The new horror movie Barbarian is crashing through the gates at the domestic box office, earning $3.8 million on Friday from 2,340 theaters to top the chart.
That puts the well-reviewed film on course to earn $9 million or $10 million, ahead of an expected $5 million to $6 million opening. The final number will depend upon on how frontloaded Barbarian is. Either way, it will win an otherwise quiet weekend.
From 20th Century Studios and New Regency, the R-rated pic is launching in 2,340 theaters, including Imax and premium large format screens, which are doing big business.
The majority of the audience is between the ages of 18 and 34. Ticket buyers gave the movie a C+ CinemaScore. Critics like it much better, with Barbarian currently resting at a 93 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Overseas, Barbarian debuts this weekend in smaller Latin American territories before launching in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia the following weekend.
The film, full of twists and turns, follows a young woman (Georgina Campbell) arriving late at night to a rental home in a rundown Detroit neighborhood only to find it occupied by another renter, played by Bill Skarsgård. Barbarian marks Zach Cregger’s solo feature debut.
Skarsgard, of course, played the demonic clown Pennywise in the two Stephen King It films, which also launched post-Labor Day. It helped usher in a new era in terms of high-profile films going out in early September, which had otherwise been a quiet time.
September 2022 is notably quiet in terms of event titles in a setback for the summer box office recovery. The dearth of studio tentpoles is due to supply-chain issues resulting from the pandemic.
Overall revenue for the weekend is expected to come in at around $39 million, down 35.3 percent from 2021 and more than 70 percent from 2019 when It Chapter Two opened.
Another new offering to keep an eye on this weekend is Fox Star Studios’ Bollywood pic Bramastra Part 1: Shiva, which is expected to place No. 2 with as much as $4 million from only 810 theaters after earning $2 million on Friday. The film is getting the widest Imax domestic release ever for a Bollywood movie. Star Studios came under the Disney fold when Disney bought 20th Century.
Fathom decided to use the quiet post-Labor Day weekend to open the Kirk Cameron movie Lifemark, which is eyeing a 7th place finish with an estimated $2 million from 1,560 locations.
Variance is launching Medieval, a 2022 English-language Czech historical drama directed by Petr Jákl in 1,311 runs. The movie is projected to come in No. 14 with under $1 million.
Numbers will be updated Sunday morning.