‘Gods of Egypt’ starring Gerard Butler looks to be the first big-budget miss of 2016 as ‘Deadpool’ continues to soar and ‘The Hateful Eight’ rides to $100M.
Lionsgate’s Gods of Egypt, starring Gerard Butler, fared poorly at the Friday box office, earning $4.8 million for a projected $13 million to $14 million debut over Oscar weekend despite a hefty $140 million production budget.
At this rate, the fantasy epic will be the first big-budget miss of the year at the North American box office. It’s hoping to make up ground overseas, where it rolls out in 68 markets this weekend before landing in China on March 11.
Fox’s superhero blockbuster Deadpool will have no trouble staying at No. 1 in its third outing. The movie took in $9 million Friday for a projected $31.2 weekend, putting it’s domestic gross north of $285 million through Sunday.
Deadpool could make life difficult for Gods of Egypt internationally as well. Also overseas this weekend, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight will ride past the $100 million mark for The Weinstein Co., pushing its global total to north of $150 million.
Gods of Egypt, with aspirations of launching a new franchise, earned $800,000 in Thursday-night previews before expanding into a total of 3,117 theaters on Friday morning.
The film stars Butler as god of darkness Set whose rule has forced the Egyptian empire into chaos and conflict. Brenton Thwaites plays a mortal hero who teams with the god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to save the empire. Lionsgate insiders say the studio’s exposure on the budget is limited to $10 million after foreign presales and hefty Australian tax credits, but that doesn’t include $35 million to $40 million in marketing costs.
The other two newcomers this weekend are Fox’s sports dramedy Eddie the Eagle, starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton, and crime thriller Triple 9. Eddie stars Egerton as real-life British ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards while Jackman plays his coach. The film, which had a secret screening at Sundance, is directed by Dexter Fletcher.
Neither look to do big business, and are in a close race for the No. 5 spot with about $6 million each.
John Hillcoat’s indie crime-thriller Triple 9 has a strong cast including Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Teresa Palmer and Gal Gadot. Open Road Films is releasing the movie, which centers on crooked cops and criminals who plan a major heist, in the U.S.
Holdover Kung Fu Panda 3 is slotted to come in No. 3 for the weekend after Deadpool and Gods of Egypt with an estimated $8.7 million, pushing the animated movie’s domestic total to $128 million. Sony’s faith-based offering Risen stands to come in No. 3 with roughly $7.7 million for a 10-day total of nearly $23 million.