As 20th Century Fox’s “Deadpool” continues to dominate the box office, staying number one for a third straight weekend with a strong $31.5 million, the real story of the weekend is how badly Lionsgate’s new release “Gods of Egypt” performed.
The $140 million-budgeted swords-and-sandals fantasy actioner set in ancient Egypt only scrounged up an estimated $14 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in 3,117 theatres.
The fate of “Gods of Egypt” was set when numbers of its Thursday night preview were released with the movie, starring Gerard Butler and a bunch of other white Europeans playing Egyptians, only taking in $800,000 (not to mention the horrible reviews). It’s a bad start for a movie Lionsgate was hoping would at least take in $25-$27 million this weekend.
Though this is certainly the first major box office bomb of the year in the domestic market, Lionsgate may be able to absorb this big body blow.
The movie received a 40% tax credit for shooting in Australia, and then adding in foreign pre-sales, Lionsgate was under “10 million risk capital,” according to what an executive said on a recent shareholders call, on the film’s $140 million budget.
But for a studio that just finished up a major franchise with “The Hunger Games” films (spin-offs and prequels are likely on the fast track now) and the on-again-off-again chatter of a merger with Starz, a bomb like this isn’t good for Lionsgate’s profile.
Things weren’t much better for the weekend’s other big new release, “Triple 9.” The heist movie starring Aaron Paul, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, and Kate Winslet had a $5.8 million opening, according to THR.
However, 20th Century Fox is riding high at the moment. Along with “Deadpool” raising up the ranks as one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time (it’s now currently number three), their Oscar contender, “The Revenant,” is staying steady in theatres as it took in $3.8 million this weekend, for a total domestic gross of $170 million.
67% of the film’s domestic gross has come post-Oscar nominations, the largest bump of any of the Oscar nominees.
We’ll see Sunday night if the movie has the same kind of success when it comes to Oscar wins.
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