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‘IF’ Box Office Opening Contributes to Summer Box Office Woes

‘IF’ Box Office Opening Contributes to Summer Box Office Woes

The summer box office season mostly continues to underwhelm as writer-director John Krasinski‘s original family film IF — starring Ryan Reynolds and featuring an A-list voice cast — is opening well behind prerelease tracking even as it heads for a first-place finish.

After grossing $10.3 million on Friday, the live-action/CGI hybrid is estimating a $31.5 million domestic debut, versus the $40 million start suggested by prerelease tracking. Paramount insiders are hopeful that the forecast will improve on Saturday as parents and kids turn out in force. Also, while critics dissed the film, audiences awarded it an A CinemaScore and strong exits, which are key ingredients needed for word-of-mouth. And IF is drawing an ethnicallydiverse audience, another plus.

The bad news: the original film sports a rotten 53 percent Rotten Tomatoes critic’s score. Outside of Pixar titles — which are animated — it’s hard to find original family fare and even reviewers commend Krasinski for trying to crack the code, much as he did with horror when creating The Quiet Place movie franchise.

The fantasy pic explores the world of discarded imaginary friends and what happens when a young girl (Cailey Fleming) is and her neighbor (Reynolds) try to reunite them with their previous human pals.

The impressive voice cast features Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Steve Carell, Emily Blunt, Louis Gossett Jr., Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Sam Rockwell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Christopher Meloni, Awkwafina, Blake Lively, George Clooney, Matthew Rhys, Bradley Cooper, Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael Key. The live-action cast is rounded out by Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, Alan Kim, Liza Colón-Zayas and Bobby Moynihan.

Disney and 20th Century Studio’s male-fueled Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, the only summer event pic so far to exceed expectations, is headed for a second-place finish with $25 million to $26 million as it clears the$100 million mark domestically in its first 10 days

Lionsgate’s latest horror offering, Strangers: Chapter One looks to place third with $12.4 million. That’s a promising start for a movie that had been tracking to open in the $7 million to $9 million range.

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Universal’s The Fall Guy — which kicked off the summer box office in muted fashion despite good reviews and a cast led by Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt — looks to place fourth with $8 million for a domestic total of roughly $69 million through its third Sunday.

Another new title on the marquee this weekend is Studio Canal and Focus Features’ Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black, which is launching nationwide in just over 2,000 cinemas. The movie hoped to take in $4 million to $6 million but is on course for a $3 million debut.

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, Back to Black is far less commercial in scope than a biopic such as Rocketman or Bohemian Rhapsody. The film has been skewered by a majority of critics (its Rotten Tomatoes score is presently 36 percent). Focus/Universal acquired domestic and certain international rights for under $20 million from Studio Canal, which produced the movie and worked with the Winehouse estate

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