‘Super Mario Bros’ Swallowing Up ‘Margaret’, ‘George Foreman’ & More – Box Office


As The Super Mario Bros Movie barrels toward a box office score that will make it the highest-grossing animated movie ever at the domestic box office, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 waits to pounce, Lionsgate is navigating the pre-summer calendar this weekend with two movies aimed at two different demos: the long-awaited feature take of Judy Blume’s 1970 novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret aimed at women, and their pickup of the Sony Stage 6 Finnish genre title Sisu, aimed at genre dudes.

Are You There God? opened to $600,000 in a combo of Thursday night previews and early access screenings. There’s a chance that the adaptation, produced by James L. Brooks and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, could assail above its expected $7 million-$9 million opening to low double digits as it widens to 3,343 theaters.

Are You There God? cost an estimated $30M and stars Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Abby Ryder Fortson in the title role, and Benny Safdie. The 1970s-set movie about a young girl’s challenges with adolescence from The Edge of Seventeen filmmakers is currently 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Lionsgate’s Sisu surprised Thursday, taking in $585K. The pic, which is only at 900 theaters this weekend, is expected to do $4M, but it could be more than that now. The 94% fresh feature film from Jalmari Helander (Rare Exports, Big Game) follows Aatami, an ex-soldier in 1945 who discovers gold in the deep wilderness of Finland while on his way into the city. Brutal Nazis on a scorched-earth mission discover his treasure trove. He must go through outrageous lengths to get his gold back – even if it means killing every last Nazi. Aatami is portrayed by the filmmaker’s long-time collaborator Jorma Tommila.

RELATED: ‘Sisu’: TIFF Midnight Madness Pic From Stage 6 Picked Up By Lionsgate

Sony also has the faith-based aimed Affirm title Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World this weekend.

Khris Davis in Big George Foreman

The pic tells the story of the future heavyweight champion of the world from his impoverished childhood to channeling his anger to becoming an Olympic Gold medalist and World Heavyweight Champion. A near-death experience took him from the boxing ring to the pulpit. However, when he sees his community struggling spiritually and financially, Foreman returns to the ring and makes history by reclaiming his title, becoming the oldest and most improbable World Heavyweight Boxing Champion ever. George Tillman, Jr. directs. Khris Davis plays George Foreman. Sony has the movie booked at 3,000 locations with an outlook of $5M. Yesterday, previews that began at 4PM made $250K at 2,600 theaters. The $32M production was co-financed with TSG.

RELATED: ‘Big George Foreman’ Review: Boxing Biopic Takes Middleweight Swing At Heavyweight Story

Meanwhile, Illumination/Universal/Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros Movie, made $2.97M to lead Thursday box office, -1% from Wednesday, for a third week of $73M and running total of $450M. Weekend four is expected to be in the $30M range. Through 23 days, Super Mario Bros is pacing 9% behind Incredibles 2 at the same point in time. That doesn’t mean it can’t catch up.

New Line’s Evil Dead Rise made $1.59M yesterday, -5% from Wednesday for a week’s gross of $32.2M. Weekend 2, estimated to decline -60% like most horror pics do, will be around $9.8M.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Other highlights among the top five at the Thursday box office: Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4 finally became the top grossing installment in the franchise stateside with $171.5M, besting John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’s $171M. Fourthquel’s fifth Thursday was $500K, -2% from Wednesday for an $8M week.

MGM’s Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant at 2,611 saw a $457K Thursday, -4% from Wednesday for a first week of $8.67M.

Amazon’s Air at 2,823 theaters made $395K yesterday, -9%, for a third week of $7.3M, total gross of $43.6M.

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