The Invitation Opening on Top as August Box Office Ends With a Whimper

In a summer that’s often seen only one new wide release in a weekend, a whopping three new films hit theaters on Friday: Sony’s horror-thriller “The Invitation,” George Miller’s “Three Thousand Years of Longing” and bank heist movie “Breaking,” starring John Boyega. However, none of them seem to be making much of an impact, as the total box office projects a sum in the $50 million to $60 million range. That wouldn’t just be the worst weekend of the summer, but also the worst since February.

“The Invitation” is tracking ahead of the other two, as it looks to claim the weekend’s top spot with a meagre $6 million to $7 million gross from 3,114 locations in its opening. Critics didn’t really care for the movie — it landed a 40% approval rating from review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes — and audiences were perhaps more unenthused. The film holds a “C” grade from research firm Cinema Score, indicating a rather snoozy reception from general consumers.

Even so, “The Invitation” is the favorite to open atop a theatrical wasteland of summer season holdovers and August nonstarters. Luckily, Sony’s horror film was a modest bet, carrying a production of only $10 million.

Directed by Jessica M. Thompson and starring Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty, “The Invitation” follows Evie (Emmanuel), an American woman visits her long-lost cousin in the English countryside, only to discover the family’s sinister secrets.

Led by Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba, MGM and United Artists Releasing’s “Three Thousand Years of Longing” focuses on a scholar’s encounter with a djinn who offers to grant her three wishes.

Lastly, Boyega’s “Breaking” is based on the true story of a Marine vet who holds people hostage in a bank as he’s on the brink of homelessness. In addition to Boyega, the film stars Michael K. Williams in the late actor’s final film role.

More to come…

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