in Venice (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$6,300,000 (-56%) in 3,305 (no change) theaters; PTA: $1,215; Cumulative: $25,353,000

4. The Equalizer 3 (Sony) Week 4; Last weekend #3

$4,725,000 (-35%) in 3,270 (-258) theaters; PTA: $1,445; Cumulative: $81,261,000

5. Barbie (Warner Bros.) Week 10; Last weekend #6; also on PVOD

$3,200,000 (-19%) in 2,634 (-378) theaters; PTA: $1,215; Cumulative: $630,450,000

6. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (Focus) Week 3; Last weekend #4

$3,000,000 (-37%) in 3,078 (-600) theaters; PTA: $975; Cumulative: $23,800,000

7. It Lives Inside (Neon) NEW – Metacritic: 50

$2,630,000 in 1,985 theaters; PTA: $1,312; Cumulative: $2,630,000

8. Dumb Money (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #20

$2,500,000 (+1,031%) in 616 (+608) theaters; PTA: $4,058; Cumulative: $2,810,000

9. Blue Beetle (Warner Bros.) Week 6; Last week #7

$1,810,000 (-28%) in 1,953 (-433) theaters; PTA: $1,910; Cumulative: $69,823,000

10. (tie) Oppenheimer (Universal) Week 10; Last weekend #9

$1,630,000 (-22%) in 1,459 (-340) theaters; PTA: $1,117; Cumulative: $321,213,000

10. (tie) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Paramount) Week 8; Last weekend #10; also on PVOD

$1,625,000 (-20%) in 1,751 (-315) theaters; PTA: $928; Cumulative: $116,261,000

Other specialized titles

Films (limited, expansions of limited, as well as awards-oriented releases) are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week; after the first three weeks, only films with grosses over $5,000 are listed.Metacritic scores and film festivals lists as listed.

Stop Making Sense (A24) (reissue) NEW

$800,637 in 264 theaters; PTA: $; Cumulative: $1,429,000 (reissue only)

My Sailor, My Love NEW – Festivals include: Toronto 2022

$27,419 in 35 theaters; PTA: $798

What Doesn’t Float (Circle Collective) NEW

$5,029 in 1 theater; PTA: $5,029

The Origin of Evil (IFC) NEW – Metacritic: 59; Festivals include: Venice, Toronto 2022

$45,950 in 206 theaters; PTA: $223

Camp Hideout (Roadside) Week 2 848

$229,265 in theaters; PTA: $; Cumulative: $869,533

Rebel (Yellow Veil) Week 2

$4,000 in 1 (no change) theater; PTA: $4,000; Cumulative: $(est.) 8,000

Amerikatsi (Variance) Week 3

$82,014 in 39 (+20) theaters; PTA: $2,103; Cumulative: $279.799

Bottoms (MGM) Week 5; also on PVOD

$607,940 in 645 (-537) theaters; Cumulative: $11,046,000

Golda (Bleecker Street) Week 5

$94,425 in 141 (-55) theaters; Cumulative: $4,597,000

Fremont (Music Box) Week 5

$27,995 in 34 (+6) theaters; Cumulative: $219,899

Jules (Bleecker Street) Week 7

$12,970 in 28 (+5) theaters; Cumulative: $1,909,000

Talk to Me (A24) Week 9; also on PVOD

$447,530 in 420 (-150) theaters; Cumulative: $47,641,000

Theater Camp (Searchlight) Week 11; also on PVOD and streaming

$12,000 in 45 (no change) theaters; Cumulative: $3,994,000

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