The Predator movie is currently projected to make $25-$30 million in its opening weekend, less than the opening weekend tally for 2004’s Alien Vs. Predator. However, The Predator should still do well enough to win its opening weekend against relatively soft competition. Concerns about the film have been raised after director Shane Black decided to reshoot the entire third act, having decided the original ending simply didn’t work.
The newest attempt at reviving the Predator franchise has ties to the first movie through writer-director Black, who co-wrote and acted in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger original. The new movie features several twists on the classic Predator premise, including Predators who have enhanced themselves using the DNA of their vanquished foes. This time around, the stakes are higher as the Predators are interested in more than just big-game hunting.
20th Century Fox is hoping the newest Predator movie will prove to be a big hit for them when it opens in three weeks, but right now, tracking is indicating the movie will be at best a modest success. As Variety reports, early projections suggest an opening somewhere in the $25-$30 million range for Black’s reboot. That should be enough to top the other new openers on that same weekend, including the Blake Lively-Anna Kendrick thriller A Simple Favor (projected to make between $12-$15 million) and Matthew McConaughey’s White Boy Rick ($5-$9 million).
The Predator’s toughest competition may come from the second weekend of The Nun, which is projected to make $32-$40 million in its opening, though The Nun would have to hold a lot of its audience in its second weekend to again challenge for the top spot. Compared to earlier Predator films, the current projections for The Predator are on the somewhat disappointing end. Alien Vs. Predator, a spinoff film that doesn’t even qualify as canon in many people’s eyes, opened to $38 million when it came out in August 2004. That film went on to make just $80 million domestically despite the big opening.
Alien Vs. Predator’s $38 million bow actually represents the biggest first weekend ever for a Predator film. The original movie, modestly budgeted at just $15 million, opened to $12 million at a time when studios didn’t necessarily aim for huge openings. That film went on to gross $59 million domestically, which translates to $141 million when adjusted for ticket-price inflation. Of course, the first Predator would go on to become a classic, with a healthy post-theatrical life on home video and cable.
Subsequent Predator films have failed to achieve the same iconic status as the first movie, despite various efforts to freshen up the formula. The last reboot/sequel attempt, 2010’s Predators, opened with just $24 million its first weekend on the way to a limp $52 million domestic gross. Black’s The Predator should do slightly better than Predators did in its first weekend, but that might not reassure Fox very much. In terms of overseas prospects, the movie looks weak given its lack of bankable stars. It remains to be seen if The Predator ultimately performs well enough to warrant sequels, or if Black’s movie will once-and-for-all spell the end of the venerable sci-fi/horror series.