Box Office: ‘IF’ Stumbles on Opening Day With $10.3 Million, ‘The Strangers: Chapter 1’ Unmasking Third Place

Paramount’s family comedy “IF” is leading domestic charts in its opening after earning $10.3 million from 4,041 locations across Friday and preview screenings. But the John Krasinski-directed fantasy feature has decidedly fallen behind its projections heading into the weekend, which had originally forecast a debut around $40 million. The film is now looking to finish closer to $31.5 million.

It’s a marked underperformance for the PG-rated family film, which sports a substantial $110 million production budget. Reviews have been mediocre, but the public’s sentiment is much more positive with audience survey firm Cinema Score turning in a glowing “A” grade from the first group of ticket buyers. That seal of approval could mark some salvation for “IF,” which will have to keep drawing in families as schools let out for summer to justify its price tag. Paramount will face competition for younger viewers when Sony’s animated “The Garfield Movie” hits theaters next weekend though.

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Jumping from the scares of his alien-invasion “A Quiet Place” franchise to more furry and friendly creatures, Krasinski writes and directs “IF,” which stars Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming as two neighbors who can see abandoned imaginary friends, alongside a vast voice cast for the CG creatures that includes Steve Carell, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Awkwafina, Amy Schumer and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Also opening this weekend, Lionsgate is putting its horror prequel “The Strangers: Chapter 1” in 2,856 venues, with plans for the next two entries to release in the coming months. The Renny Harlin-directed feature is looking at a third place finish after earning $5.1 million across opening day and previews. That’s a strong start considering the production budget of only $8.5 million; the film now looks to surge past projections for a $9 million debut for a bow north of $11.5 million.

Reviews have been terrible for “The Strangers” and audience sentiment is low (a “C” grade on Cinema Score) — neither unusual traits for a horror entry, nor are they providing a hinderance for a healthy opening weekend. It’ll be interesting to see if Lionsgate manages to keep drawing audiences back to the brand with the imminent follow-ups.

Focus Features is putting the Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black” in roughly 2,010 theaters. The Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed feature is now looking to earn $3 million in its first domestic weekend, good for fifth but coming in short of modest projections for a debut north of $4 million. It has already earned $36 million internationally, including $14.1 million in Winehouse’s native Britain. Marisa Abela stars. Reviews aren’t positive, though a “B+” grade on Cinema Score indicates its satisfying most early moviegoers.

Falling to second place, Disney’s “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” earned $6.8 million on Friday, down 70% from its opening day. The science-fiction entry looks to push past a $100 million domestic gross through the weekend, which will make it only the fifth film of 2024 to notch that milestone. The Wes Ball-directed sequel cost $165 million to produce, though international numbers (already $72 million) are expected to buoy its fortunes.

Fourth place goes to Universal’s “The Fall Guy,” which is looking at $8.1 million for its third weekend to go down 41% from its sophomore outing. The David Leitch-directed action feature has put up modest holds, though it hasn’t truly recovered from its underwhelming opening at the start of May. Domestic total should push pat $62 million through Sunday.

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