The Predator took the top spot at the weekend box office, but 20th Century Fox is probably not popping corks on champagne bottles after a relatively middling $24 million opening. That puts it narrowly behind of Nimród Antal’s 2010 entry, Predators ($24.7 million), but that film only cost $40 million to make while Shane Black’s entry, the sixth in the series (counting the Alien vs. Predator movies), cost $88 million to bring to the screen. The extra $48 million spent clearly didn’t boost the results. Even with the talent of Shane Black (the original film’s writer) on board as director, it’s something of a mystery as to why Fox would spend $88 million on a film when none of the six films have made that much money at the domestic box office. Only two (the original Predator and Alien vs. Predator) managed to earn that much, even when adjusted for inflation.
Granted, it didn’t help that neither critics nor the older-skewing audience cared much for the film. It’s sitting at a measly 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (and based on some reviews I’ve read, that’s generous), while audiences gave it a measly C+ Cinemascore. Clearly, fans of the original have been burned by too many bad sequels, and when the reviews came in on this one and confirmed the same, some of the franchise’s faithful bailed. It likely didn’t help, either, that the movie’s biggest social-media star, Olivia Munn, was mired in an unfortunate controversy all week, and while she certainly brought a lot of attention to the film, little of it was positive (although there was some good to come out of it).
However, the difference between the 2010 Predators and 2018’s The Predator may be the growing international box office. While the original brought in a fairly tepid $52 million overall, it added $75 million overseas, and The Predator is likely to best that thanks to a robust international box office when it comes to action pics. Even still, after marketing and production cost, plus the split with exhibitors, The Predator will struggle mightily to break even.