Box Office Preview: ‘Inferno’ to Ignite Franchise’s Smallest Fire Yet

"Inferno" (2016) - Box Office Preview

‘Inferno’ Descending Lower Than ‘Da Vinci,’ ‘Angels & Demons’

Not much has come out of the fall box office as far as major hits go. While Clint Eastwood’s Sully remains the sole film since Suicide Squad to crack $100 million, something soon has to give. Ron Howard’s Inferno is the last chance before the busy holiday season picks up.

It’s been seven years since Angels & Demons and a decade since The Da Vinci Code. And while both Dan Brown adaptations were major hits at the box office, the question remains if Inferno can maintain the trilogy’s momentum.

Skipping over Brown’s 2009 novel, The Lost Symbol, director Ron Howard and Tom Hanks team again in this globetrotting mystery thriller. In this installment, Hanks is back as Harvard symbology professor, Robert Langdon, who wakes up with amnesia in an Italian hospital. He quickly is thrust back into another mystery, where he alongside Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) must stop Inferno, a virus created to wipe out the world’s population. The virus itself is tied to Dante’s Inferno.

Currently, the sequel is scoring slightly lower than The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons on Rotten Tomatoes with a 22%. The question at had is whether or not that will have an effect on the box office. Back in May 2006, The Da Vinci Code debuted over $77 million, despite a 25% score. Even with some summer legs, the first Langdon installment wrapped with $217 million. Interest didn’t carry over with Angels & Demons in 2009, which opened to $46.2 million. Granted, its legs were slightly better even against hits such as Terminator Salvation, Up and The Hangover.

"Inferno" (2016) - Box Office

The lengthy hiatus is against Inferno’s side. Plus, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons both benefited from opening in May. Inferno’s being dealt a Halloween weekend debut. Historically, Halloween weekend hasn’t boasted a major hit outside of Puss in Boots ($34.1 million) or Saw III ($33.6 million). But then again, there’s nothing to truly compare against it in its franchise or genre. Overseas numbers also provide minimal information as the film stands at $94 million. Can Inferno hang alongside the last two films? Probably not for many reasons.

Regardless, Inferno does open at 7 p.m. Thursday night in both 2D and IMAX engagements. By Sunday, Inferno could very well open around $25 million. At least it’ll be in the same company as Madea, Jack Reacher, The Girl on the Train and The Accountant.

Box Office Projections

1. Inferno (Sony) – $25.5 million (NR)

2. Boo! A Madea Halloween (Lionsgate) – $11.2 million (1)

3. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Sony) – $10.3 million (2)

4. The Accountant (Warner Bros.) – $7.8 million (4)

5. Ouija: Origin of Evil (Universal) – $6.5 million (3)

 

Check back on Sunday for this weekend’s box office estimates. 

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