‘Smile’ Box Office Laughing to No. 1 Opening as ‘Bros’ Bombs – The Hollywood Reporter
A new horror film from Paramount is putting a grin on moviegoers’ faces this weekend.
Parker Finn‘s debut feature Smile scared up a strong $8.2 million from 3,645 theaters on Friday — including $2 million in previews — for a projected $19 million opening, ahead of expectations and easily enough to win the weekend. To boot, it cost just $17 million to make.
From Paramount Players and Temple Hill, Smile is about a therapist (Sosie Bacon) who meets a graduate student (Caitlin Stasey) who recently witnessed a gruesome suicide. Kyle Gallner, Robin Weigert and Kal Penn co-star.
“Parker Finn’s disquieting debut Smile transforms a congenial gesture into a threat. Smiles — warm and inviting by nature — mask deeper, more troubling intentions in this harrowing film about a demonic spirit that latches on to its victims’ traumas. The adage about grinning through hard times here takes on a sinister tone,” writes The Hollywood Reporter critic Lovia Gyarkye.
Elsewhere, Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling is falling off steeply in its sophomore outing. The New Line film earned $2.4 million on Friday from 4,121 locations for a projected $7.4 million weekend, a 62 percent drop.
Tri-Star’s The Woman King looks to come in No. 3 with $6.2 million from 3,504 cinemas in its third weekend.
One film that isn’t smiling is Universal and Nicholas Stoller’s high-profile Bros, the first gay romantic comedy from a major Hollywood studio (Universal has been widely lauded for taking on the project). The movie, which cost a modest $22 million to make, looks to open in fourth-place with $4.8 million from 3,350 theaters after earning $1.8 million on Friday.
Starring Billy Eichner, Bros was embraced by critics following its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto Film Festival. It presently boasts a glowing 95 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences agreed, giving it an A CinemaScore.
THR‘s review was slightly more mixed. “And certainly the dearth of mainstream/studio gay rom-coms makes one want to embrace Bros for the representational significance alone,” wrote John DeFore. “But was it wrong to hope for something a little stranger?”
The film’s top 10 markets are all in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, while it is underperforming in much of the middle of the country.
The rerelease of Avatar continues to please and is projected to earn $4.2 million from 1,860 theaters for a 10-day total of $18.1 million.
The big upset of the weekend is the sweeping Indian epic PS-1: Ponniyan Selvan Part One, which is eyeing $4.2 million from 500 locations.
Oct. 1, 8:15 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.