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‘Godzilla x Kong’ Won’t Be Cursed By ‘The First Omen’ & ‘Monkey Man’ – Box Office Preview

No dart gun, or First Omen, or Monkey Man will put Legendary/Warner Bros’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire to sleep this weekend. The pic, after an unexpected $80 million Easter weekend start, will continue to rumble with a 55%-60% second-weekend drop to between $32M-$36M. Through four days, the Adam Wingard-directed Monsterverse title stands at $87.7M, fueled by 57% of K-12 schools out Monday and another 14% colleges. Expect more cash today as, per Comscore, there are 28% of K-12 school out, and 5% universities.

Currently, both First Omen and Monkey Man are expected to come in around the same level — $12M to low teens. 20th Century Studios’ First Omen, despite being an R-rated horror movie, skews a little bit more female (typically, it’s the young women who go for PG-13 horror, while the R-rated fare skews dude), while Universal/Monkeypaw’s Dev Patel feature directorial debut is more men.

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Both movies are going after the 18-34 crowd, and both will share PLFs while Legendary rules supreme on Imax; First Omen is booked at 3,300 theaters, while Monkey Man has firmed up 3,000.

Nell Tiger Free in 'The First Omen'
Nell Tiger Free in ‘The First Omen’

First Omen is looking to play to the middle of the country, in addition to potential older moviegoers who remember the original 1976 Richard Donner-directed movie starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, which was a hit back in the day with $60M domestic B.O. (unadjusted for inflation). This version is a prequel directed by filmmaker Arkasha Stevenson. Blurb: A young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, but encounters a darkness that causes her to question her faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.

No reviews yet, but Disney has been stoking genre fans with an early screening of the movie at Beyond Fest. Previews start Thursday at 7 p.m.. The First Omen cost in the low $30 millions before P&A.

Monkey Man movie starring Dev Patel
Dev Patel in ‘Monkey Man’

Monkey Man, which is Patel’s love letter to Bollywood and Korean action films, could surprise and overperform. Playability on the coasts is expected after blasting off at its SXSW world premiere, with a current 93% fresh Rotten Tomatoes critics score. As we told you, Jordan Peele caught the movie and pivoted the pic from a Netflix streaming release, putting it through the filmmaker’s deal at Universal. Mission accomplished as the movie is meant for an auditorium with an enormous screen. Uni acquired Monkey Man for under $10M. Previews happen Thursday beginning at 5 p.m.

Also wide at roughly 1,786 theaters is Fathom Events’ Someone Like You. Pic is based on the No. 1 New York Times bestseller by Karen Kingsbury. After the tragic loss of his best friend London Quinn, grieving young architect Dawson Gage launches an impossible search for her secret twin sister, twins separated as embryos. But Dawson never planned to fall in love. Tyler Russell directs Jake Allyn, Sarah Fisher and Lynn Collins. The movie is in previews and will play until April 11.

Per Comscore, the year-to-date box office for Jan. 1-March 31 is $1.64 billion, -6% from a year ago but only $106M down. That’s essentially equivalent to one tentpole. Despite rumors out there that theater owners are behind on their rental payments to major studios, I’m hearing that’s not the case. The box office is just beginning to pick up after the double-strike funk.

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